Reviews: Spider Man Web Of Shadows
Does Whatever a Spider Can. And Then Some.
This game comes super close to being almost Arkham City level of 'a superhero done right'. I think Shattered Dimensions might be the better game, but it doesn't give you as much freedom. You can swing through an open world of NYC skyscrapers at breakneck speeds, Spidey spinning and contorting himself just like a panel of the comics. The combat system is Amazing. No, Spectacular! Its Devil May Cry type of stylish action with 4 types of attack on 3 buttons that all fit into neat combos: punch, web zip kick, web shots or tendril pull (Red vs Black). You can switch between Spider-Man and Venom's movelists in the middle of a fight. You can fight in the streets, in the air, and even on the damn walls! I have longed to see the Symbiote portrayed as the shapeshifting Lovecraftian horror that it is, and boy howdy do the story AND gameplay deliver. Upgraded Black Suit moves turn Spidey into a mass of writhing damage-dealing tendrils and claws. However, it is not a super mode or a temporary power up. You can stay Red or Black for as long as you want with civilians reacting. While Spidey's webbing is useful to stun enemies, Venom does more damage, giving Spider-Man the meanness needed to chuck exploding cars willy-nilly down a quiet neighborhood full of pedestrians to take out one thug. Also, the enemies are not color coded! The story gives you Ultimate choice. You can keep Spider-Man noble and responsible, watch as he slowly gets corrupted, regrets his actions, or jump right into being a masked Menace. Some of the choices are kind of weird, but I guess the logic is that Spider-Venom thinks that his villains would make more powerful allies and so he needs to be a Jerkass to get their fear and respect. But you don't really know what the result of choices are first time through. Thankfully, one of the Black Suit choices is clearly to hook up with Black Cat. Much rejoicing indeed. You can have fun conversations with many Marvel characters like Luke Cage and Wolverine, rich in lore and trivia. Some of the mechanics need polish. Saving civilians out of the air is impossible for me. Missions can get repetitive, Luke Cage really REALLY wants you to know how to press Triangle, justifiable as that zip kick is an annoyingly main part of the game (its the only way to fight Vulture and Goblin Gliders) but we get it. I still give it an 8 out of ten, or a 4 out of 5.
Ah yes. Web of Shadows. Here's the simple, I-don't-have-very-much-time breakdown. Pros
- Combat is awesome when you get the hang of it. Zip in, piledriver the closest opponent, zip out, bounce off one, huge slam attack that pounds a bunch of others...it really is a great deal of fun.
- While you may feel guilty about the truly spectacular amounts of collateral damage you inflict, there's no denying it looks cool and really brings home the point that Spidey is pretty damn strong.
- They've gone out of their way to make it feel like it's in the comics Marvel Universe - you can see posters for Oscorp, Stark International, Hydra, Damage Control, even posters for freakin' Dazzler. Dazzler! A character who pretty much stopped having a point in the late 1980s!
- It's always good to see Moon Knight out and about.
- The wisecracks work. Especially when pulling the goons out of Kingpin's huge robots. "I'm taking you in for operating an evil robot without a license."
- Finally, a Spider-Man game where bosses are not completely immune to your webbing!
- Using Wolverine as a skateboard slash improvised weapon. Well worth the entrance fee.
- Putting the default web shot key next to the Windows key, and having the program crash when minimised, was not a good bit of programming.
- The camera's quirks are annoying enough, but aiming with the targeting system is pretty clunky, especially if you're using a laptop. The net result? Large numbers of innocent bystanders landing with splat noises.
- The huge amounts of detail can easily lead to everyone stuttering incessantly. And by that I mean the characters.
- Some of the Black Suit choices, especially the early ones, can feel a little forced. Spidey's only been wearing the black suit for a day and suddenly he's getting two gangs to wipe each other out?
- The "you are running out of health" warning makes the edges of the screen harder to see, making you more likely to lose what remains of it.
- There's quite a bit of Fridge Logic, such as "how did they fix the whole of New York in a few weeks?" and "they just let us get away with blowing up a ninety billion dollar SHIELD helicarrier?" for the red suit ending.