|System: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS|
|Release: October 04, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Violence|
by Matt Walker
Spider-Man has had a sorted past in the video game industry. For several years, players would suffer through some really half-assed experiences just to get their wall-crawler fix. Even when the PlayStation/Dreamcast era of Spider-Man brought us the fantastic Spider-Man game, fans were still cautious about praising the quality of their Spidey games
While there have been noteworthy titles before (Ultimate Spider-Man, all three games based on the feature films, and Web of Shadows), none of them have managed to shine quite like Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. With so much going for it—including voice work from past Spider-Man voice actors—Shattered Dimensions showed everyone that a certain Dark Knight wasn't the only hero who could bring quality to comic book video games.
Hoping to bring the magic from Shattered Dimensions into another title, Beenox has tapped into a couple of elements almost guaranteed to attract comic book fans and gamers alike. First of all, the writing team is led by Peter David. If you know one thing about Peter David, let it be that he is a guy who knows how to write for comic book fans. In any medium. He's definitely been an unsung hero in an industry that constantly praises Brian Michael Bendis, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, and several others. I'm not saying these guys don't deserve their credit, but Peter David has been around much longer, and time and time again he's proven himself a worthy teller of these kinds of stories. Edge of Time doesn't short-change his writing ability either.
Several people found fault in the different multi-characters of Shattered Dimensions. Beenox has taken note of these complaints, trimming their various Spider-Men down to just two: The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099. Edge of Time opens with Spider-Man 2099, as we learn that villain Walker Sloan has been working on a time travel device with the intent on going back to a time before the creation of Alchemax, hoping to shape and change things the way he wishes. Fortunately, Spider-Man 2099 is there and very nearly prevents him from enacting his master plan. Since the game would be incredibly short if 2099 succeeded at this point, we are shown a grim reality in which a battle between Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Anti-Venom is raging on toward a climactic breaking point: the death of Spider-Man!
Miguel O'Hara (Spider-Man 2099) utilizes a psychic link that was established in Shattered Dimensions to speak with Peter Parker (who resides in a split reality in which Walker Sloan has succeeded.) In fact, Peter is working for Alchemax and is in the very same building as future Miguel (though both characters are in separate timelines). The two begin working together in order to prevent Walker Sloan's plans, as well as the impending death of everyone's favorite neighborhood Spider-Man.
In the first part of the game, there is this impending sense of urgency that never seems to let up. I'm not complaining about the pacing here—let's face it, some games seem to take liberty with our patience levels—but there's not a single instance where you feel like you can soak up your environment. Maybe this is a good a thing, considering the repetitive nature of the game's color schemes, corridors, and villains. The frantic pace is enough to keep you distracted from any of the game's tinier flaws.
The combat is as fresh as you'd expect with the same team behind Shattered Dimensions handling it. In fact, it's actually the familiarity of the combat that will allow most players to dive in with very little effort. On one hand, this is the perfect way for novice players to enjoy the latest Spider-Man experience. On the other hand, it's not a stimulating challenge for veterans of the genre. Granted, there are upgrades that add a little bit of depth to the combat system—with impressive visuals, I might add—but for the most part, I found myself in the traditional action video game rut. For whatever reason, though, I still thoroughly enjoyed myself.