Spider-Man 3 is based upon the movie of the same name. You play as the web-slinging hero Spider-Man, in a city which needs constant protection against several kinds of evil. Just like the movie, three recognizable villains are in the game in the form of New Goblin, Sandman and Venom. You battle with each enemy at some point in the game and these fights are similar to the movie fights.
The game takes place in New York City and features some of the monumental buildings you would expect to see. You will get plenty of chances to swing around the city at leisure and take to the skyline of New York City to catch all the views. While swinging around the city, you encounter a lot of combat throughout the game in the form of bank robbers, robots, gangs and plenty more. Many of the battles are fast paced, but that's what Spider-Man's "Spider Sense" is for.
In addition to the main story-line, the side missions include collecting tokens around the city, trick races, combat tours, bomb tours, and completing random crime missions. Combat tours require you to fight a certain amount of gang members throughout the city in a specified amount of time. Similar to combat tours, bomb tours instruct you to disarm a number of bombs located throughout the city in a given amount of time.
The general gameplay is very similar to that of the previous title in this series, Spider-Man 2, it just offers a different story. However, don't expect to be playing along with the movie, the story only loosely ties in with events in the movie, which may be disappointing to some, but don't worry, there are plenty of extra villains you get to see and fight.In addition to the main story-line, the side missions include collecting tokens around the city, trick races, combat tours, bomb tours, and completing random crime missions. Combat tours require you to fight a certain amount of gang members throughout the city in a specified amount of time.
As Peter Parker feels he has adjusted to his dual life as Spider-Man things are looking bright. He is dating Mary Jane Watson, the love of his life and is loved by New York as Spider-Man. However, there are still a few problems in his life. Ever since learning of Peter's alter ego, his best friend Harry Osbourne has stopped talking to him, and the arrival of new gangs in New York, led by master mafia maestro, the Kingpin. At work, Peter struggles to keep his job against the seemingly unstoppable journalism force that is Eddie Brock and when news hits the tabloids about an escaped convict, Flint Marko falling into a particle accelerator Peter fears the worst, which is confirmed when Sandman begins making criminal appearances throughout New York.
Whilst on a date, Peter and Mary Jane are talking about Harry, when unbeknownst to them, Harry is plotting revenge on Spider-Man for murdering his father, Norman Osbourne. When Harry, set up as the New Goblin, tracks Peter down, they fight and Harry is seriously injured. Peter rushes Harry to a hospital and he is admitted. Later when Peter sees the Scorpion and Rhino running away, he chases them down to a company called Mechabiocon. After a long battle with the Scorpion, he realizes that the Scorpion was being controlled by a Dr. Stillwell and frees him. As Spider-Man leaves he meets a woman called Jean DeWolff who asks Spider-Man to help her rid NYC of gangs and dirty cops. He helps her but she is shot, surviving only because Spidey saves her. Spider-Man also stops one of The Lizard's plans, but is brutally defeated by The Lizard. With Spidey beaten, The Lizard escapes.
Through sheer chance Peter finds himself bonded with a symbiote parasite. Using a new black suit which the symbiote manifests as, Spidey battles with the Sandman and ruthlessly kills him. Moving onto the gangs, Spidey takes them out and kills The Kingpin as well.
After battling with Calypso and Kraven the Hunter, Spidey battles with The Lizard. When Spidey appears to have won, The Lizard transforms into Mega-Lizard, who puts up a stronger fight but with the power of the Black Suit, Spidey manages to defeat him, morphing The Lizard into Dr. Connors and killing off the Lizard persona forever. At the Daily Bugle, Peter bets Eddie that he'll never get a picture of Spider-Man being a menace. When Eddie uses a fake picture to win the bet, Peter dons the Black Suit and breaks Eddie's jaw, along with smashing his cameras. Due to this, Eddie swears revenge on Spider-Man.
