Mini Review – Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
Platformer/Beat ’em up
Wah!! Bwah! Responsibility!
Spidey games have always been pretty variable in terms of their quality and success, with arguably the web-head’s most successful period being when they stopped designing the games properly and just gave you a sandbox recreation of New York to swing about in. Of course, these games were mostly rubbish because, as every gamer knows, with great game areas comes a great number of shitty sidequests and collectibles.
Thankfully, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions bucks the trend by being mostly linear albeit with some degree of freedom (much like the recent-ish Bionic Commando) which should make for a good game when you throw in the lovely cell-shaded graphics (that are, at times, phenomenal), excellent voice-acting and humour, a ton of fan-service and all manner of Spidey-tricks to learn. Sure, as a Spidey game, you already know how the combat works (light attacks, heavy attacks, web-shots and swing kicks) but it’s certainly playable enough.
In addition to all the stuff you already expect, the game’s plot brings in four Spider-man variants – regular (or ‘Amazing’ if you will), Noir, 2099 and Ultimate – who all take turns across the game’s thirteen levels. These four web-slingers are tasked with finding a powerful ancient tablet that has been broken into pieces and flung across four dimensions. Of course, each one ends up turbo-charging a famous supervillain from Marvel history. Most of the Spidey types play fairly similarly with the exception of Noir who is based on stealth rather than combat and indeed it is his levels that tend to be the best ones, easily outclassing the fairly similar stealth sections of Arkham Asylum.
Where Shattered Dimensions lets itself down is in the overly long levels, most of which require you to defeat the end-of-level boss two or three times, with the majority of battles resulting in said boss running away while Spidey quips. After a while it all gets a bit too repetitive and some of those boss battles can be a little cheap. Also, achievement whores may be put off by achvs for beating levels in under the par time which is no fun when you miss out by a few minutes after playing for over half an hour.
Spidey fans should definitely pick this up, it’s made for you with Marvel shit dripping from every pore, and most fans of runny, jumpy, punchy combat games should get a kick out of the game’s memorable set-pieces. Shattered Dimensions isn’t a great leap forward for Spidey but it’s not a bad game either.