Nearly every console in history has had its share of Spider-Man games, and with the explosion of the movies in the last decade; Spidey has become even more popular and in demand in the gaming space than ever before. Following movie adaption games, Activision tried to branch off with Spider-Man: Web of Shadows that tried to capture the old “Marvel Team-Up” feel, but wasn’t too highly received. With this year’s Spidey game, they went in a different direction and based the game on four universes of Spider-Man.
Shattered Dimensions brings Amazing Spidey, Ultimate Spidey, Spider-Man 2099 (YES!), and Spider-Man: Noir all into the same game. The story is that Spidey and Mysterio are fighting and a tablet is shattered causing chaos among all of the universes of Spider-Man, and it’s up to each Webslinger in their universe to track down the pieces of the tablets. And while the game would’ve been the perfect opportunity to introduce a whole new generation of Spider-Man fans to Peter Porker the Spectacular Spider-Ham, the game does feature the original Spider-Pig in a small cameo in the opening cinematic. Hopefully they’ll add a Spider-Ham level via DLC.
Shattered Dimensions goes away from the free-roaming GTA clone gameplay the movie games featured, which gives the game more focus to tell its story. And to be honest, I’ve been getting bored of free-roaming games as they normally allow developers to be lazy by just putting in five different types of missions and cutting back on the actual story.
Here, the game is broken up into traditional levels, with each one focusing on one of the four Spider-Men. Each as a different focus. Amazing is more agile, so combat is fast with lots of dodging. Noir is stealth, and his levels will remind people of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Ultimate is in the Black Suit, so he’s really strong. And 2099 is all about speed. By breaking it up like that you get variety and after the first level you can select who you want to play as next, be it Noir, Ultimate, or 2099.
Graphically, each universe has its own look. Amazing and Ultimate both are celshaded, but slightly different. Noir is almost sepia tone with film grain, and 2099 is more slick and realistic. Voice acting is all top notch with each Spider-Man being voiced by a different Spidey actor from the various animated series, which is a really cool idea. Oh, and the whole story is narrated by the great Stan Lee.
If you’re a Spider-Man fan and hoping for a Spidey game as great as Batman: Arkham Asylum…keep waiting. Shattered Dimensions is good, but it’s not the sort of stand out game that transcends like license like the Batman game did. It’s definitely worth a play if only to see Spider-Man 2099 finally get some attention, but its not likely to win any Game of the Year awards. Basically Spidey fans will love it and action gamers will find a decent weekend rental here.