Spider-Man Part 16: Grand Central Terminal

By Shamus Posted Thursday May 23, 2019

Filed under: Retrospectives 56 comments

After Spider-Man punches his way out of Martin Li’s stupid dream world, we return to the high-speed chase where Spider-Man is trying to stop the truck, Martin Li is trying to stop Spider-Man, and Sable agents are shooting missiles at everyone.

Spider-Man performs some heroic quicktime events, but he manages to lose the battle anyway. (In a cutscene, obviously. And yes, you must still successfully complete the quicktime events, even though your success will be immediately negated in a cutscene. Failure is prohibited until it’s mandatory.) The truck turns over and he’s knocked out. When he wakes up, Li has escaped with Devil’s Breath. I have no idea how he escaped the scene on foot with an army of Sable agents in pursuit. I guess those guys just suck.

And speaking of things that suck…

Silver Sable Round 2

I'd be a lot less salty about this scene if it didn't IMMEDIATELY follow another scene of cutscene-mandated failure and incompetence.
I'd be a lot less salty about this scene if it didn't IMMEDIATELY follow another scene of cutscene-mandated failure and incompetence.

Silver Sable did nothing to help. Her men shot rockets at a truck carrying a bioweapon while she yelled at you over the radio. Now that the fight is over, she shows up and accuses Spider-Man of making everything worse.  Rather than calling her a rampaging hypocrite and swinging away, Spider-Man just lets(?) her beat him upAfter the fight, Spider-Man makes sure to rub his jaw so we know Sable is actually able to hurt him somehow and he’s not just humoring her to be nice.. Again.

Times Silver Sable has defeated Spider-Man in a cutscene: 2

In truth, him losing the physical fight isn’t nearly as annoying as him losing the verbal one. A key aspect of Spider-Man’s character is that he’s really good at cracking jokes and taking his foes down a peg.  Silver Sable’s plans are stupid, her men are dumb thugs, and she’s always five minutes late to every important battle even though she travels by helicopter. She’s a growling hardass with oversized guns that takes herself way too seriously. When it comes to people being vulnerable to ridicule, Silver Sable is a walking bullseye.

This could make their rivalry interesting. He could dunk on her for being an incompetent tryhard, and then she would knock him down because she doesn’t have anything clever to say back. Spider-Man would lose the physical exchange but walk away with the moral victory. Him teasing her in front of her men would give her a justification for hating him, which would make her less of a cartoon thug. Instead, Spider-Man says nothing, making it seem like he’s got no comebacks and we’re not supposed to notice that Silver Sable is a loser who doesn’t deserve to participate in fights with A-listers like Spidey, much less come out on top repeatedly.

I really do hate this version of the character. What an annoyance.

Grand Central Terminal

I love the attention to detail here, although the whole trade show booth idea seems iffy to me. Like, the things Oscorp is showing off aren't consumer goods, so there's no reason to show this stuff off to the public.
I love the attention to detail here, although the whole trade show booth idea seems iffy to me. Like, the things Oscorp is showing off aren't consumer goods, so there's no reason to show this stuff off to the public.

Mary Jane is following up on a lead that Martin Li has some sort of plan for Grand Central Terminal. She goes there to find Oscorp has set up some sort of trade show display right in the middle of GCT. There are a bunch of screens set up around this Oscorp trade show booth, each with a bit of optional exposition / backstory explaining what Oscorp does and what they’re all about.

Is this a thing companies do in the real world? Can anyone rent the central space of CGT? I have no idea.

Insomniac games really outdid themselves in creating this space. Aside from the Oscorp kiosk, it looks exactly like the real Grand Central Terminal. They didn’t just nail the shape of the place, but also the colors and the lighting. While I disagree with using such a true-to-life approach to visuals, I still admire the craft that went into this.

Martin Li shows up to steal one of the Oscorp gizmos. There’s a device here that’s designed to disperse particles in the air over a wide area, and he’s planning on using it to deliver Devil’s Breath and kill millions of people.

