As we get closer to the release of Spider-Man for PlayStation 4 this Friday, we’re taking a look back at some of Spidey’s greatest video game adventures. Opinions may vary, but the choices you see over the next few days, we believe, represent the web-crawler at his finest.
We’re starting off this little sub-series with Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, a game that was developed by Beenox and released by Activision in 2010 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and PC. In it, it takes a different turn from the usual Spidey fare: instead of taking control of one Spider-Man character, you actually take control of four. Not all at once, mind you.
The game revolves around Madame Web, who brings together the Spider-Men from their alternate universes in the hopes of repairing an artifact known as the Tablet of Order and Chaos. Broken apart, it’s drawing a number of villains to its power, and it’s up to the four unique heroes to rebuild it before it’s too late.
A Spider-Man For Everyone
The game splits into sections for each of its respective Spider-Man characters: the Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Man 2099. You’ll notice that Ultimate has his trademark black symbiote suit, while Noir Spider-Man, a newcomer to the series, is a welcome twist back in time, to an older time of webbing up enemies.
You’re introduced to each of these characters at the start of the game before it, ahem, swings into action, with Amazing Spider-Man (voiced by the one and only Neil Patrick Harris, by the way) takes on Kraven and his cohorts. From there, the story splits across sections, introducing a number of familiar villains, including Sandman, Hobgoblin, and more.
Eventually, Mysterio enters the picture as the “big bad,” threatening to kill Madame Web if the other Spidermen don’t manage to get him all the pieces he needs. We won’t dare spoil which turns the game takes in its conclusion, but let’s just say it produces one of the more memorable endings in a Spider-Man outing.prevnext
Gameplay Covers All the Bases
One thing we truly like about Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is its terrific control scheme. You’ll be zipping across webs with ease and even using some quick traversal to get out of harm’s way so you don’t fall to your death. (You’re essentially given a last second warning to get out of harm’s way.)
From there, the fisticuffs action of Shattered is entirely satisfying, as you beat up opponents with a number of moves. You can also enter a skill tree of sorts and unlock new abilities, like being able to change a web zip on the fly (should an enemy be waiting to strike you) and more combat abilities.
This game is deep, enabling you to unlock quite a bit by collecting gold and silver Spider emblems scattered throughout each stage. The level structure is also splendid, and really gives you an opportunity to explore while you take on foes near and far.
The boss battles are worthwhile as well, as you can really get up close and trade fists with opponents like Kraven and more. You’ll also need to work defensively so you don’t get hit as well.
Speaking of boss battles, let’s talk about our favorite one within the game…prevnext
This boss battle makes Deadpool the bad guy (temporarily), as he sits in a trap-laden structure on a reality show called Pain Factor. In it, Spidey has to make his way through a number of obstacles before a boss battle with Wade himself, who comes at him with all kinds of gunfire and sinister attacks. Eventually, he’s defeated, noting no real hard feelings in his loss. (And, hey, he goes on to get his own game down the road, so he wins overall.) You can watch that boss fight in action above.
In essence, though, Shattered Dimensions has a number of superb encounters, from taking on Kraven in his Thunderdome-style cage to having him take on Juggernaut, who attains a piece of the tablet and becomes more powerful as a result. It all sums up with one final fight with Mysterio. Again, we won’t spoil it, but stick around until the very end of the credits for a nice little surprise.prevnext
Creating a Small But Worthwhile Legacy
Following the success of Shattered Dimensions, the developers at Beenox went on to work on a number of games featuring the web-slinger, including the futuristic adventure Edge of Time (featuring Marvel 2099, as well as Val Kilmer portraying the main bad guy), along with The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2, both based on their respective movies. After that, the developers worked on Skylanders for a few games (from Trap Team to SuperChargers) before moving on to Call of Duty territory, where it’s currently working on Black Ops 4.
While we’re sad that Beenox doesn’t seem to be working on Spider-Man properties anymore, it’s certainly had its day in the sun. Shattered Dimensions is rich in variance, and, more importantly, it’s just fun to play. Each of the Spider-Man characters have something to offer here, though Noir is easily growing on me as a favorite. And the level design is off the charts, making us wonder if this game would be worthy of a re-release down the road, like what the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games got. Or at the very least, Xbox One backward compatibility?2comments
In the meantime, the game isn’t available for purchase digitally, but you can find used copies of Shattered Dimensions for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at your favorite game store. We highly recommend it!
We’ll see you for tomorrow’s choice Spider-Man game!prev