Developer: Beenox Studios
Spider-Man as a franchise has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success in the video game realm, and Activision hopes to keep that success going with Spider-Man: Edge of Time. This title is a follow-up to Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Is Spider-Man: Edge of Time going to save the day, or is it going to run out of web cartridges when you need it most?
Two Spider-men, One Game.
The story of Spider-Man: Edge of Time follows two of the four Spider-Man characters used in the Shattered Dimensions game: Spider-Man 2099/Miguel O’Hara, and Amazing Spider-Man/Peter Parker. Spider-Man 2099 discovers that Amazing Spider-Man has been killed by Anti-Venom while alseo learning of a plot created by O’Hara’s boss, Walker Sloan (voiced by Val Kilmer), to travel back in time and make Sloan’s company, Alchemax, more powerful. Sloan’s plan starts to work as he travels back to a point before the events of the game have taken place. Parker is alive and now works for Alchemax instead of the Daily Bugle. Spider-Man 2099, aware of what is about to take place, uses Parker’s DNA to mentally link with him in the past, warning him about the upcoming danger.
As the plot twists and turns, you work your way through the Alchemax building and find that quantum causality is a factor in Spider-Man 2099’s world, as rooms change all around him. You spend your time in the game switching between Parker and O’Hara as they try to change the history which Walker Sloan has created.
Are you still with me?
One area where Spider-Man: Edge of Time differs from previous Spider-Man games is the limited amount of exploration. The entire game takes place in one building, and despite the different settings in time, both settings look about the same, with the exception of some colors. There is a lot of gray and brown with a modern look for Parker’s levels; and dark blues, browns, grays and a few neon colors for O’Hara’s levels. The bottom line is that even if the environments look about the same, it’s understandable for the setting of the game. However, the lack of true exploration is a hindrance to the game itself.
Does some of the things a spider can
Simplified controls for combat make this game nothing more than a beat-em-up. There isn’t much variety in the combat system, and upgrades don’t feel like they add much, nor do they give the player the feeling of having power. Also, with the exception of some boss battles, gameplay does get fairly repetitive because combat relies heavily on the same attacks, and the lack of different types of enemies tends to get dull after the first 10,000 robots. The developers missed the mark on the web-based powers, especially with the targeted web-sling. That trigger alone is frustrating simply because it’s so very hit-and-miss.
No Stan Lee!?!?!?
Voice acting in the game works well for the characters presented. Val Kilmer plays Walker Sloan as a mad scientist with a deliberate purpose, Josh Keaton voices Peter Parker, and Christopher Daniel Barnes voices Miguel O’Hara. Parker is the usual smart-mouthed Parker, and O’Hara is more of a straight-laced character trying to restore order. All in all, the voice acting isn’t bad and works for the game.
Did he say “shuck”?
At a $60 price-point for a basic beat-em-up game with two different Spider-men that play the same, you’re better off going for this game’s predecessor, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. The web-slinging and web-swinging don’t work very well in this follow-up and can get a little frustrating. Repetitive gameplay and enemies tend to get a little dull after a while. Also, while it is understandable that the entire game takes place in the same building, the lack of exploration takes away from the overall experience of playing a Spider-Man game. It’s not that the linear gameplay is a bad thing, but at times you don’t get to explore parts of a building simply because you’re on a time limit to escape it.
The good news is that Spider-Man: Edge of Time has a decent cast voicing the characters, there are some interesting plot twists, and the opening credits offer a nice touch as you control Spider-Man 2099 crawling around the Alchemax building while the credits appear on the screen. Pacing in the game is good at some points. From Spider-Man 2099’s free-falling levels to crawling through vents, Spider-Man: Edge of Time does change things up every once in a while.
Overall, the gameplay here is lacking. With a linear story, challenges try to offer replay value but they don’t really serve any other purpose other than that. In the end, if you’re in the mood for a Spider-Man game then go for Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, but if you feel like playing this game then it’s best to wait until it drops way down in price.
Finally, it’s not fair to compare this game to Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions due to the fact that the games have different stories and different looks, but since the publisher and developer behind each game are the same, it’s bound to happen. Shattered Dimensions had four characters playing different styles while Spider-Man: Edge of Time has two characters that play basically the same, which left us wanting more out of both characters. This game is average at best, even as a basic beat-em-up, and really could have been cut down in price or even served merely as DLC for Shattered Dimensions.
Final Verdict: Spider-Man: Edge of Time gets 5 radioactive spider bites out of 10
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This review is based off a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of Spiderman: Edge of Time by Activision