Once he has the device, he calls Norman Osborn and demands that Norman show up at GCT. Li plans to force Norman to push the button to release the bioweapon, thus making it “Norman’s fault”.

I realize this is a comic book story. Yes, comic books are filled with silly nonsense and we’re expected to “just go with it” for the sake of fun. But Li’s plan is dumb to the point of being distracting, it’s really dark and nasty, the story is taking Li very seriously, and the visuals are trying to tell me this is a grounded world. Thus I feel the need to nitpick this.

Dear Martin…

Martin just calls the mayor on the phone and asks Osborn to participate in this ridiculous scheme.
Martin just calls the mayor on the phone and asks Osborn to participate in this ridiculous scheme.

I have some questions regarding your plan to murder millions of people. Aside from the fact that the goal itself doesn’t mesh with your alleged motivation, the way you’re going about it makes no sense.

  1. Why would you demand the the Mayor show up? This goes against how governments operate in the face of terroristic threats. It just wouldn’t happen.
  2. Even if protocol allowed a leader to surrender to a terrorist in order to save the civilians, doing so would be a heroic act. But you’re already convinced that Norman Osborn is a selfish coward. Your plan can only work if you’re completely wrong about Osborn.
  3. You didn’t even make it clear what would happen if he didn’t show up. You just made some vague threats that more people would suffer. Since murdering innocent people is pretty much the only move in your playbook, this doesn’t leave you with any leverage. It’s safe to assume you plan on killing people either way, so why should anyone humor you?
  4. You’re gonna force Norman to release Devil’s Breath to make it all his fault? That’s not how blame works. If I do something while you hold a gun to my head, then it’s your fault, not mine.
  5. Moreover, how do you plan to get him to push the button? Sure, you can say, “Push the button or I’ll kill all the hostages!” Except, if he pushes the button then all the hostages will die anyway, plus an unknown number of additional people, plus Norman Osborn himself. Even if the mayor could show up and even if he was willing to do so, you still have no leverage.
  6. Hey dumbass. Your main power is the ability to mind-control people by just touching them, remember?  So why not just show up at the Osborn rally and shake his hand? Hang on, aren’t you rich? And don’t you run a homeless shelter? It should be super easy for you to get a face-to-face meeting with a Mayor currently running for election! Then you can mind-control him and make him do whatever you want. You could even make him release Devil’s Breath in a way that would make it look like it really was his fault!

What a dumb villain. What a stupid plan. What a complete waste of screen time. I hate this character so much. It’s a shame we spend two-thirds of the running time on this guy, since just about everyone else is more interesting.

Team Up

Our two heroes are both in character, they both want sensible things, and yet they're at odds anyway. That's good drama.
Our two heroes are both in character, they both want sensible things, and yet they're at odds anyway. That's good drama.

Outside of the unfortunate Standish scene, I really love this new version of MJ. She’s a proactive character that thinks things through. When Li shows up and tries to scare her into keeping quiet, she immediately shouts for the nearby police to help. It doesn’t work out because the police get blindsided by Demons ambushing them from slightly off-camera, but I still give MJ credit for working against the villain instead of being a passive damsel. Later she puts herself at risk trying to save the life of one of the other hostages.

MJ secretly messages Spider-Man to come to GCT. When he arrives, we don’t Switch over to his P.O.V. Instead we play through the scene from MJ’s perspective, and the result is one of my favorite sections of the game.

Spider-Man and MJ must work their way around the station to take out the guards and secure Devil’s Breath before it gets released. We get to see Spider-Man from the position of an observer. As MJ we act as a spotter for Spidey, figuring out which goons are vulnerable and directing his stealth takedowns. On one hand, it looks ridiculous to see Spider-Man conspicuously dive in and kidnap guys in full view of everyone in a lit room. Those Demon masks must have terrible visibility. On the other hand, this sequence is fun and it’s amusing to see the now-familiar takedown animations from a new perspective.

