Spider-Man: Edge of Time Review
- Posted October 20th, 2011 at 16:45 EDT by Timothy Nunes
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The best a Spider Man game can be without ruining the experience, apart from few camera and mechanical faux pas.
- +Stunning story delivery
- +Moderate replay value
- +Structured boss battles
- -mild camera issues
- -inconsistent web aiming
- -small holes in plot
Surrounded in his slick wit, the Amazing Spider-Man has slung his way into the hearts of millions of fans with his clever puns and carefree exuberance for crime fighting. The previous Spider-Man game, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, received quite a positive outing, which was praised by Twisted Metal developer, David Jaffe, who hailed it as the "Arkham Asylum of Spider-Man."
Yes, the first title certainly had it faults, but it still maintained the affirmed character of the Amazing Spider-Man, while creating new atmospheres with different Spider-Men that aren't so familiar. Now, Activision is extending its success with Spider-Man: Edge of Time, in the hope of continuing and reveling in more success from our favorite web-slinging hero, as the fabrics of time rip right in front of him.
Spider-Man: Edge of Time opens with a very climactic scenario of the impending end of Spider-Man, as he fights Antivenom in front of a time portal. Spider-Man 2099, or Miguel O'Hara, is heading to the other side of that time portal to save Spider-Man from his pre-destined fate. Player control jumps back and forth from between Spider-Man trying to survive and O'Hara trying to reach Spider-Man to keep him alive. Refreshingly, the entirety of the game is delivered in this manner, where the actions of the Spidey in the present time affects the world in 2099, such as structural layout, technology development, and historical information.
Unlike Shattered Dimensions, Edge of Time takes a more realistic direction with the graphics, which is for the better. The story is much more serious than what Shattered Dimensions had, so the change in visual delivery is both appropriate and welcome. The character textures look very detailed and dynamic, with animations that give the feel of Spider-Man the entire way through the story. Key cutscenes are also rendered in cinematics, giving those moments another level of importance to the rest of the game.
As expected, Spider-Man has a very comprehensive combat system that applies as well as it can to a video game. To remain clear, the combat is fluid, tight, rewarding, and entertaining. The only issue I found was having the exact ability to target specific enemies within as group on the fly for either a web ball for distraction or a web assault, and it would sometimes hit the wrong target and potentially ruin combos.
Contrarily, boss fights are quite enjoyable. These boss fights require finding patterns that randomly rotate between different repeated combat rotations, and these fights tend to take a while to finish. Otherwise, the boss fights are intense and very satisfactory - particularly the final bosses. Without revealing too much, the final fight also uses the time switching story element in a very unique and enjoyable way.
Surprisingly, the music in Spider-Man was very appropriately placed in the game to make the exact portrayed feelings in the game enunciated very nicely. The pinnacle moment in this was near the beginning, where the doom of Spider-Man was almost upon him, giving the situation a very sombre feeling that caught me in the grand and fast pace of the story that I didn't expect to be so spontaneously and applicably emotional.
The challenges from Shattered Dimensions make their beloved return to Edge of Time, and each prompt in-game makes each situation a goal rather than a destination. Most challenges are either timed or exact ones that require haste, accuracy, and damage avoidance. This feature on top of free content access through Hero HQ gives Edge of Darkness a moderately high replay value.
The Amazing Spider-Man is known for quick wit and quick reflexes. Edge of Time has both in spades, along with a few surprises. Apart from a few unexplained character ties and some slightly stagnating gameplay leading up to the last boss fight, the game bodes very well as a second iteration into a game series, and it gives the true fans and new fans something equally enjoyable without losing interest or sense.