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Spider-Man (2002 video game)

Spider-Man (also known as Spider-Man: The Movie) is a 2002 action-adventure video game based upon the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, and is also loosely based on the film of the same name.[2] The game was developed by Treyarch and published by Activision, and released in 2002 for Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The game has many scenes and villains that did not appear in the film. It was followed by Spider-Man 2 two years later to promote the release of the second film. In 2007, to promote the release of the third film, Spider-Man 3 was released. Tobey Maguire[a] and Willem Dafoe were the only actors who reprised their roles from the film.

LTI Gray Matter (PC)[1]
Digital Eclipse (GBA)
  • Tomo Moriwaki
  • Akihiro Akaike
Composer(s)Michael McCuistion
EngineTreyarch NGL
  • NA: April 16, 2002
  • EU: June 7, 2002


The game begins with an optional tutorial, narrated by Bruce Campbell, which presents teenager Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) accommodating to his new superhuman spider-like abilities, which he developed after being accidentally bitten by a genetically modified spider created by Oscorp; the tutorial also serves as an introduction for the player to the game's controls and HUD. After the tutorial, the story of the game begins with Peter narrating about his life with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, having moved to live with them after his parents' death. Wanting to earn some quick cash, Peter decides to use his newly aquiered super-powers in a wrestling match as "Spider-Man", but the fight promoter cheats him of his prize money. When the promoter is robbed by a thug, Peter lets him escape, only to later find his Uncle Ben killed by a thug. Devastated, Peter decides to use his powers to hunt down the killer and exact revenge for Ben's death. Learning that Ben's killer is the leader of the Skrull gang, Peter beats up numerous members of the gang across several rooftops and interogates one of them, who points him to a warehouse at the docks, where the rest of the gang, including the killer, is currently hiding from the police. Arriving at the warehouse before the police, Peter proceeds to battle more thugs and eventually confronts Ben's killer, only to discover that he is the same thug he let get away earlier. While Peter is shocked at this discovery, realizing that he could have easily prevented Ben's death if he would have stopped the thug when he had the chance, the thug accidentally slips out of a window and falls to his death. Shortly after, remembering Ben's words that "with great power comes great responsibility", Peter decides to use his powers for the greater good and creates himself a new Spider-Man costume; he becomes a superhero and begins to protect New York from crime.

Afterwards, Peter proceeds to speak about his best friends, Mary Jane Watson (Catherine O'Conner), whom he is attracted to, and Harry Osborn (Josh Keaton), whose father, Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe), is the CEO of Oscorp and allowed him and Harry to live in one of the apartments owned by the company; Peter also gets a job as a photographer for the Daily Bugle, taking pictures of himself as Spider-Man when in action. Meanwhile, Norman and his fellow Oscorp scientists are investigating the appearance of this new superhero and, anxious to develop their Human Performance Enhancer "Super Soldier" serum, which the company has invested a lot of money into, send several flying hunter robots after Spider-Man, believing that his spider DNA can help them finish the serum. While web-swinging through the city and taking photos of himself as Spider-Man for the Bugle, Peter gets attacked by the hunter robots, but he manages to destroy them, prompting Norman to look for a new strategy to capture Spider-Man.

Later, while web-swinging through the city, Spider-Man spots the villains Shocker (Michael Beattie) and Vulture (Dwight Schultz) robbing a jewelry shop and decides to give chase. Going after Shocker first, Spider-Man follows him and his goons to Grand Central Terminal, where battles several thugs and rescues the security guards and the civilians, but Shocker and many of his goons manage to escape into the sewers. Continuing with the chase, Spider-Man fights more thugs through the sewers and eventually confronts and defeats Shocker in a subway station, who then tells Spider-Man about Vulture's lair - an old clock tower on the Lower East Side of the city - as he refuses to allow Vulture to get away with his share of their stolen loot while he goes to prison. Arriving at the tower, Spider-Man climbs it to reach Vulture's lair, avoiding Vulture's bombs and kamikaze spider-shaped robots in the process, and eventually confronts Vulture inside his lair at the top of the tower, but he manages to escape. Giving chase, Spider-Man follows Vulture through the city, fixing his damage that endangers the civilians down below on the street along the way, and the two eventually stop to battle on top of the Chrysler Building. There, Spider-Man defeats Vulture and recovers the stolen loot, leaving both of them for the police at the bottom of the building.