Spider-Man dives down from the brightly lit ceiling to nab this guy, and none of the dozens of mooks around notice. Their masks must have TERRIBLE visibility.
Spider-Man dives down from the brightly lit ceiling to nab this guy, and none of the dozens of mooks around notice. Their masks must have TERRIBLE visibility.

The Arkham games have a similar deal, where Batman swoops down from the rafters to ambush the nearsighted and perpetually oblivious guards. But the Arkham games have this fig-leaf excuse that the ceiling is “in darkness”. Sure, the player can see just fine, but the floor is brightly lit and we can sort of assume that the bad guys are effectively blind to what’s going on up here. Spider-Man can’t pull this trick because this area is based on a 1:1 recreation of Grand Central Terminal. The entire room is bathed in light. The huge windows mean Spider-Man is effectively backlit and is about as invisible as a spider on a television screen. The realistic visuals mean we have to work a little harder to suspend our disbelief.

As they sneak around, the two of them do some cute banter. Spider-Man wants to leave with MJ to make sure she’s safe, and then return to deal with the Demons and hostages. This means we’re finally hitting the plot point that the writer whiffed on back in the Standish scene. Spider-Man is clearly making a bad call. His feelings for MJ are clouding his judgement and preventing him from acting like a proper superhero. This scene really drives home what a great team these two would make, and it also makes it clear why they’re having so much trouble making it work.

MJ defuses the bomb and Spider-Man hands out free naps. Then Li decides to flee onto the subway. Spidey chases after him and we get a boss fight.

Spider-Man eventually pummels Li into submission, but now the train is out of control and headed for a collision. We get a nod to the scene in Sam Rami’s Spider-Man 2 where Spider-Man tries to stop a train with webs. It doesn’t work out, so he has to resort to plan B.

Plan B

The train in front of us is stopped. Spider-Man is making a web-ramp for the train directly underneath him. Somehow.
The train in front of us is stopped. Spider-Man is making a web-ramp for the train directly underneath him. Somehow.

Plan B is… I’m not even sure how to interpret these images. Spider-Man makes some sort of web-hammock on the tracks ahead. The sides act as rails(?) and the train rides up the webs(?) and bursts through the pavement(?) to emerge in the middle of the street. Imagine someone using a net as a ramp in a car chase and you’ll have an idea of just how goofy this looks.

I know I’ve spent a lot of time faulting this game for realistic visuals. But even if this game were rendered in the style of a cartoon, I think this sequence would still be a hard sell. You’d have to go all the way back to the 70s cartoon to find similar examples of Spider-Man’s webbing doing these sorts of absurdist things. It’s not even clear what sort of properties these magical webs are supposed to have. Are they rigid like subway rails? Are they stretchy like his normal webs? How is plowing through the pavement less deadly than wrecking into the parked train Spider-Man wanted to avoid? Aren’t there several meters of rock and concrete between subway tunnels and the street above? In what universe would a train be able to ride up a hammock at sufficient speed to bore through several meters of solid rock?

I can understand we want to end our battle with a big fireworks show. We want to have a big boom, while at the same time making it clear that Spider-Man is somehow saving people. Maybe the writer was trying to be clever and do this thing where Spider-Man takes the train from the darkness and into the light, which echos what Spider-Man is always yelling at Li. But in my book you can’t just wave around a placard with the word “SYMBOLISM!” on it as an excuse for making visually nonsensical things happen.

But maybe that’s just me.

EDIT: As someone pointed out in the comments, Spider-Man is actually pulling up the rails. I’m not sure why I didn’t see that. Maybe it’s the wobbly blur filter or the quicktime event going on, but I didn’t see the rails bending upwardsThey’re even painted yellow to make them stand out!. This is still an absurd scenario for a dozen reasons, but this does fix the most distracting problem.

Whatever, man.
Whatever, man.

Assuming you can ignore the Loony Toons physics, this section game is otherwise a fun bit that ends with a bang. At the end we capture Li, secure Devil’s Breath, and save the day.

Great. So the city is safe and everything will be fine. I’m really looking forward to the next chapter when absolutely nothing bad happens at all and we get to go back to making helpful prosthetics with our best friend forever, Otto Octavius.

