Spider-Man: Edge of Time Review for Xbox 360

Spider-Man: Edge of Time Review for Xbox 360

To Save A Spider

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.

Spider-Man: Edge of Time Screenshot

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!

Spider-Man: Edge of Time Screenshot

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.

Spider-Man: Edge of Time Screenshot

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.

The big difference in Edge of Time is a timey-whimey paradox fluctuation. Playing in the past as one of the Spider-Men will allow you to change situations in the future. For example, one part has Spider-Man 2099 fighting a giant robot and losing. It is then up to Peter in the past to dismantle the robot as quickly as possible to prevent this from happening. These are great little segments, but the addition of a time clock can be anxiety-inducing. Time clock aside, this is definitely a cool feature that I would love to see implemented in a different, more “open world” kind of way.

Spider-Man: Edge of Time Screenshot

Much like last year’s title, Edge of Time continues to bring a more realistic visual approach to the Spider-Man universe. Whereas last year’s in-game graphics were cel-shaded and cutscenes were a solid realism, here we have full-on realism in both the game and the cutscenes. The scene with Peter Parker and Miguel O’Hara unmasked alone will show fans of the series just how thankful they should be that Beenox in in charge of the Spider-Man games for the foreseeable future.

In addition to the game’s wonderful visual presentation, I love how much nostalgia I feel when past Spider-Man voice actors are present in the games. For example, Josh Keaton (recently the voice of Ultimate Spider-Man in Shattered Dimensions and The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon) is in the role of Peter Parker. Christopher Daniel Barnes (the voice of Spider-Man in Spider-Man: The Animated Series and the Noir Spider-Man in Shattered Dimensions) is the voice of Miguel O’Hara. Not to be outdone, Val Kilmer steps into the shoes of the main villain, Walker Sloan, and somehow he doesn’t chew every scene into abysmal travesty like he did with Batman Forever . Rounding out the voice acting in the game we have Laura Vandervoort voicing Mary Jane Watson and Katee Sackhoff voicing Black Cat.

Spider-Man: Edge of Time may not bring any brand new elements to Spider-Man games, but it definitely solidifies what’s already there. Creating a sense of continuity between games is also a welcome change. Much like what Batman: Arkham City is doing with the storyline established in Arkham Asylum; Edge of Time does retread and only continues to grow this “universe’s” reality. Beenox once again proves Spider-Man is still a viable character in the industry, and, with the help of the voice actors and Peter David, they prove this is a game that Spider-Fans would be fools to skip. So swing into your local game store today for this next great Spider-Man adventure.

A stunning upgrade from last year’s graphically impressive title. 4.2 Control
Even though they are simple, they are also very rewarding. 4.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Past Spider-Men lend their voices to the game, as well as Val Kilmer. 4.0 Play Value
Even though the challenge of the game has not matured, it is ideal for anyone looking for a great Spider-Man experience. 4.0 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Play as both Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099.
  • Unique combat abilities highlight Amazing’s acrobatic agility and 2099’s technological improvements.
  • All-new combat moves include evasion maneuvers and accelerated vision.
  • Two timelines evolve in parallel, with story-driven cause and effect moments where the actions of one Spider-Man could have an immediate effect on the world of the other Spider-Man.
  • Visually exciting “picture-in-picture” technology demonstrates in real time the impact upon both universes.
  • Unexpected outcomes upon the future when altering the past keeps gamers on their toes.

  • To top