The year 2000 was really something for video games. We had so many classics come our way, like the original Perfect Dark, the groovy Jet Set Radio, and the awesome Paper Mario. However, it was also the year that the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater developers at Neversoft decided to try their hand at Spider-Man.
After coming off the success of the original Pro Skater and finishing up work on part deux, Neversoft took on the Spider-Man game as a challenge. Its goal: create a full 3D adventure featuring the web-slinger’s abilities at their best. Now, granted, we’ve seen gotten more in-depth Spider-Man games, including Insomniac’s little PlayStation endeavors. Yet, for the year 2000, there was nothing like the Spider-Man game that this studio crafted. It started on the PlayStation, but eventually made its way to Dreamcast and Nintendo 64, selling like a bandit on each platform. Even today, it’s heavily in demand.
A Story Close To the Comics
While Spider-Man starts out slow, it’s got a story that made fans of the comic book proud. It features ol’ Spidey interacting with a number of familiar characters, including Venom, Black Cat, and even the Punisher. Captain America shows up at one point too, shield and all.
Of course, you’re here for the villains, and this game has them. Along with Venom doing his thing (“Surf the web, surf the web!”), there are a handful of others. Carnage is here, Doc Ock has his moments, Rhino stops by, and there’s even Scorpion and Mysterio, for those of you that loved him in Far From Home.
The story goes all over the place, but it is incredibly fun, just like the game itself. Not to mention, it sets the stage for some fun 3D action which, despite showing some age, still holds up today.
Just the Right Mix of Gameplay
While there could be some commentary about the camera control in small, confined areas, Neversoft’s Spider-Man game is a treat. It plays beautifully, whether you’re crawling around on the walls, taking advantage of your web-shooting, or taking part in combat. There are also puzzles to solve (like putting an explosive in a, ahem, “safe” place), and the web-slinging actually feels natural.
Plus the game gives you a lot to do. This includes beating up thugs, taking on exciting boss battles, finding hidden comic books (with egging on from the legendary Stan Lee), and more. You can probably get through it all within a couple of days, but, for a 2000 release, it’s done exceptionally well.
Keep in mind, too, that this game released before the 2001 film. So, it references more towards the hardcore Marvel audience. That said, it still has a lot of fun with it, especially at the finale. Those heroes and villains sure love their card games, don’t they…? You’ll see.
A Solid Presentation
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the 2000 Spider-Man game is how well it comes together in terms of presentation. Sure, some character models just look…weird at this point. Just remember, it’s a game from two decades ago and you’ll be fine.
The graphics look great for their time. A bit foggy, yes, but the 3D environments are impressive for their day. Being able to scour parts of the city is sweet, too, and the animations (for Spidey and Venom especially) are spot on. I also liked some of the camera angles with crawling, though, again, they can be problematic in smaller areas. It’s not a deal breaker, though.
I liked the audio too. Along with Apollo 440’s remix of the classic Spider-Man theme, there’s great, cheesy voice acting here. (Including Stan the Man!) Plus the music is fun and the sound effects are about what you’d expect them to be.
So, yeah, it’s an older game, but it’s one well worth playing again.
Spider-Man?! I Ask For the Police and I Get This?
One other advantage to Neversoft making a Spider-Man video game? Being able to include him in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 as a secret character. He’s rad in it, too, grabbing his board with webs and pulling off maneuvers that only Tony could dream of.
Enjoy the tease below, because you deserve it.
Does Whatever a Spider Can
Sure, Activision has since released more advanced Spider-Man games with the license. This includes a variety of movie-themed games, as well as Shattered Dimensions and other great titles. That said, I like to think that the 2000 game really kicked things off for the web-slinger. It brought him out of the 2D realm that Sega initially put him in and truly put him in a 3D space. Wonderfully too, might we add. Even after twenty-two years, this web crawler’s still got it!
Want more classic PS1 gaming fun? Revisit The Legend of Dragoon!
Streamer and Cosplay Enthusiast