The player has the ability to choose either to go on with the storyline or swing around the city. The player can explore Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and a mysterious label on the map over the water claiming "Governors Island" with many sidequests for the player to complete. The player can do random tasks to earn "hero points," which must be accumulated to continue with the plot and are spent on upgrading Spidey's skills.
Following the tradition of the first game, Spider-Man 2 features some of the voices of the original actors in the movie, Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man and Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, and Alfred Molina as Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus.
In addition to the film's villain, Doctor Octopus, several characters from the Marvel comics appear in the game, including Black Cat & Mysterio.