 

Footnotes:

[1] After the fight, Spider-Man makes sure to rub his jaw so we know Sable is actually able to hurt him somehow and he’s not just humoring her to be nice.

[2] They’re even painted yellow to make them stand out!



From The Archives:
 

56 thoughts on “Spider-Man Part 16: Grand Central Terminal

  1. Ed says:

    To Shamus’s question: No, companies absolutely cannot rent out the entirety of the central floor. To do so would interrupt a near constant flow of commuters and transit folks that would cause a minor economic disaster.

    Film shoots do often set up and stake out a portion of the floor, however. Oftentimes the people blurred in the background of these shoots are regular commuters trying to go to work or wherever.

    Companies can, and do, rent out a rather large space that’s to the right of the atomic clock in the screen shot shamus has above. Where spidey is currently standing is between the Cipriani dolci restaurant (okay, went for my mom’s birthday a few years back) and the MIchael Jordan’s steakhouse.

    Directly across and up the stairs would be the apple store.

    Originally I was going to complain that when you bust the subway out onto the street that there were no subway tracks where spider-man says there are (42nd and 1st) But now thinking about it that makes sense if it’s the 7 train. Even if I do not remember going deep enough in the spidey part of this to get to the 7 train. (Or the 4/5/6 for that matter)

    Obviously, I live in New York, so there was a lot of great fun comparing the game to real life.

    1. Scampi says:

      I read the question, thought about it and thought it would have been a really nice touch of painting Osborne as a scumbag if someone (some related public figure) around the area was talking to their phone, stuff like: “Excuse me, Mr. Osborne, but you can’t announce a campaign appearance in GCT to circumvent guidelines on company exhibitions. […] No. Your presentation has to go. […] Immediately.”
      It would show Oscorp to be abusing public spaces for corporate reasons, show utter contempt for public procedure while, as this would supposedly not be made public (the company is supposedly a big tax payer and employer for people, I’d assume), while at the same time giving the public an idea of the successful business of their supposedly future mayor, giving Norman an edge for his campaign.

      Of course this would still only work under the assumption that campaign appearances or related events are possible in the GCT area. It would in any case expose his company abusing public spaces for its own purposes through dialogue (as obviously not everyone seems to know about restrictions on renting this space), giving the player some second hand characterization while establishing Osborne is not on location himself.

    1. Shamus says:

      Ah!

      I watched that scene many times, and for whatever reason I never interpreted the images that way. Thanks.

      1. Dev Null says:

        Could it be, because you were looking for the quicktime prompt and therefore completely missed anything else in the scene? That’s my usual MO.

    2. Decius says:

      Why doesn’t he just pick up the train? It would be easier, since he’d only be lifting the train and not bending the rails and lifting the train. It would be more controlled, too.

      Obviously it’s not because picking up the train by anything except the wheels would compromise the structural integrity, since based on how well it survives penetrating the ground the train is a new Wakandan model made entirely out of vibranium.

      1. Hal says:

        Don’t you know? You’re not allowed to complain about physical impossibilities because “comic books.”

  2. Shen says:

    It’s an unspoken rule that all Mind Control villains have to be morons, morons but the writers don’t notice or have severe limitations on their power. I honestly can’t think of a single exception.

    1. Decius says:

      Regent?

      Although he did have significant limitations.

    2. Nessus says:

      Killgrave/the Purple Man in the Jessica Jones show? He is kind of a moron, but the writers not only know it, but explicitly wrote his character and story around it.

      Maybe “moron” is technically inaccurate: since he can have nearly everything he wants whenever he wants thanks to his powers, he’s never had to move beyond a “spoiled child’ phase of psychological development. He’s never had to care about anything other than pleasing himself, so that’s his only ambition. And he’s never had to work for his pleasure, physically or mentally, so he’s never had to develop whatever intelligence he has. It’s hard to tell how intelligent he actually is because of this, but it’s functionally irrelevant because he rarely has to be clever to get what he wants, and what he wants is usually childishly basic.

