|Spider-Man returns to Xbox in a game based on the July 2004 feature film starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Using a revamped 3D engine that offers an interconnected world instead of standalone levels, players swing past skyscrapers high above New York City streets as they respond to residents in need. Meanwhile, Doctor Octopus plans on taking over the city with a combination of deadly force and criminal ingenuity. Those familiar with the original Spider-Man on Xbox will notice a number of changes to the interface, gameplay, and look designed to improve upon some of the earlier title's shortcomings.
Instead of swinging along a horizontal plane while outdoors, attaching the webbing to an invisible ceiling, players will be able to fire webs at all angles but only on visible surfaces. To help secure webbing to objects, an onscreen cursor will target potential surfaces and indicate where the next available surface is so players know where to swing to. The camera has also been addressed, with a perspective that remains close to Spider-Man's back instead of constantly swinging around with each new movement. Furthermore, the compass used in the first game has been replaced with a transparent map of the city, allowing players to freely plan out their route instead of blindly following arrows pointing them to their next destination.
Mission structure has changed to a more free-roaming style of play. In a nod toward Grand Theft Auto III, Spider-Man can undertake missions to further the storyline as well as respond to citizens on the street needing the Web-Head's help. Completing these optional tasks earns players Hero Points, which can increase their character's attributes and unlock other rewards. All missions take place in a 3D version of Manhattan roughly four square miles in size. Players can leap off buildings, twirl around flagpoles, run up walls, ensnare multiple foes at once, and explore every inch of the city without being restricted or redirected. While on the street, Spidey can dodge oncoming traffic, purchase items in stores, converse with the local populace, and hunt down enemies using Spider-Sense.