SAN FRANCISCO — Spider-Man must contend with more than just a lizard in his latest video game adventure.
The web-slinging superhero will also face off against Rhino, Iguana and Black Cat in "The Amazing Spider-Man," the upcoming free-roaming action game from Activision Inc. based on director Marc Webb's film of the same name. The game, created by Canadian developer Beenox, will serve as an epilogue to the movie starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.
The 3-D flick, which also features Emma Stone as Parker's gal pal Gwen Stacy and Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors, who transforms into the Lizard, doesn't hit theaters until July 3. But the game is set for release June 26 for the Nintendo DS, 3DS, Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The developers at Beenox insist the game's story won't ruin the movie.
"The fact that our game is based on the movie, and the movie is re-approaching the universe in a completely different way — a more grounded, more realistic approach — gives us an incredible setting to play with," said Beenox studio head Dee Brown. "This allows us to approach combat and all sorts of things in a different way that makes it really fresh."
To create a more realistic rendition of Spidey, the developers crafted a virtual Peter Parker that will show injuries he's sustained from battling foes in the form of bloody bruises, heavy breathing and scratches on his uniform. He'll also rent his own apartment in the game's take on Manhattan and use a smartphone that allows him to tap into a fake Twitter feed.
Brown said the developers at Beenox, who previously worked on the comic-based Spidey games "Edge of Time" and "Shattered Dimensions," met with "The Amazing Spider-Man" filmmakers from Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures at the beginning of the game's development to understand their version of the superhero tale, as well as present their own ideas.
"They really liked our story, and how we're approaching Gwen and Connors and the relationship between all those characters based on what they're doing in the movie," said Brown at last month's Game Developers Conference. "They've been really supportive of what we've been doing with things like adding additional Marvel characters like Rhino."
To expand the scope of Spider-Man's more naturalistic interactive escapade, Beenox's developers re-imagined zany old-school Spidey villains like Rhino and Iguana as Oscorp experiments gone awry.
They're also unleashing a white-hot rendition of Felicia Hardy, the sultry heiress-turned-burglar known as Black Cat, to spar with Spider-Man.
"Because we've based our story after the movie, it's allowed us a world of opportunity from a creative standpoint," said Brown. "We can go anywhere from there. That's something we did at the beginning of development, and we made that clear with Marvel and Sony. We were able to make the game we wanted to make while being inspired by the movie universe."
Seemingly taking a cue from Rocksteady Studios' critically acclaimed Batman games "Arkham Asylum" and its sequel "Arkham City," Beenox is using a slick combat system in "Amazing Spider-Man" that resembles the Dark Knight's counter-heavy fighting technique — but with a few Spidey flourishes, like finishing off baddies by wrapping them in a web.
"I played both Batman games and liked them," said Brown. "For me, the Spider-Man character is very different than Batman. You have to approach both in a different way. I think the Rocksteady guys did a good job at providing what was required to make a great Batman game, and we're doing everything we need to this time to make a great Spider-Man game."