      He’s not really a “supervillain”, as he’s not a danger on a societal scale (no ambition). But on a personal level, he’s an unstoppable monster who leaves a trail of destroyed lives everywhere he goes, and has juuuust enough sense to make sure no one can talk about him.

  3. Jason says:

    Those Demon masks must have terrible visibility.

    To be fair, this sounds like a one hundred percent accurate description. They very much do look like traditional, ceremonial garb rather than something designed to be remotely functional.

  4. Scampi says:

    Even if protocol allowed a leader to surrender to a terrorist in order to save the civilians, doing so would be a heroic act. But you’re already convinced that Norman Osborn is a selfish coward. Your plan can only work if you’re completely wrong about Osborn.

    For some reason I’d love seeing a supervillain act in the clichéed hammy way while making this kind of logical mistake and acknowledging their own mistake.
    “Hahaha, my masterplan of getting Norman Osborne to sacrifice himself to protect the lives of innocent people worked, making me a grade A moron.”

    Spider-Man dives down from the brightly lit ceiling to nab this guy, and none of the dozens of mooks around notice. Their masks must have TERRIBLE visibility.

    Maybe they have built in horseblinders? I don’t know what to make of the field of view in many, especially stealth games, as it usually has to be limited enough to enable the stealth to happen while I myself have legitimately more than 180° field of vision, making me hard to surprise even from a certain angle behind me and drawing my attention to even minuscule motions in the corner of my view. A mask, though, will probably seriously limit visibility by design, being an extra layer of material to block one’s view, so I think I’d give this one a pass.

    1. Matthew Downie says:

      “My master plan also involves equipping all my minions with masks that half-blind them, and make it easy for anyone to infiltrate my base while disguised as one of them! I have no idea what I’m doing!”

      1. JH-M says:

        To be honest, this would be an interesting plot twist, just imagine: A guy, blackmailed/forced to be a bad guy, decides to just be the most overdramatic, incompetent and hammy villain he can be, impeading himself with every decision, just so he can talk to the heroes without his blackmailers noticing during the showdown.

        1. Hal says:

          There’s a Dresden Files short story where something very similar happens.

          1. Liessa says:

            Also Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore, to some extent.

            1. John says:

              One of these days I am going to see an actual performance of Ruddigore. That or Princess Ida. I should also see The Sorceror, if only for historical reasons. Oh, and I’d love to see Patience again. Much as I love them, I’ve seen the Big Two, HMS Pinafore and The Mikado, a lot.

              1. Liessa says:

                I’m performing in Ruddigore this summer. It’s fun, but probably best summed up by Gilbert’s own assessment: “Not so good as The Mikado.” The Sorceror is short but very lively, while Princess Ida is a bit over-long, but has some gorgeous music.

                1. John says:

                  I just really want to see someone do King Gamma’s song live.

          2. Brendan says:

            Which one?

            1. Hal says:

              Backup, which shows up in the Side Jobs collection.

              Spoilers for the bold:
              Thomas is a participant in something called the Oblivion War; the short version is that worshippers of the Old Ones try to get knowledge of spread as widely as possible, because gods derive their power from being known and worshipped widely. This runs counter to the way the White Council does business with forbidden tomes. Harry is walking into a trap. He thinks he’s rescuing a child kidnapped by a cult, but it’s just a ruse for Harry to get his hands on a tome for the White Council to publish.

              Thomas tries to circumvent the whole thing, but gets ambushed by the cultist behind it all. His appearance gets transformed, entirely to get Harry to kill him. Thomas knows Harry isn’t going to listen if he starts trying to say, “Wait, I’m actually your brother, don’t kill me,” so instead he hams it up as a deranged cultist, basically using Harry’s instincts to protect the child first to get out safely and destroy the book, too.