When on another date with Mary Jane, Peter gets angry and alienates her. Unable to comprehend what has happened to him, she breaks up with him. Peter makes his way to a church nearby and
realizes that the Black Suit has killed every enemy he has faced and lost him Mary Jane. He becomes infuriated and tears off the symbiote, letting it drop to the bottom of the church, where it bonds with Eddie Brock. Transformed into Venom, Eddie searches for the Sandman who it turns out isn't dead. When asked for help, Marko at first refuses but when Venom threatens his daughter, Penny, he relents and agrees.
When Spider-Man manages to track down the Rhino, he battles him, who is accompanied by Scorpion. Defeating them, Spider-Man also prevents the Scorpion from killing Dr. Stillman. The Scorpion manages to flee before the police arrive.
Spider-Man visits Dr. Connors who informs Spidey that there are still many lizards swarming New York's Sewers. Giving Spider-Man an antidote, Spider-Man makes his way to a secret sewer-based laboratory and loads the antidote into gas dispensers, curing all the lizards.
When he returns home, Peter finds that Venom and the Sandman have kidnapped Mary Jane. He makes his way to a construction site where she is being held but struggles with both of them. Suddenly Harry shows up in his Goblin gear and helps him. The two defeat the giant Sandman but Venom ruthlessly murders Harry. In their final battle, Spider-Man defeats Venom and Venom is presumed dead.
Finally Peter is reunited with Mary Jane and comes to an understanding with the Sandman. He finally realizes that the best way to help the people he loves is to never stop being Spider-Man.
Manhattan is represented in a much larger scale than in previous Spider-Man games. The home console and PC versions of the game feature over 20 miles of subways. The game has a completely revised combat system with the home console and PC versions of the game having more attacks than the PS2/PSP/Wii versions. During the cinamatics of the game, there are Quick Time Events for the player to remain engaged
Whilst playing as Black Suited Spider-Man there is a rage mode that allows for more aggressive attacks. The game adopts a sandbox approach to game play like it's predecessor, Spider-Man 2.
Spider-Man/Peter Parker...voiced by Tobey Maguire
New Goblin/Harry Osborn...voiced by James Franco
Mary-Jane Watson #1...voiced by Kari Wahlgren
Mary-Jane Watson #2...voiced by Dana Seltzer
Sandman/Flint Marko...voiced by Thomas Haden Church
Penny Marko...voiced by Spencer Ganus
Venom/Eddie Brock...voiced by Topher Grace
Kraven the Hunter/Sergei Kravinoff...voiced by Neil Kaplan
The Lizard/Curt Connors...voiced by Nathan Carlson
J. Jonah Jameson...voiced by J. K. Simmons
Robbie Robertson...voiced by Charlie Robertson
Betty Brant...voiced by Rachel Kimsey
Kingpin/Wilson Fisk...voiced by Bob Joles
Calypso...voiced by Angela V. Shelton
Scorpion/Mac Gargan...voiced by Dee Bradley Baker
Luke Carlyle...voiced by Neil Ross
Narrator...voiced by Bruce Campbell
Morbius/Michael Morbius...voiced by Sean Donnellan
Shriek/Frances Louise Morbius... Courtenay Taylor
Critical reactions to Spider-Man 3 were, for the most part, quite sour. Despite the past two games critical success, many critics cited a number of unavoidable issues with Spider-Man 3 such as bad interior design and bad boss battles.
In their 6.0/10 review IGN noted "If you're desperate for a Spider-Man game, this one fills your need for webs, but other than nailing what web-swinging should feel like, this game is a bust. We were promised a Spidey experience that was next-gen and expanded on everything Spider-Man 2 did right, but we were given a buggy game that's just Spider-Man 2: Special Edition."
In their 6.6/10 review, Gamespot also reported "for everything Spider-Man 3 does well, it does something else poorly. The camera and presentation issues, as well as the clumsy combat, all conspire to drag the experience down significantly. Spider-Man 3 isn't without merit, but unless you're one of those die-hard Spider-Man fans that can't get enough of the swinging superhero, there's probably not enough to Spider-Man 3 to make it worth your time."
On Metacritic the different versions of the game range from an average score of 50/100 to 68/100. The DS version, however, achieved a rating of 79/100 with mostly positive reviews.