Activision has really found a solid partner in Marvel as this is a company which is focused on expanding its brands and has had much success over the past decade expanding its comic books into movie form. Activision has been there every step of the way producing two quality Spiderman titles so far, but there was a worry that three of the same just may have been too much. This has become the case it would seem because 3 doesn't really do anything different than the other two. Sure, it's on a next generation platform, but that's not enough for the game to reach the heady heights of its predecessors.
Spiderman 3 once again puts you in the role of Peter Parker as he comes to terms with the fate that has befallen him as Spiderman. He's in love with Mary Jane, doing well at school and work, and generally loving his life until a strange black poison falls from the sky and infects him. The story primarily revolves around black Spiderman and so does the game but there are appearances from all the villains in the film including the ever present Venom, one of the best characters in the series to date.
For those who have played the original two Spiderman games, you aren't going to find much different here. It's still a sandbox world with many different styles of missions to take on. Completing various missions progresses the story, but when you first start out it's hard to know which ones those missions are without consulting a guide book. At the crux of the game you find yourself moving from A to B, meeting people and completing tasks. This may not sound all that enthralling, but once you get moving in the city, the fluid movements of Spider man make this, at least for the first hour or so, a real joy to play.
There are also some RPG elements to the game by which Spiderman levels up various aspects of his abilities. This is basically achieved doing said abilities over and over again. For instance, you will level up web slinging quite quickly as it is the only way to move from place to place fast, however fighting may take a little longer as this does not occur as much. While you're running or slinging around, random crime takes place and you can take on these side missions to gain experience and points. The missions are quite varied from taking photographs, to beating bosses, to getting people to places on time, but it still does become old - fast.
Once that initial wow factor has passed, the game does become very generic and very much like its predecessors. If you have played the first two games, unless you are a hardcore Spiderman fan, the chance that you will complete this one are low as you will likely realize that this is just the same rehashed experience with more characters to choose from. One thing which does mix up the game however is the fact that you can use the black Spiderman suit, but it has its own side effects just like in the movie and therefore should only be used in particular situations.
The City of New York has been replicated extremely well with the major landmarks all present but one thing which did surprise us is that, despite the fact they are rendered and present, you can't go to the Statue of Liberty or Government Island. Obviously they do not form part of the game, but what's the point of rendering them if you can't visit them. The visuals have also been given a next generation boost but that's really all we can write home about with the next generation platforms. Other than that, despite Treyarch only working on the PS3 and Xbox 360 titles, they really haven't expanded the series to the potential it could have on next generation systems. Perhaps Spiderman 4 will do this.
Spiderman 3 is a quality game that is probably too much of a fun thing. It hasn't really changed since the first game, despite the next generation consoles power, and that ultimately is the biggest disappointment. Those who haven't played 1 and 2 will find a top game, but those who have will be wondering just where the innovation has gone.