Spider-Man Web of Shadows
Also available on PC, Xbox 360, PS3
The Spider-Man franchise
has seen it's ups and downs over time with all of the different game
representations. Each one has some redeeming quality, even if they are
small ones. Spider-Man Web Of Shadows swings away from the movie license
and tends towards the Marvel Universe Spider-Man. Comic fans will get a
thrill swinging past some of the locations that are well known in the
Spider-Man comics. Stark tower, Wilson Fisk's building to name a couple.
Cameos and team ups are
the name of the game depending on the paths our hero takes. Such Marvel
legends as Luke Cage, and Wolverine are all here as well as some ultra
cool villains. I for one am happy to see vulture represented as such a
dangerous threat this time around. While it takes place in the Marvel
Universe and not from a comic, the story is done in such a way as to not
hint at what the time line is to any relation of the comic books, so the
story stands on it's own pretty well.
The game is a delightfully designed mix of web- swinging, acrobatics and
insane combat moves that brings everyones favorite wall crawler to life.
This is thanks to a new combat system that really brings Spider-Man's
unique acrobatic combat into reality.
The story goes that there is some kind of symbiote invasion, the
devastating attacks cause chaos to New York City. S.H.I.E.L.D and other
heroes are sprinkled through out to lend a hand as well, so it makes for
an interesting ride. Especially since some of those same heroes and even
villains can become infected with the symbiote and become a totally new
kind of threat for Spider-Man to overcome.
During game play, you
are also able to switch between the black suit and good ol red and blue
suit, on the fly. Each suit offers different types of abilities. The
black suit is more along the lines of raw power and brute force. While
the red and blue suit is more along the lines of speed and acrobatic
ability. Going through the game you don't start out with all the cool
moves, no sir, like other games in the past as you progress and earn
experience, you can custom design Spider-Man to your liking thanks to
the multiple combat disciplines. All depending on the suit your wearing.
As noted there are some nifty new combat options in Spider-Man Web Of
Shadows. This is perhaps the best improvement over all from past
Spider-Man games. Not only are there incredible aerial attacks, but some
of the web attacks are much more pleasing and seem to be more true to
form of the Spider-Man from the comics.
Animations over all seem to have been improved, even though it does look
a lot like some of the code from Spider-Man 3, In Spider-Man Web Of
Shadows the web swinging seems so much smoother. Each Spider-Man game
seems to get better and better in many aspects. I am sure all my fellow
Impulse Gamers can agree, that this is a good thing. While some of the
game play can get repetitive, there is enough going on that it's only a
The populace in the game reacts to Spider-Man, depending on how naughty
or nice he has been. If he has been leaning more towards the dark suite,
Citizens may run for their lives at the site of him.
Controls for The Xbox 360, PS3 and PC versions all seem to be pretty
solid. Some of the controls like web zipping and wall clinging are a bit
different, it takes some getting used to, but you will find your selves
doing some ultra Spider-Man moves in no time. I can say that
unfortunately button press sequences are back, I was never a big fan of
these, not one bit. These take place most of the times near the end of
boss fights. So I guess it's not too bad, at least it's not like the
hideous over ten different button and stick sequence like Spider-Man 3.
So the frustration factor here is minimal if at all for Spider-Man Web
Of Shadows, which is more good news.
As noted, the graphics are pretty nice, not earth shattering oh my gosh
kind of stuff. The PC version ran great without any snags on the
Alienware system. A Dell PC had some small issues in slowing down when
explosions where on screen. PS3 and Xbox 360 both looked pretty darn
good. Once in a while there was some inconsistent stupid A.I trying to
march forward into a building and not knowing they could not go through
it. Sounds are generally pleasing, some sound effects you raise an eye
brow at because the quality seems to not be consistent.
Voice acting is perhaps
a distant after thought in the over all creation of the game. Poor
Spider-Man comes off as some one with Batman Dark Knight Envy. The
performance is not as consistent as it could be, there are times that
the character seems to be reading from the script at a table read, and
other times very comfortable with the character. Did I cringe now and
again? Yes I did, sorry.
Other voice acting is a bit on the Cheese side, this is of course the
script and not the actors. Hey it's all in fun. When the one liners
start to fly it starts to seem like a not so bad choice after all. Other
characters like Black Cat , Black Widow and others seem to be right at
home with who they are portraying.
Some of the things I can do with out? One of these days someone will
come up with a in game camera system that won't drive someone nuts as
they play a game. It tends to throw perspective to a different point at
the worst of times. That would not be so bad accept when the camera does
not want to change where you want it to, which can cause you to go
skittering off in a wrong direction or off a building you where trying
to run up the side of.
Spider-Man Web Of Shadows does all of the right things very well, while
it's minor inconsistent issues hide in the back ground, but do not take
too much away from the super hero experience. Only major down side? No
free roaming after finishing the game.
Not so sure about the re playability, even going full red and blue suit
one time and then the black suit the next. Spider-Man Web Of Shadows is
fun, for Spider-Man fans and new comers alike. Getting to do some of the
incredible acrobatic spidey moves is well worth the price of admission.
Have fun, play games.