|System: X360, PS3, Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Beenox Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 7, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Spider-Man Noir is far and away the most unique of the experiences. Set in 1930, this universe has an obvious noir feel to it. Most notable is that Spider-Man Noir needs to attack from the shadows, ala Batman in Arkham Asylum. Head to head battles will get Spidey killed quickly, so quick attacks from the darkness are the order of the day. More than any of the other modes, the feel of the world and combat style breaks up the game drastically and provides a stealth option as a welcome change.
Another strong point of Shattered Dimensions are the boss battles. Many of the stages play as an extended chase sequence throughout the level in pursuit of a famous Spider-Man villain who is in possession of a piece of the tablet. The boss battles are much more interesting than your standard beatem up fare and have a grand scope to them. Its not God of War, but to be fair, what is? The battles are varied in the manner in which to attack the boss and creative in the set and level design. The developers obviously put a great deal of effort into making the entire experience a good one and the boss battles are a place where that really shines.
The cel-shaded graphics work well for the comic book vibe and present a great visual style. Each of the different dimensions is represented by adding its own flavor to the world, with Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Man 2099 being the most varied. In particular, I found the noir world to be such a drastic change in both setting and gameplay that I especially looked forward to playing those levels, despite the frustrations of not being able to fight enemies head-on.
Completing the hat trick, along with gameplay and graphics, is superb voice acting. Each of the Spider-Man versions have their own unique voice actor, with none other than Neil Patrick Harris voicing the Amazing Spider-Man, Christopher Barnes voicing Spider-Man Noir (Barnes voices Spider-Man in the 1994 Fox animated series), Dan Gilvezan as Spider-Man 2099 (Gilvezan voiced Spidey in 1980s cartoon), and Josh Keaton as Ultimate Spider-Man (Keaton currently voices the cartoon running on the CW network). Needless to say, the cast is full of familiar voices. In addition, the dialogue is genuinely funny and full of good quips, an essential part of the character. All four versions manage to feel unique due to their respective voice actors, yet similar in personality despite their different circumstances.
For those looking for a multiplayer experience, thats the biggest letdown, as Shattered Dimensions doesnt offer multiplayer support. If no multiplayer is a deal breaker, youre going to miss out on what is the best Spider-Man game Ive played. An all star voice acting cast, varied combat and stealth, a fun story, great graphics, and challenges built into an extensive skill tree system gives Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions a lot of replayability. For comic book fans, this one is a no brainer. But for those that arent traditionally a fan of these games, this may be worth checking out anyway. It may change your mind.
CCC Freelance Writer