        2. Guildenstern says:

          I can see this being a fantastic black comedy, actually. Do an “only sane man” kind of thing where the guy is forced into acting as a supervillain, and he figures he’ll play it up to a ridiculous extent with terrible plans, incompetent mooks, and hammy monologues. He can be horribly ineffective while appearing conventionally villainous to his blackmailers. Only the trouble is, the heroes are just as hammy and over-the-top as he’s pretending to be, and his attempts to get them to help fall on deaf ears:

          Villain: Okay, listen, we don’t have a lot of time here, they have my wife held hostage somewhere and they’re making me try and rob this bank before they let her go. If you help me, we can save her.

          Hero: Nice try, Doctor Nefario! I won’t fall for your dastardly lies!

          Vilain: No, seriously, my name is Mike, I work at Target, I’m not a-

          (Gets punched in the face by Hero and goes flying through a wall somewhere)

          10-15 minutes of setup, get an hour of jokes and wacky hijinks in there, and then the last half hour or so he finally decides that the heroes are just as thick-headed and contemptible as the villains and decides to actually lean into it and start acting like a competent villain, suddenly making the smart decisions for maximum impact. Ultimately, he kills the heroes, overthrows the supervillains, and gets his wife back who is impressed by his newfound initiative and it ends up saving their marriage.

          “Nefario”, starring Simon Pegg and Nathan Fillion. In theaters this April.

          1. BlueHorus says:

            Love it.

            Though rather than killing the heroes, I’d have it so he arranges events so that they can take down the villains that are holding his wife without anyone knowing.
            ‘When did Captain Punchface get so clever?’ The bad guys wail in bewilderment.

            Eventually he gets the heros to free his wife (cue comedy scene where he has to figuratively lead them by the nose before they can locate her) and saves the day.

        3. Duoae says:

          Didn’t people hate that in iron man 3? (For the record, I liked the subversion of the mandarin character).

          1. Nessus says:

            Well, in Iron Man 3 “The Mandarin” wasn’t trying to subvert his employers and/or get Tony’s help. He was just doing whatever he was told without caring, and Tony only found out by by accident.

            Don’t think that matters though. It might have been better if he was a more competent victim trying to extricate himself, instead of just a loser perfectly content to be used. However most of the backlash I saw seemed to focus on him not being the “real” mandarin from the comics, rather than being disappointing with who he actually was instead.

            Personally, I’m neither here nor there. The comic Mandarin is/was an old-timey “Yellow Peril” villain that’s way too cringey in the modern day, so I didn’t have any issue with him being changed or subverted. I feel like he was a bit poorly crafted in the film for what he was meant to be in that context, but it wasn’t about him anyway, so that’s acceptable.

    2. Philadelphus says:

      while I myself have legitimately more than 180° field of vision

      I’ve often thought that (of myself) as well, so I was curious enough to finally look it up: according to Wikipedia, people have a slightly-over 210° horizontal field of view, and a 150° vertical field of view. It’d be interesting to map viewing angle onto a character in a game like this to see just how much that really is compared to how much your typical guard can see in a stealth game.

  5. Hal says:

    I get upset about how Oscorp is transporting Devil’s Breath, an obviously deadly biological agent, in a container designed to fit into that aerosolizing dispersion device. It’s like saying, “We know these bullets are extremely dangerous, so for safety’s sake, we’re keeping them stored in this gun.”

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      To be fair, in this analogy the dispersion device would be the gun, and they’re not carrying the agent in it. The containers are likely from a generic fits-all size, and the device was surely designed to accommodate them and not the other way around.

      The real problem is that they have a fully functional dispersion device with a charged battery for display in a public place, rather than having a model or maquette in its place. There’s no excusing that idiocy, specially after the agent was stolen.

      1. BlueHorus says:

        So it’s closer to:
        ‘We’re storing these deadly bullets inside a magazine/cartridge. At the same time we’re going to display the gun the magazine fits in a public exhibition – gee, I hope whoever stole that magazine doesn’t turn up to steal the gun that they were designed for! I wonder how we could have prevented that!’