Meanwhile, Oscorp has come with a new strategy to capture Spider-Man and has created several spider-shaped hunter robots, that are able to scan for arachnid DNA in order to find Spider-Man much easier. However, Norman's scientists inform him that there are two people with arachnid DNA in the city, the second of whom is revealed to be Mac Gargan/Scorpion (Michael McColl), who gained an unremovable scorpion-themed suit after a failed military experiment. As Norman orders his scientists to have the spider robots hunt down both individuals, a desperate Scorpion is seen trying to escape from the robots through the sewers and runs into Spider-Man in an underground parking lot, who returned to the subway to take pictures of his battle site with Shocker. Spider-Man and Scorpion team up to destroy all the robots, but a paranoid and mentally unstable Scorpion ends up betraying Spider-Man and attacks him. Spider-Man follows Scorpion to a subway station, where the two battle and Spider-Man emerges victorious, but, as he takes a look at one of the destroyed spider robots, Scorpion escapes.

Meanwhile, Norman is fired from Oscorp by his own board members after the company lost all the money invested in the super-soldier serum project, as they couldn't finish it on time, and, planning to get revenge on them, decides to test the incomplete serum on himself. However, the experiment goes awry and Norman becomes insane, killing his assistant, Mendel Stromm, in the process; donning a military green armor, along with an arsenal of high tech weapons, such as a glider, pumpkin bombs, and razor bats, Norman becomes the Green Goblin and attacks the yearly Oscorp Unity Day Festival, killing the board members that fired him with a pumpkin bomb and, unintentionally, endangering Mary Jane, who, in the meantime, became Harry's girlfriend, and was in attendance alongside him. After suiting up as Spider-Man, Peter rescues Mary Jane, who gives him a kiss (which is photographed by a spider robot), and then stops the Green Goblin's destructive rampage through the city. The Green Goblin offers Spider-Man an alliance, but he refuses and instead battles him. Although Spider-Man defeats the Green Goblin, he reveals that he has planted bombs all over Downtown and then escapes, while Spider-Man is busy defusing the bombs.

In the Xbox version of the game only, Norman hires Kraven the Hunter (Gary Anthony Sturgis) shortly after the failed bomb threat to capture Spider-Man. Setting a giant spider statue on fire in order to lure Spider-Man, Kraven takes over the zoo and transforms it into an elaborate hunting game for the web-slinger. As soon as Spider-Man arrives, Kraven poisons him with a lethal gas, forcing the hero to quickly make his way through all the traps set up by Kraven and track him down, as he has the only antidote for the toxin in the gas. Spider-Man eventually confronts Kraven in the main area of the zoo, which has been transformed into a massive arena, and manages to defeat him. Impressed by Spider-Man's abilities, Kraven gives him the antidote, but refuses to reveal who hired him, so Spider-Man just leaves him for the police and departs.

On his way home, Spider-Man is once again attacked by the Green Goblin, but he manages to escape from him and finds a piece of his gear that fell during their battle. Returning home, Peter analyzes the piece of the Goblin's gear and discovers that it has been manufactured by Oscorp, so he decides to infiltrate the company, to learn more about its connection with the Green Goblin. Avoiding detection by the security system and the guards, Spider-Man enters the company's secret labs, where he discovers that Oscorp secretly produces chemical weapons. With the help of a friendly scientist, who guides him through the labs, Spider-Man manages to neutralize the weapon, but on his way out of the labs, he accidentally stumbles upon a massive hangar, where he is attacked by Oscorp's ultimate weapon: a giant killer robot, which is protected by several shield generators. After destroying the generators, Spider-Man battles the robot and emerges victorious, destroying it for good. Afterwards, he makes his way to Norman's office, hoping to finally learn the Green Goblin's identity, but discovers only that the Goblin has kidnapped Mary Jane in order to lure Spider-Man, after seeing the photo of her kissing him, and then leaves in a rush to find and stop the Green Goblin once and for all.

On his way out of Oscorp, the entire building becomes aware of his presence, so Spider-Man is forced to fight his way through all the guards and security robots in order to escape alive from the building. After narrowly escaping from Oscorp, Spider-Man arrives at Mary Jane's apartment, from where he chases the Green Goblin down to the Queensboro Bridge. After taking Mary Jane to safety, Spider-Man engages the Green Goblin in a final battle and emerges victorious. Defeated, the Green Goblin unmasks himself as Norman and then, in a final attempt to kill Spider-Man, accidentally stabs himself with his own glider and dies; his final worlds are "Tell Harry, I'm sorry.", with Spider-Man replying "I'm sorry, too." The game ends with Spider-Man and Mary Jane reuniting and sharing a kiss, which prevents Spider-Man from revealing his secret identity to her; as the camera pans out, Spider-Man narrates the end of the story and breaks the fourth wall with "Looks like you're done now. Go outside and play."


