Mod of the Week: Spider-Man IV, for Grand Theft Auto IV
My spider-sense is tingling... and it's because there's yet another superhero mod for GTA IV! This time it's the Spider-Man IV script, which introduces Liberty City to the masked hero who shoots webs, sticks to walls, beats up policemen, and swings around from skyscrapers, just like spider can. And since Peter Parker is a photographer by trade, there's even a neat photo mode that slows down time to a crawl (heh) to easily allow you to snap pretty pictures of everybody's favorite web-slinger.
I've done a number of these superhero mods in GTA IV before. As the youth of today might say: "This jam belongs to me!" Am I right, fellow young people? In my past columns, I've spent a lot of time role-playing the hero in Liberty City, looking for crime, and trying to protect the public. I did it with Iron Man, I did it with Superman, I did it with The Hulk, and even with the Batmobile mod.
It's all just a terrible ruse to get to the real point of these mods: to terrorize the population of Liberty City with awesome powers. Today, though, let's just cut right to the chase. Peter Parker discovers he has powers, sews a costume, but rather than swinging around the city for hours looking for a reason to start whomping on innocent people, he just swings for a little bit and then starts whomping on innocent people for no reason whatsoever.
First step: the swinging. No need to worry about actually aiming at the top of a building, you can just click and spidey's web will attach to... something up there. Maybe it's a building, maybe it's a helicopter, maybe it's an alien spacecraft. Maybe it's a cloud or a drone. Doesn't matter. Swinging is made easy, and after completing your arc, Spidey will do some lovely flips or rolls in midair until you fire another web to continue your trip.
Spidey also sticks to walls, naturally, so if you should happen to be swinging around and accidentally slam into a building (note: this did not happen to me, I'm way too good at video games to ever make a mistake like that), you can quickly recover by slithering up the side of the building, reaching the roof, and licking your paw as if nothing happened, just like spiders do when they're embarrassed. Or am I thinking of cats? Either way, you can climb walls.
I could easily spend all day swinging around, but swinging doesn't pay Peter Parker's bills: pointless violence does! Descending to street level, I start attacking the city to check out the mod's other powers. There are a number of attacks, starting with a basic punch and kick, fancied up by the mod's custom animations that include backflips where appropriate. Spidey is also super-strong, not nearly in the league of your Hulks or your Supermen, and while he can't lift cars over his head he can upend and push them away. Policemen, on the other hand, can be easily hoisted.
The real fun, though, is what he can do with his webs in combat. For a stun-attack, he can fire "web-balls" (I assume there's a better name for that in the canon, but they're balls of webbing), and he can also target armed enemies, rope 'em with web, and yank the guns right out of their hands. If he's feeling a bit more viscous, he can lasso people and yank them over to him, then punch or kick them away again.
Spidey can also plan attacks and leaps from a distance. Holding down control will add a little adjustable target in-world, and clicking your swing button with your target painted will send your hero zipping to the spot with either a leap or a quickly-spun web. You can target vehicles, too, letting you spring right onto their specific rooftops. Just be careful with the moving vehicles.
You can also target people and do that thing where Spidey shoots a web out of each hand and turns them into a slingshot, firing himself over to his intended victim. And, while riding atop a car, you can reach inside and yank out the driver. There really are a lot of great attacks and moves in the mod, and while the animations sometimes look a bit wonky -- GTA IV's models were ever meant to bend like Spider-Man -- I think the modders did a great job bringing the hero to life.
And, of course, Liberty City is a great location for superheroes. Look, you can even reenact the crane scene from The Amazing Spider-Man if you want!
There's also a photography mode, which slows down time and removes the HUD elements from your screen, allowing Peter Parker to capture some nice images of his friend Spidey. Weird, how Parker is always in the right place at the right time, and no one ever has any questions for him about it!
Installation: As always, with GTA IV, the installation of mods is a bit tricky. However, the modder's page has links showing you how to use OpenIV to install the mod and tells you where to grab the supported Spider-Man skins (the mod does not include Spidey's suit), so I'll just link his page here. It also includes the list of controls for all of Spider-Man's powers. Happy slinging!