  6. Dreadjaws says:

    The mind control issue could have been explained with a line of dialogue. If Spider-Man can beat Li’s mind control with a “metaphorical” battle in his mind, why can’t Osborn? It’d show the guy to be mentally stronger than he looks, which would go a long way in setting up his turn to the Green Goblin, and it’d give Li an actual, valid excuse to not use his power.

    But of course, this never happens. Yet again the writer expects the audience to handwave things for him. I find this supremely irritating.

    And, in any case, it wouldn’t solve any of the numerous problems with Li’s stupid-ass plan. I mean, how is he even going to prove that it was Osborn’s “fault”? Filming him while he’s obviously surrounded by armed terrorists pointing their guns at him? Even if he hides his goons off camera, is he expecting people to believe the Mayor just went and activated a bomb that killed a bunch of people, including himself, for no reason? And how is he going to deal with the Mayor’s security, that obviously knew he had received a threatening call and was being coerced? Even if Osborn wasn’t recording his calls (which you know he’d be doing), he wasn’t just going to go without telling anyone.

    Agh! The more I think about this, the dumber it gets.

    1. Olivier FAURE says:

      You could even integrate that in gameplay, and have another dream sequence where you need to break Osborn out of mind control before he triggers the bomb.

  7. Christopher Wolf says:

    Failure is prohibited until it’s mandatory.

    That perfectly encapsulates mandatory quick-time events that are followed by cut-scene failure.

    If brevity is the soul of wit I am making you Soul Finder #1.

    1. BlueHorus says:

      Sigh. I really hoped games had grown out of this tendency by now, too. Cutscene-mandated failure after Press-X-To-Not-Die QTEs? It’s like something from ten years ago!

      Instead, how about Spidey gets shot with a tranquilizer dart during his dream sequence (possibly by Li as a backup), and you get a playable fight against Sable goons where the controls get more and more unresponsive, Spidey gets slower and slower, until you inevitably lose. Achievements for players who last longer than X minutes!

      It’d also explain why Spidey doesn’t sass Silver Sable when she’s around. He tries, but it comes out slurred and incoherent.

      1. Philadelphus says:

        How hard would it be to make a cutscene with multiple failure points? So you’d inevitably lose at the end, but any QTE you fail just makes you lose sooner. Your opponent could comment on it depending on how you do, maybe with an acknowledgement that they just barely defeated you/just got lucky if you pass all the events.

        Probably still wouldn’t be any fun and could be better handled another way, but…

    2. MelTorefas says:

      Failure is prohibited until it’s mandatory.

      This has become my new absolute favorite quote for describing/encapsulating bullshit video game mechanics (I am looking at YOU, JRPGs). I cannot STAND this kind of gameplay, and will straight up quit a game that pulls this basically no matter what else it is doing, if it is unavoidable.

      Anyone who tries to design a game this way should be repeatedly sprayed with a water bottle like a misbehaving kitten until they learn better.

  8. Karma The Alligator says:

    Couldn’t he have used his web as some sort of cushion to absorb the shock? Or was there no time at all to do something like that?

    1. BlueHorus says:

      Related: if he was ‘on’ the speeding train to attempt to slow it down a la Spider-Man 2 – how the hell did he then get in front of it long enough to tear up the rails and save the day?

      1. Nessus says:

        From the screenshot, it looks like he’s on the ceiling of the tunnel above the bit of track he’s trying to pull up, not on the moving train.

  9. Lame Duck says:

    “bursts through the pavement”

    What the shit…?

    1. Karma The Alligator says:

      Wasn’t there something like that in Die Hard 3?

      1. Dan Efran says:

        There’s certainly something like that in Speed.

        1. Nessus says:

          I wanted to say “Skyfall”, but then I (hazily) remembered that was more a case of blowing out the ground beneath the tracks and just letting the train drop into the hole. The real problem IIRC was it would have required actual literal psychic foresight on the part of the baddie to know to plant that particularize trap at that particular place.

          1. Nessus says:

            “Particularize”? Okay, spell check: now you’re just making shit up to troll me.

