Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions combines the typical features of a Spider-Man game – slinging on pieces of spiderwebs and bashing enemies – with the possibility to take on four looks of the hero. For those that know the comics: we talk about Amazing, Noir, 2099 and Ultimate Spider-Man. Each form of course brings the necessary variation in gameplay, personality and possibilities, and this makes the game one that will satisfy the fans.
As relative newbie regarding the comics I no doubt have missed a lot, but the makers clearly did their best to give true fans what they want. There’s tons of references, the story (you need to find a broken artefact throughout different dimensions) is a scapegoat to unveil different aspects of Spidey and the atmosphere and tone are just right, with the necessary pieces of humour here and there. Also the end has a closer that’s a lot more interesting than you might suspect.
Onto the gameplay and that’s a bit less exciting and varied than the missions. Now and then there are flaws in the level design and things get clumsy, but overall you get a lot of freedom to do your thing. You’ll have fun jumping, crawling and slinging. Equally smooth is the way you attack enemies, whether by jumping from one to the other or by doing a combo attack. The fights are quite interesting as you can do some button-bashing but actually do best to use the many possibilities to fight, throw and counter.
These attacks and moves can be upgraded by spending XP, with which you can also unlock new outfits and stronger attributes which results to a rather good total picture, especially seeing the four different Spider-Man. You’ll for instance be surprised with tentacle attacks in Spider-Man Ultimate levels and you can activate some sort of bullet-time with 2099. Unfortunately the makers didn’t succeed in changing the gameplay enough in the different pieces while the basic ingredients were present. You remain stuck in hopping around a bit and doing some fighting.
Typical stuff so to speak and that means you’ll encounter little innovation. Luckily the solid line-up of great bosses brings just enough variation and challenge and you’ll also encounter new enemies and get to explore new surroundings depending on the dimension you’re in. Personally I found Noir to be the most fun as those levels had a peculiar dark atmosphere that I didn’t expect in a Spider-Man game. Also the gameplay there is just a big different with a bigger focus on stealth, eventhough not everyone will be able to appreciate that so much. Don’t despair, though, as you can always choose which level in which dimension you want to do and that graphics are always equally appealing.
The gameplay isn’t innovative or deep enough to talk about a top game, but this new Spider-Man is fun and a very nice go-between that will deliver plenty of fun nights for the fans of the series. The action is fast, tight and smooth, the atmosphere and graphics make that you remain in the story and the many upgrades, moves and slinging possibilities make for plenty of content.
In a game where you get into four suits and dimensions of your favorite hero, however, it’s too bad that there isn’t more variation and originality to be found. For those that feel like a lightfooted action game with the necessary bosses, however, this is the necessary junkfood.