It's like a part of me has died.
I should probably explain. I love Spider-Man. Out of all the superheroes, he's the one that I immediately identified with as a kid. He's the one I watched through cheap cartoons and lousy live-action TV shows. On long car journeys, I'd look out of the window and pass the time by imagining Spidey was running alongside, somersaulting and swinging over the scenery whizzing by.
Even as an adult, through the Clone Saga and every other indignity Marvel inflicted on the character, I still love Spidey. First thing I ever bought on eBay? A dog-eared copy of Amazing Fantasy 15, which hangs on the wall right next to me at this very moment, in a pound-shop clip-frame.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has become a bit of a mystery. Review copies have been thin on the ground (although that isn't unusual for Activision's licensed games) while the puzzling announcement that the Xbox One version of the game was "indefinitely postponed" provoked a raft of crazy conspiracy theories. The sudden digital release of the game on Xbox Live this week only heightened the interest around what turns out to be a rather average release. What caused the postponement in the first place and how had the situation been resolved? Right now, nobody's talking.
What we can confirm is that Activision initially pulling the game from the release schedule had nothing to do with the quality of the Xbox One conversion work (as if that's ever been a reason for a publisher not to release a substandard port anyway). The Xbox One game has clear disadvantages against the PlayStation 4 release that we'll explore in a moment, but they're best described as annoyances as opposed to anything genuinely game-breaking.
In truth, based on first impressions derived from an hour with both versions, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an enormous missed opportunity on a broader level. What we're looking at is a distinctly last-gen effort, spruced up with 1080p imagery and some higher-precision post-processing effects, but little else. Detail in the cityscape is passable but lacking at close range, while - Spider-Man's model apart - overall geometry levels are often bafflingly low. Loading times between missions are very intrusive on both platforms, more so on Xbox One.
Cor, wasn't it confusing when Activision indefinitely postponed the release of movie tie-in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on Xbox One, despite it still coming to 3DS, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3 and the Wii U? So what's even more confusing is the fact the game is now out, having dribbled out on to the Xbox One's US Games Marketplace to a little parp from Major Nelson and no real clarification from Activision as to what's going on.
UPDATE #2 3.25pm: Microsoft's Major Nelson blog has posted to say that game is "now available on Xbox One".
UPDATE 16.00pm: Activision has confirmed the postponement of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on Xbox One to Eurogamer but said it will collaborate with Microsoft "in an effort to release" the title at some point.
Activision has released a new video of its upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2 video game, showing off gameplay in detail.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is now dated for a 2nd May release in the UK on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, and 3DS.
Next year's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie will be accompanied by a game of the same name, Marvel announced over the weekend at New York Comic-Con.
Regular Spidey developer Beenox is back working on the Amazing Spider-Man sequel for 3DS, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It's due to pop up in May 2014, the same time that the film swings into cinemas.
Key to the new installment will be a morality system, which will see Peter Parker punished for naughty deeds and rewarded for good ones.