After I saw Insomniac’s Spiderman game preview at E3 I was instantly excited for everything about that game, except for that costume; let’s hope that white spot was just someone forgetting to add blue. So, being the OCD gamer that I am, I rifled through all my Spiderman games and settled on Beenox’s first foray into the Spider-verse. Beenox did not disappoint, they were smart enough to draft Dan Slott, long time Spiderman writer, to pen this game; something Rocksteady copied by hiring Paul Dini for the Batman games. I’m thinking that Beenox kicked off a nice trend of pretty decent licensed games, and Shattered Dimensions is much better than decent.
As I said before, Dan Slott provides the story to this game and he does not disappoint. The Tablet of Order and Chaos has been shattered across dimensions and Madame Webb enlists four Spidermen from different dimensions to hunt down the pieces and reassemble them. Stan Lee narrates the whole game and introduces you Spiderman 2099, Ultimate Spiderman, Spiderman Noir, and The Amazing Spiderman. Each of the Spidermen have different quirks in their levels, which makes the game exciting. You don’t have to play with only one Spiderman and the different levels never let you get bored of the game.
I am no fan of stealth games – I generally don’t have the patience for them – but Beenox really knocked it out of the park with Spiderman Noir’s levels. His levels are heavy stealth, and they really knocked it out of the park. I didn’t get stuck all the time because I kept being seen. Luckily, I could swing away when trouble happened, and I found myself hiding in the darkness as I regenerated. Ultimate Spiderman’s levels were pretty normal, except for the fact that you charge up Venom power; Amazing Spiderman’s levels were almost identical, just minus the Venom power. Spiderman 2099 focused on speed. There are still nice action moments, but mostly I ran away from explosions and such in 2099. During the levels you complete challenges that unlock points on The Spider’s Web, this gets you more useful Spider Emblems and if you get them all you can unlock an achievement.
The controls are pretty easy to learn, and surprisingly easy to remember; my time gap for this game was five long years. It was back when I had severe game ADD. I’m better now and try to finish a game before I switch them out. Pushing A makes Spidey jump. If you want him to web-swing hit RT, and quick web to get you out of sticky situations is RB. If you need to travel super fast hit A twice and Spidey pulls himself up with his webs. If you get lost in a level or are looking for Spider Emblems lying around, hit up on D-pad and you’ll enable Spider-sense; this came in handy with the Noir stealth portions. Combat is simple and once you master it Spidey owns the Octagon; B is grab so you can hold and punch the enemy or throw them into other enemies. Punch is X and Y is a stronger punch and defense break, for those enemies who like to block punches. As you progress through the levels and defeat enemies you collect Spider Emblems. These Emblems can be used to buy more combos, health and special moves for Spidey, so grab as many as you can.
Beenox brought the voice-over talent to this title. Neil Patrick Harris voices The Amazing Spiderman, Christopher Daniel Barnes lends his talents to Spiderman Noir, Josh Keaton is Ultimate Spiderman and finally Dan Gilvezan jumps to the future to voice Spiderman 2099. These guys were great: they gave each of their Spidermen a different personality and I loved them for it. My person favorite was Spiderman 2099 as he just nailed the banter to a T. Stan Lee as the narrator is always a joy as well. He should just be allowed to narrate everything. The music is not really worthy of mention as I can’t place a single tune right now as I write this, so if you’re buying this game for musical score, don’t. Buy it for variety in Spidermen and insanely perfect voiceover work.
I’m grateful that I decided to go back to this title. It had been on my pile of shame for half a decade and I’m thrilled I got to scratch it off that list. The gameplay was fantastic, the story drew me along, there were some bumps in a few levels where you had no direction, but that didn’t take away from my experience. If you’re looking for a top-notch Spiderman game to pop into your PS3 or Xbox 360 then this is the game for you. I’m looking forward to playing Beenox’s sequel here in the near future to see if they captured the same magic for The Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman. I really hope they did, because I wouldn’t mind seeing another great web-slinging game.