  10. Crimson Dragoon says:

    For whatever reason, what bothered me the most about the trade show scene was that Oscorp would have a working model of their dispersal device there. Why not a mock up? Its not like they’re demoing it or anything. It’s just sitting there, a highly valuable device, with effectively no one guarding it. Then again this is the same company that keeps a highly dangerous bioweapon “safe” by keeping it with an unarmed scientist 24/7, so maybe I’m expecting too much.

    Also, no words on the bomb defusing mini-game? Personally it annoyed the hell out me. It took me a couple tries just to figure out how to disconnect the wires, and even then they made it as hard as possible to rotate the damn thing and see the wires from one side to the next so you could follow them.

  11. CrimsonCutz says:

    A company holding a trade show/show off thing in a busy public transit center sounds like a thing that shouldn’t happen, but I guess exceptions get made when the Major is also the CEO/owner of the company in question and no one cares that he never even pretends he doesn’t abuse his Mayor authority to benefit his company. Seriously Norman Osborne’s approval rating is like, hard locked at 120% or something, and he clearly knows it.

  12. Liessa says:

    Even if protocol allowed a leader to surrender to a terrorist in order to save the civilians, doing so would be a heroic act. But you’re already convinced that Norman Osborn is a selfish coward. Your plan can only work if you’re completely wrong about Osborn.

    This is the thing about Li’s plan: He supposedly wants to destroy Osborn because he thinks he’s an evil monster who’s only out for himself. But all his schemes rely on Osborn being, at the very least, a reasonably decent person who actually does care about the city. If he were half as bad as Li seems to think he is, he’d be jumping at the opportunity to look ‘tough on terror’ while not giving a shit about all the deaths. And honestly, seeing Li’s plans backfire on him like that would probably make for a much better and more satisfying plot – while helping to set up Osborn as a future villain.

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      If there’s anything worse than having an unreasonably dumb villain is the story going out of its way to avoid any way to justify their actions.

    2. Syal says:

      That seems like it could make for an interesting villain if done right; the guy’s trying to get revenge on someone but can’t really wrap their head around the idea that that person doesn’t care at all about what they’re destroying.

      “He must be faking, he can’t not care about his own voters! I just need to hurt another dozen, surely that will be enough to make him crack!”

  13. Darren says:

    Osborne is the mayor and probably crooked. Getting special access to the station to showcase non-consumer goods is a good bit of publicity and screams to the world, “Hey, if you want these awesome products, come schmooze with the mayor!” Look at the way that real-world crooked politicians promote their properties, like golf course and hotels, and how people who want access then take trips to those places.

    Speaking in terms of just exposition, though, all of those signs are there to explain how his eventual turn to the Green Goblin will work and how his wacky gadgets will be made more realistic.

  14. Agammamon says:

    This is off topic, but I was thinking about Shamus’ early job working on a ‘virtual shopping mall’ way back when.

    It seems its an idea whose time might be coming – players of FO76 have, on the FO76 Reddit, been asking for The Atomic Shop to be an in-game location they can browse through.

  15. Agammamon says:

    . . . she’s always five minutes late to every important battle even though she travels by helicopter.

    Not ‘even though’ – because. It takes time to pre-flight and warm that thing up. She’d be better off with a reliable used car.

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      It takes time to pre-flight and warm that thing up

      In a realistic story, sure, but we know that’s not how things work in this universe.

      1. Agammamon says:

        Apparently it is – which is why she always shows up late.

  16. The Rocketeer says:

    Wait, they’re doing Doctor Octopus in this game? I thought that was a sequel hook. How long is this game? Are they going to use Doc Ock’s arc to set up Osborn becoming the Green Goblin? Is this series 45 entries long?

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      No. Despite Doc Ock’s story being the most interesting part it takes, generously speaking, 1/3rd of the game’s main plot.

      1. Hal says:

        I will say, that’s one of my major criticisms of the game. Because of how the Doc Ock reveals happen, a lot of the best “Spider-Man” action, and developments of that story, all take place in the last third/quarter or so of the game. It’s just too much all crammed together.

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