Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is a 2007 Beat 'em Up game published by Activision and developed by three different studios, each of which handled different ports of the game (Next Level Games for the PS2, Wii, and Xbox 360 ports, Artificial Mind And Movement for the DS and PSP ports, and Beenox for the PC port). The game takes heavy inspiration from both the original comics and the Sam Raimi movie trilogy, and was actually released as official tie-in merchandise for the latter.
The plot involves the meteor that brought the Venom symbiote to Earth being split into five shards, scattered across the world, and used to create creatures known as P.H.A.N.T.O.M.s. Spider-Man is recruited by Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. to find said pieces, and, along the way, enlists the help of both allies and enemies, with the latter being under mind control by whoever is using the meteor shards.
In the game, you play as Spider-Man and a sidekick of your choice, with the ability to switch between controlling the two when you're playing solo. Spider-Man can also utilize his webbing to either throw enemies around, shoot projectiles at them, or disable them for a bit. As you progress, you can collect Tech Tokens (currency used to upgrade your characters and Spider-Man's abilities), DNA Helixes (hidden collectables that unlock extras), and Keystones (used to unlock arenas for use in Versus mode).
- Silver Sable note
- Black Cat
- Doctor Octopus
- Green Goblin
- Iron Fist
- New Goblin
- Electro note
- Carnage note
Spider-Man: Friend or Foe provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Black Cat and Silver Sable.
- Adaptational Heroism: The Lizard, who is a good guy here and keeps his human form's intelligence.
- Also applies to the Prowler, who isnt even fought as a boss.
- Downplayed with New Goblin/Harry. While Harry was good before and did redeem himself by the end of Spider-Man 3, he spent a good half of the movie as a villain as New Goblin bent on revenge against Peter. Here, they're undoubtedly allies and friends.
- Advertised Extra: New Goblin is shown in ads and the opening cinematic as what amounts to Spider-Man's crimefighting partner. He doesn't show up for the rest of the game's story and is only unlocked as a playable character after you beat it.
- Broad Strokes: The game is visually inspired by and seemingly set in the live-action Spider-Man Trilogy by Sam Raimi, due to specifically being a tie-in to Spider-Man 3, but includes other characters from the wider Marvel Universe not seen in those films, including Black Cat, Mysterio, Scorpion, Rhino, Lizard, in addition to Iron Fist, Blade, and the PHANTOMS seem to be based on Carnage.
- Big Bad: Mysterio
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Every boss Spider-Man encountered except for Mysterio.
- Camera Screw: Downplayed since platforming is very minimal, but the nature of the game ultimately means that you have zero control over the camera.
- Cool Sword: Blade wields a single-handed machete-like sword.
- Deadly Dodging: One of the ways to take major health off Rhino in his boss battle.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying results in merely losing a few Tech Tokens.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Although Green Goblin, Scorpion, and Venom make it known that they're not Spider-Man's friends.
- Dumb Muscle: Rhino, Sandman, and presumably Scorpion.
- Enemy Mine
- Energy Weapon: Silver Sable and Scorpion both utilize lasers.
- Evil Is Hammy: Every boss except Sandman. Doc Ock and Mysterio especially.
- Five-Man Band:
- Fun with Acronyms: PHANTOM stands for Perpetual Holographic Avatar Nano-Tech Offensive Monsters. And then there is of course, S.H.I.E.L.D.S.H.I.E.L.D. computer: Perpetual Holographic Avatar, Nanotech Offensive Monster, or, PHANTOMs.
Spider-Man: You guys have a department just for acronyms, don't you?
- Genius Bruiser: This adaptation's version of the Lizard retains Dr. Conners' intelligence and personality.
- Lame Comeback:Spidey: First Scorpion and now Rhino. Huh, they're really scraping the bottom of the ol' villain barrel, eh? Who's next... Hypno-Hustler?
Rhino: I'll hypno-hustle you!
Spidey: Ooh, nice comeback!
- Lighter and Softer: The game as a whole compared to the movies.
- Inevitably the result of including Blade in a game that's rated E-10+ (not that this makes him any less badass here).
- Mythology Gag:
- In the first cutscene with Rhino, Spidey groans about having to face another of his old enemies, and wonders if the Hypno-Hustler (a lame one-shot villain in the comics) is next.
- And at the end when Nick Fury gets all of the symbiote shards, he has the S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists study them for use. He calls it "Project Carnage".
- Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: The PHANTOMs, the main enemies throughout, are part robot and part symbiote alien. And some of them, depending on the place and type, are such combinations as robot-alien-samurai, robot-alien-mummy, and robot-alien-werewolf.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: In Versus Mode, when the combatants first face each other, they say a badass or snarky one-liner to prove their power.
- Product Placement: Hostess Fruit Pie ads are referenced by one of Spidey's quips.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Don't underestimate Iron Fist just because he wears yellow booties.
- Redemption Demotion: Once you beat the bosses and they join you, they become much weaker than when you had to face them.
- Schrödinger's Player Character: A variation. The cutscenes play out as if Spider-Man is working alone and don't even acknowledge the partner character's existence, regardless of who you chose. Justified due to the unnecessary amount of work required for making multiple different cutscenes for every character (which, not counting the Helicarrier mission briefings, would result in 156 different cutscenes in the game total, or 132 if one doesn't count Silver Sable and New Goblin).
- Simple Staff: Silver Sable wields her bo-staff in melee.
- Spared by the Adaptation: The Goblins (both Norman and Harry), Doc Ock, and Venom all died in the movies. In the game, they're alive and well.
- Spin Attack: One of Lizard's moves involves him whirling around in place, knocking all enemies away with his tail.
- Troll: The S.H.I.E.L.D. computer loves messing around with Nick Fury.
- Version-Exclusive Content: The PSP version comes with Carnage and Electro as exclusive sidekicks.
- Vocal Dissonance: Considering Venom's large build, one would expect him to have a deep voice, but is instead given a very tenor Evil Sounds Raspy voice that doesn't completely fit.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The New Goblin, who you only get after beating every level in the game. You don't even get to fight him and save him from Mind Control, he's just suddenly... saved.