New "Amazing Spider-Man" Screenshot Reveals the Return of the Open World

Activision has a pretty big line-up set for 2012, between "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron," "Prototype 2," "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD" and soon-to-be-announced sequels in both the "Call of Duty" and "Guitar Hero" franchises -- but probably one of the bigger games the publisher releases this year is "The Amazing Spider-Man." Under the development of Beenox and set to release the same day as Sony's reboot film this July, the game is set to excite fans that loved Beenox's previous Spidey games ("Shattered Dimensions" and "Edge of Time") and enthrall those who enjoyed the open-world nature the original "Spider-Man" games were known for.

In 2001, Activision released the original "Spider-Man" game, developed by Treyarch Studios and based on the film of the same name. This team introduced Spidey to an explorable portion of New York City and gave players the ability to go anywhere and do anything. In 2004's "Spider-Man 2," that formula stretched even further, with the introduction of side missions to go along with the main story, including rescuing citizens in distress and keeping a youngster's balloon from floating away.

When Beenox took over game development on the "Spider-Man" games, it temporarily shied away from open-world environments, instead choosing to focus on story-based missions and multiple playable characters, such as Spider-Man 2099 and Noir Spider-Man. While the approach has found a good fit in Beenox's Spidey offerings, the developer is getting ready for a return to form with "Amazing Spider-Man." Activision has provided an image of the game which highlights the return to a web-slinging open environment. Players will be able to swing around New York to their heart's content, tackling side missions while following items that tie into the main story, including occasional clashes with the main villain, The Lizard.

Although it is just one image, Beenox is putting a lot of effort into bringing back the "Spider-Man" of old for this new game. Here's hoping they bring back the timed web-slinging challenges as well -- with online leaderboards to boot.

"The Amazing Spider-Man" hits stores July 3 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and handheld platforms.

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