Spider-Man: Web of Shadows was a 2008 video game starring Spider-Man as he tries to stop Venom and his symbiote army from taking over New York, and is helped by Moon Knight, Wolverine, and Luke Cage.The game takes notes from the Wide Open Sandbox of Spider-Man 2: The Game, ironing out the flaws introduced there and adding an evolving environment that gradually turns New York's appearance into that of a symbiote entrenched alien world. The gameplay involves an in-depth combat system similar to Spider-Man 2's as well as changes in web-swinging mobility that actually allow aerial battles and wall-crawling battles to be fun. The Symbiote Suit/Red Suit duality is back, with each suit requiring distinct playstyles and with the ability to be instantly interchanged even in the midst of battle to switch up combos. The variety of combat options and the ease in switching between the different modes of combat means battles are extremely dynamic.The game was often touted by advertisements and previews as delivering the "complete" experience of being Spider-Man. Because of this, the console game is considered one of the best Spider-Man games in recent history to fans, but most critics found it So Okay, It's Average due to graphical and sound flaws, as well as repetitive main- and side-quests.
This game provides examples of:
A Winner Is You: In the PS2 version, once you beat the final boss, all you get is a pop up saying "Congratulations, you beat Spider-Man: Web of Shadows!" before going back to the main menu. You don't even get an image for your efforts.
Action Girl: Mary-Jane. Rather than being the Distressed Damsel, she actually takes part in the boss fight against Symbiote Black Cat, blasting away at symbiotes with her shotgun from a hovercraft.
She also fires that shotgun with essentially one hand, as her right arm is broken.
Although her shotgun does almost nothing to the symbiotes and you fail the mission if she dies so you have to keep breaking off the fight with Symbiote Black Cat to save MJ over and over and over again, making her assistance a case of "Stop Helping Me!"
A.I. Breaker: the last two bosses of the Nintendo DS version are Those Two Bosses of the game, until you start Whoring two of the most basic moves in the game. Venom, the penultimate boss, can be beaten simply by standing on either the lower edge on the far left or on the other on the far right, and then keeping shooting webs, causing Venom to be slammed to the ground, while the Final Boss can be beaten by... wait for it... kicking him by spamming web-swinging. So much for the "final boss".
Berserk Button: Only just averted. During Kingpin's Kick the Dog moment (see below), Spider-Man almost uses the Black Suit to pummel the guy, but stops himself, because he made a promise to Mary-Jane that he wouldn't use it.
Brick Joke: When Spider-Man talks with Luke Cage about ending the gang violence in Harlem, he mentions that, growing up in the relatively peaceful Queens, he probably wouldn't have any idea what it was like on the streets. Later, when arranging a meeting between the rival gang leaders, this exchange occurs.
Spider-Man: Now, be there, or be square.
Gang leader: "Be square"?! Are you from Queens or something?
Dark Is Not Evil: Spider-Man himself is this if the player primarily has him use the Black Suit's powers but otherwise follow the Red Suit path.
Dating Catwoman: Black Cat initially shows up in the game working for Kingpin because she is still in love with Spider-Man and did it to help him from the inside. Problem is, he's currently married to Mary-Jane. Over the course of the game, she gets infected with a symbiote, and the option is actually given to choose her over Mary-Jane, especially in the "Black Suit" storyline.
Dirty Old Man: The Tinkerer's demands to build the sonic bomb include a specific girl from a tool catalog.
Enemy Mine: Spider-Man is forced to team up with Rhino and the Tinkerer to put a stop to the symbiotes.
Emergency Transformation: When Black Cat is badly injured following their second fight, Spider-Man can choose to either give her to S.H.I.E.L.D. for medical treatment (Red Suit path) or bond a symbiote to her (Black Suit path).
From Bad to Worse: One of the central themes to the story was how quickly the symbiote infection seemed to spread. Made apparent when, after unwillingly giving Spider-Man back the symbiote in the beginning of the story, without losing his, Venom soon realised he could reproduce the symbiote and do the same to others. After that, it literally takes one night before things get out of control.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Oddly, with the red suit/black suit choices the player can be a perfect boyscout or a real bastard, but as long as the player simply uses the black suit or red suit repectively in actual gameplay most of the time they will still quickly go to that suit's alignment regardless.
He Who Fights Monsters: A lot of the Black Suit choices invloves this, including letting the two gang leaders kill each other, violently beating Electro, ripping Wolverine in half, and tossing Venom into the turbine instead of letting him make the choice himself.
