There’s a couple of Spider-Man games I’ve really liked over the years. I enjoyed one way back on the PSOne which had a more linear gameplay style, then there was Neversoft’s one which was more free-roaming round a big city. You could choose which missions to do when in a sort of ‘Grand Theft Arachnid’.
Since then they’ve all been a bit samey and based round the movies which almost always never makes for a great game. Fortunately, this game’s not constrained by the likes of Sam Raimi’s last Spidey disaster movie and so has license to play around with the Marvel comic character and some of his mates and enemies.
The game begins with Web Head caught in a mammoth battle with the Symbiotes. The first thing you do is have a scrap with Venom and then you get swallowed up by the alien infestation. The game then flashes back to less hectic days as you help to rid New York of gang troubles and invading Kingpin armies.
At first glance it’s not good. Although the animations and look of this SpiderMan game is superb as he swings round the city – the city itself also looks great with reflections shining off the skyscrapers, the tutorial makes you think this is just more of the same. Well, it is and it isn’t as there’s a few new twists that make this really quite fun.
First of all is the ability to switch between your red and black suits at the click of the left stick. Both suits have slightly different attack styles and if you’re wearing the black Symbiote suit, you can even chuck cars at enemies. Something you’ll learn to do straight away when you fight Venom.
As you complete missions you gain EXP which can be used to upgrade air, wall and ground moves. There are also some moral choices to make in the game depending on if you feel like a good or a bad Spider-Man. These choices shape the way the game plays and the eventual ending.
As usual with a game that can go topsy-turvy at times, the camera can sometimes flip out and the game can be a bit too easy. Our old friend rechargeable health appears once again so it’s possible to swing out of the way for a bit if things get too tricky. Another negative is the repetitive nature of some of the missions. Although they’re varied in themselves, sometimes you feel like the mission should end way before it does – one example being having to string together 22 attacks to kill 22 snipers in a massive combo, then having to do it all over again when a second wave turns up.
Although it won’t win any awards for originality, Spidey’s latest adventure is fun, slick and won’t disappoint fans of the tight-trousered teenager – if you like Marvel games then you might want to check out our Iron Man review too. The Spiderman Web of Shadows game gets a good 6 out of 10.