From Spider-Man 2 to Marvel’s Spider-Man, the best web-swinging in games
Spider-Man games have adopted Web Swing as a key mechanic since the PS2, but later entries have turned the basic traversal mechanic into an art form.
Although Spider Man is loved on all forms of media, a platform where he has helped fans become the character of video games. From early consoles to current generation systems, there has always been a wall of exploration for gamers. But over the years, technology and mechanics have evolved to offer constantly evolving mechanics. As a result, aspects like web-swinging have become an important staple for the character.
That being said, although web-swinging is a mechanism that has been around for at least two decades, it continues to change and improve. To accomplish these feats would require multiple titles to iron out the glitches and help create the most immersive web experience yet. What are some of the best examples of web-swinging in the Spidey games, and what have they contributed to the franchise?
Released around the same time as the 2004 film of the same name, Spider-man 2 revolutionized web-swing and franchising. Spidey was swinging through a glass ceiling in the past, which meant he didn’t have to tie himself to buildings. He also didn’t have an open sandbox for players to explore or variety in his swing style. But with Spider-man 2, everything changed. With a Manhattan sandbox to explore, players could now overcome the admittedly tricky learning curve of swinging and weaving through buildings in their own styles. The game also allows players to shoot two web lines in the middle of the swing, perform aerial tricks, and swing street lights. Since then, few titles in the franchise have changed their model from what Spider-man 2 established.
One year later Spider-man 2 hit the shelves, Ultimate Spider-Man took the complex realism of the previous game and gave it more of a comic book twist. But the updates didn’t stop at the aesthetics. Even the web swing system has undergone some minor tweaks to help differentiate itself from what came before. For example, more than ever, web-swinging is momentum-based; the higher the speed, the better the tricks. But instead of just jumping from row to row, players can prepare for some big moves by claiming the web row and web zip. There’s also the added touch of the strap left even after Spidey lets go. Although the changes are subtle, they add considerable personality to the swing.
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
When Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were linked, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows represented the first title based on the character not to be a movie tie-in. As a result, the developers had more creative freedom with the story and the mechanics. One of the biggest changes was the web swing, which reintroduced many subtle mechanics like claiming a web line and interacting with poles to gain speed. The game has also streamlined its controls, zipping the web and swinging the same button. There was even more fluidity in the swing, which made Spidey’s movements more graceful during the free fall. With smoother controls and animations that turned the web’s sway into an aerial dance, Web of shadows establish a standard that will later be followed in Marvel’s Spider-Man.
The Incredible Spider-Man 2
Based on the film of the same name, The Incredible Spider-Man 2 introduces new villains like Carnage and introduces an all-new web swing mechanic that’s only been seen in this game. Developing its watered-down glass ceiling approach from the first entry, TASM 2 allows players to independently control shooters across Spider-man’s web. Essentially, this means that he can pull his canvases with both hands, thanks to independent buttons. In doing so, players can now better negotiate left or right turns, adding more personality to the Web Swing. There’s also an additional slingshot move that allows Spider-Man to propel himself through busy streets. By painting the rule that it has to be around the building to swing, players can also use selection points to quickly move to different locations, just like in the last installment. Web-swinging might be different, but it showed how unique it can be while still being fun.
Marvel’s Spider-Man shows how web-swinging can be a lively and simultaneously realistic experience. While some of the fluidity has been sacrificed to Web of shadows, this entry shows how web swing is all about style and speed of mind. Suddenly, the fluidity comes from the time spent under the mask. With iconic animations filling the space between each web row, gamers can grow up with Peter as they learn more web surfing skills. With new animations such as aerial towers and throwing Spidey on a rooftop after a wall, the game takes concepts from the movies and games to create a definitive experience, but the best part is how the developers made way for a sequel to develop the mechanic further.
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