Like the 2000 Spider-Man video game, along with Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, Spider-Man is a level based beat 'em up video game, with the player as Spider-Man. Half the levels are indoors, but the rest of the levels are outside among the sky-scrapers of New York and require him to web-sling from building to building, however Spider-Man cannot land on the ground, as he will die if he gets too close. Levels are in "sections" with a different enemy for each, each section lasting about 3 levels. Each level, except for the last two, has a bonus screen after it. Generally, there are the bonuses "Time" (clear level in a set time), "Perfect" (not take damage/detected) and "Style" (use as many combos as possible). Other level-specific ones are "Secrets" (uncover a secret area), "Combat" (defeat all enemies), and "stealth" (remain undetected by enemies). Players can gain, depending on difficulty, points on completing these tasks. On easy mode, each bonus is 500 points, normal is 700, and Hero is 1000 each.

The basic abilities are swinging, zipping, punching and kicking, dodging, web, camera lock, and the Web Mode in Enhanced Mode. Depending on how the player combines different buttons, it makes different effects. Wall-crawling is automatic, and players are also able to lift up heavy and light objects such as cars and chairs. There are 21 different combat combos which Gold Spiders are used to gain these combos, with 4 web controls, each having a type of "upgrade" to each. There is also "stealth mode", where Spider-Man is in shadow, and therefore is undetectable by enemies. This is necessary to gain extra points in the game. While the game is primarily in third-person, a cheat code allows players to switch to first-person view.

After completing the story mode of the game on at least hero difficulty, an unlockable bonus allows the player to play any level in the game as Harry Osborn in his father's Green Goblin costume, complete with his glider and arsenal, following an alternate timeline with Harry fighting an "alternate goblin" who claims to have been hired by Norman Osborn, adding a slightly new feel to the story, although the player plays exactly the same levels as they would with Spider-Man. Unlockable costumes for Spider-Man include Peter Parker in his civilian clothes, the homemade wrestling outfit from the movie, and acclaimed comic book artist Alex Ross' prototype design for the movie Spider-Man costume, which also triggers the Goblin to wear Ross' early design during battles. A cheat code allowed players to play as Mary Jane but was dropped from rereleased versions of the game due to the perceived lesbianism implications of scenes featuring the "player" Mary Jane and the "in-game" Mary Jane kissing.


Review scores
AllGame     [3]N/AN/A     [4]     [5]
Game Informer8.5/10[13]8/10[14]N/A7.75/10[15]8.25/10[16]
Game RevolutionN/AB[20]N/AC+[21]B[22]
GamePro     [17]N/AN/A     [18]     [19]
Nintendo Power4.1/5[42]4.4/5[43]N/AN/AN/A
OPM (US)N/AN/AN/A     [44]N/A
OXM (US)N/AN/AN/AN/A7.9/10[45]
PC Gamer (US)N/AN/A80%[46]N/AN/A
Aggregate scores

The critical reviews for the game were positive. GameRankings gave it a score of 78% for the Game Boy Advance version,[47] 76% for the GameCube version,[48] 75% for the PC version,[49] 76% for the PlayStation 2 version,[50] 78% for the Xbox version;[51] and likewise, Metacritic gave it a score of 77 out of 100 for the GameCube version,[52] 75 out of 100 for the PC version,[53] 76 out of 100 for the PlayStation 2 version,[54] and 79 out of 100 for the Xbox version.[55]

Many critics at the time considered it the best Spider-Man game yet. However, criticism fell on the indoor levels,[24] Tobey Maguire's voice acting[40] and bad camera, as well as the fact that it was too short and could easily be completed in 3 hours.[31] The Cincinnati Enquirer gave the game four stars out of five and stated that it was "worth climbing the walls for."[56]

By July 2006, the PlayStation 2 version of Spider-Man had sold 2.1 million copies and earned $74 million in the United States. Next Generation ranked it as the 15th highest-selling game launched for the PlayStation 2, Xbox or GameCube between January 2000 and July 2006 in that country. Combined sales of Spider-Man console games released in the 2000s reached 6 million units in the United States by July 2006.[57] The PlayStation 2 version also received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[58] indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[59] Its GameCube and Xbox versions sold over 400,000 copies.[60] These high sales allowed the game to enter the "Best-Sellers" of each console (PlayStation 2's Greatest Hits, GameCube's Player's Choice and Xbox's Platinum Hits). It was recently promoted to "Best of Platinum Hits" on the Xbox. In the United States, its Game Boy Advance version sold 740,000 copies and earned $23 million by August 2006. During the period between January 2000 and August 2006, it was the 30th highest-selling game launched for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS or PlayStation Portable in that country.[61]


  1. ^ Josh Keaton was considered for the role as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, but Keaton's role was given to Harry Osborn, similar to how James Franco was considered for the role as Spider-Man.


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External linksEdit