Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | PS2 | PSP | DS
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PC, PS2, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Treyarch 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Activision 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 21, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Web of Shadows' visuals on Wii are terrible, the textures are ugly and blurry, and the color pallet is awful (it seems the developer is fond of the color brown). The H.U.D looks blurry. The city is plain and empty, and there are jaggies everywhere. When you are swinging around New York, you will notice a maximum of three maybe four vehicles per street, sometimes the streets are completely empty. New York City is supposed to be a thriving metropolis, the city that never sleeps. Yet it is completely barren; the city feels dead. I never felt like I was playing Spider-Man, so something is clearly missing.

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows screenshot

There are also many pop in issues and the frame rate dips quite often. One positive aspect of the visuals is Spider-Man's animations. It seems the developer was able to bring over animations from the X360 and the PS3. There are some cool freefall and combat animations; they look great. I was happy to see there were no load times and that the engine had no issues while streaming the large environment.

The sound is ok, but it is nothing special. The city sounds are very similar to the previous games. There is some street noise as well as pedestrians screaming for help. Music is rather limited. The voice acting is terrible; Spider-Man's voice is irritating, and the other characters' voice work is also bad. There are times when players may need to repeat a mission multiple times, and each time you start over, you have to listen to the awful voice work and awful dialog. There are some weird lines such as "I'll momentum them into next week;" hearing that about five times can make a person go crazy.

I was really looking forward to Web of Shadows. I had high expectations for this game, but they were obviously not met. I feel like this franchise is in a rut, Treyarch needs to go back and fix the many issues that plague the Spider-Man games. On a positive note, they have the swing system down. It works and is a lot of fun. The combat system is also a good start, but the combinations need more variety instead of repeatedly mashing the same button. They also need to design a control scheme for the Wii instead of mapping buttons to motion swings because the controls feel tacky. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows is retailing for $49.99, but I highly recommended you rent before you spend your hard-earned money.

By Youcef Baouchi
CCC Freelance Writer

Empty New York and blurry textures hurt the atmosphere of the Spider-Man Universe. Animations look good.
Swinging around New York is fun, but combat gets repetitive. Motion controls do not always work very well.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Everything is there, thought it is not exceptional. Voice work is bad, especially Peter's voice.

Play Value
Web slinging is fun, so there is potential to go back and have complete some optional missions. But the overall experience is rather crude, so you likely won't.

Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Overhauled Combat System Provides Deepest Arsenal Ever: A reengineered combat system fuses Spider-Man's speed and strength to create deadly new attacks and combos. For the first time ever in a Spider-Man game, players can take the fight vertically and combat foes on city walls, where only Spider-Man holds the advantage.
  • Gamers Control Their Fighting Experience: At a moment's notice, gamers can switch between the agile grace of Spider-Man's Red Suit and the savage power of the Black Suit, creating some of the most devastating combos ever seen in a Spider-Man game.
  • Players Can Customize Their Ideal Spider-Man: Players earn experience in multiple combat disciplines, allowing them to custom-design their ideal Spider-Man. Points awarded during battle can be used across unique paths to upgrade the Red Suit and Black Suit, allowing players complete control over the style and moves they take into combat.
  • Every Choice Counts: Dependant on the gamer's actions and decisions, a morality meter will gauge whether citizens cheer Spider-Man on or run away in fear. Spider-Man's actions as hero or vigilante, based on choices at key points in the game, will affect how the fate of New York vs. alien invasion ends.
  • Side With Marvel's Greatest Heroes and Villains: Luke Cage or Vulture? Wolverine or Electro? Gamers can control who will ultimately aid them in the fight to rid New York of its alien symbiote. Alliances with Marvel's greatest heroes and most notorious villains hold consequences, as heroic and vigilante paths hold different destinies. Call upon your allies with the push of a button to combine forces for epic Hero Strikes!

  • Screenshots / Images
    Spider-Man: Web of Shadows screenshot - click to enlarge Spider-Man: Web of Shadows screenshot - click to enlarge Spider-Man: Web of Shadows screenshot - click to enlarge Spider-Man: Web of Shadows screenshot - click to enlarge Spider-Man: Web of Shadows screenshot - click to enlarge Spider-Man: Web of Shadows screenshot - click to enlarge Spider-Man: Web of Shadows screenshot - click to enlarge Spider-Man: Web of Shadows screenshot - click to enlarge

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