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The Best Spidey Game By Far
on 11 July 2009
Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can. Sorry, I couldn't help myself but this game really has reignited my love for one of the greatest comic book characters ever created. As a stand alone, he's not the greatest thing in the world, but he's complemented by the ocean of incredibly cool villains that he has pitted himself against over the years. The Marvel universe does very well in creating unique characters both good and evil and this game brings both the free roaming New York gameplay made famous by the movie to game tie ins, with the Marvel Universe to make one incredible game. The developers of Web of Shadows promised us a new combat system that would present a realistic fighting experience unique to the Spider-Man character and not seen in any game before.
The plot focuses mainly around a Venom symbiote invasion of New York City in which it starts to take over and transform regular members of the public making an army of Venom's that Spider-Man must take on alone, or so he thinks. The symbiote has also taken host in Spidey who for some unknown reason is able to control its corrupting powers but on the positive side lets you switch between the traditional Spider-Man attire and the famed Black suit. Switching between the two gives you a differing array of fighting abilities but also gives you the option to make good or evil choices that will ultimately effect who you gain help from when combating the infestation. When the invasion hits a peak S.H.I.E.L.D. are forced to quarantine New York and employ the help of the infected Spider-Man to defeat venom and the symbiotes along with infected fellow superheroes and villains making them much more powerful than they have ever been and a real challenge for Spidey.
Although this does take on essentially the same gameplay mechanics as the last Spider-Man games which were adapted from the movies, the new fighting system is a breath of fresh air and makes the experience of battling numerous enemies that little bit more enjoyable. Ground, Wall and Air fighting mechanics allow you to tackle enemies on each front as you can take enemies out on the ground with unique moves, then smoothly web shoot your way to the wall of a sky scraper, battle a few enemies there and then take it to the air with the help of your web slinging. Having the ability to smoothly switch between both suits with a simple seamless click of the left analogue stick allows you to chain together special attacks individual to both suits making for an arsenal of exciting attacks on your opponents.
Utilising the Marvel universe as the platform for the game really works very well as the geeky comic version of Peter Parker shines through very well, especially when being taught some fighting skills by the likes of Wolverine and Nick Cage. The fellow comic book heroes and villains are a welcome addition as you can align yourself as either good or evil allowing you to utilise the special abilities of those you align yourself with. My personal favourite alignment is that with the unstoppable Rhino as, when you're in trouble, you can call upon his services to jump on his back and plough through anything in your way. Also the gift of flight, when trying to reach a far off island such as the prison Rikers Island, is a healthy advantage for you to call upon your friends services.
The plot does certainly take on an epic feel when the invasion is in full swing and having the entire of New York City at your disposal to swing about is definitely a big plus. One way this game does fall a bit flat are the cut scenes. Although they are meant to be in a comic book world, I found the graphical content of the scenes a bit too choppy and vague to really portray the supposed doomsday feel that the games plot was trying to put across. I would have much preferred CGI rendered cut scenes that didn't use the graphics engine of the game play, that way it would have given off a more blockbuster movie look.
Undoubtedly this is a welcome addition to the Spider-Man video game franchise as it presents a unique combat style and allows for the excellent presentation and introduction for his fellow Marvel Comics superheroes. This is definitely the way I would love to see the Spider-Man movies go in the way of incorporating more fellow heroes into the world and obviously leading into an Avengers movie which is, coincidentally, in the works. If Spider-Man were to be a part of the Avengers film then it certainly could work just as brilliantly as this fantastic game. Buy it, you will not be disappointed I promise.