High Altitude Battle: The Symbiote Vulture boss battle cranks this trope to epically extreme levels as, considering the fact that you're Spidey, the battle takes place high above New York and quickly becomes a warzone when SHIELD troops arrive... and there is no ground. Therefore, you'll have to swing across hovercrafts and use air combos and web strikes on the Vulture and his mooks to keep up in the sky. Speaking of which, the game's final mission and boss is on the SHIELD Helicarrier.
I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: When Luke Cage makes a crack about Spidey's costume, Spidey points out that Cage used to run around in a yellow silk shirt and a tiara - er, headband. "It was the 70s!"
Kick the Dog: After escorting a convoy of non-symbiote survivors to the safety of Fisk Towers, Spider-Man realizes that only one vehicle didn't make it... the one that was carrying Mary-Jane. Kingpin then mocks Spider-Man over the fact he got everyone to safety, except who he cares about most.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the best ending, Spidey narrates how the loose ends are all tied up, and we are led to believe that it is an internal monologue... until Mary Jane calls him out on talking to himself.
Spider-Man as well. In this game, you can jump off the top of the Empire State Building, and Spidey will impact the ground with such a force that he's almost flattened, and he will slowly pull himself up with just a minor loss in health.
Male Gaze: In the scene in which the Black Widow, Kingpin, the Vulture, Spidey and the Tinkerer are coming up with a plan to save the city from the symbiotes together, and the Tinkerer makes ridiculous demands of the group, Black Widow agrees reluctantly and stalks off, angrily muttering in Russian. ALL the men in the room including Spidey (who hilariously cranes his neck) turn their heads to watch her leave.
Ms Fan Service: The Black Cat, who pretty much throws herself at Spider-Man, including one instance of her practically shoving her breasts in his face.
My God, What Have I Done?: During the final confrontation, Spider-Man tries reaching out to Eddie Brock, within the writhing mass that is "Venomzilla". Peter convinces Eddie that his vendetta against him has gone too far, as he has begun hurting innocent people. In the Red suit choice, this causes Eddie to sacrifice himself to destroy the symbiote for good.
Multiple Endings: Four of them, depending on how many "Red vs Black" choices are made during the game.
If all/most of them were Red, and Spider-Man picks Mary Jane, then New York starts returning to normal following the elimination of the infection and Spider-Man is reunited with Mary-Jane.
If Peter picks the Black Cat with mostly Red choices, Peter attempts calling Mary-Jane to apologize for his actions in the story.
If only more of them were Black, and Peter picks Mary Jane, Spider-Man becomes leader of the symbiotes and vows to get back Mary Jane at any cost. Black Widow, working with Kingpin and The Tinkerer, prepares to send in Wolverine, fully in control of his own symbiote, to bring him in, dead or alive. Wolverine opts for "dead".
If all/most of them were Black, and Spider-Man picks the Black Cat, Spider-Man becomes leader of the symbiotes, with Black Cat at his side as his "queen", and opts to spread the symbiote infection. He also rejects With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility, as in his own words; "I never knew what power was." Again, Symbiote Wolverine is brought in by SHIELD to bring Peter to justice.
Oh Crap: When Spider-Man first sees the Kingpin Flyers, he thinks they're the Green Goblin and/or Hobgoblin, and immediately mocks them for bring ripoffs when he engages them.
Offstage Villainy: We never see exactly how or when Black Cat and Vulture were taken over by symbiotes.
Pop Quiz: Wolverine gives Spidey one to make sure he's the genuine article.
Psycho Electro: Electro was always nuts, but in Web of Shadows, he gets worse. Mostly due to his sister being taken in by SHIELD.
Being possessed by a symbiote didn't help.
Public Domain Soundtrack: The opening of the game is set to the Adagio sostenuto segment of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27, No. 2, better known as Moonlight Sonata.
Redemption Equals Death: In the Red suit choice, Eddie comes to his senses at the end of the game and climbs into the turbines of the heli-carrier, using tendrils to drag and trap "Venomzilla" with him. This causes the turbine to explode and the heli-carrier to fall out of the air and crash into the river below.
Took a Level in Badass: Mary-Jane, in comparison to other adaptations of Spider-Man where she's the designated Distressed Damsel, after getting out of the hospital in the midst of the symbiote infection. She meets up with Luke Cage and Spidey, with the latter asking the former to promise that he would protect her. MJ's response? Turning around racking a shotgun whilst exclaiming "Y'know what? MJ can take care of herself!" Though in comparison to her comic-self, this is fairly standard for her until One More Day and Brand New Day.
What the Hell, Hero?: Moon Knight, of all people, gives Spider-Man this when he thinks he killed some people, though the people in question were the first infected with the symbiote infestation. Most of the Black suit choices will also get this reaction from a lot of people.