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The history of recent 'Spiderman' games has been as topsy turvy as those of the films. 'Spiderman 2' is by far the best game and film in the series, both building on what had gone before and making them better. However, like the third film, the third game sucked. Somehow Activision had managed to suck all the imagination and fun from the previous games, even though the third game was designed on a more powerful console. Despite my annoyance with the third game I still love the comic book genre and Spidey is a fave. I bought and played the child friendly 'Spiderman: Friend or Foe' and found it surprisingly decent. Therefore, when a new game came out for the more mature audience that was based on 'Spiderman' the franchise rather than films I gave it another chance - was I right to do so?
The previous three Spiderman games have all followed the same sort of gameplay, to a varying degree, dependent on the power of the console. 'Spiderman - Web of Shadows' (WoS) is no different and keeps the open world version of New York. As Spiderman you get to web swing around the city and find different side missions and quests to partake in. You have the ability to stick to walls, swing and fire web shots at the enemy. As the game progresses you unlock more powerful skills and must take on a more vicious type of enemy. 'WoS' is the a game that luckily follows the joys of 'Spiderman 2' and not '3' as the swinging is back to its best and you get a sense of freedom and movement. The side missions themselves are a little samey over time, but at least the main levels are fun.
It is the area of good Spiderman and bad Spiderman that the game differs from previous incarnations. Early in the game you are taken over by the same mysterious liquid that created Venom. You can now swap between Spidey as we know him and an edgy dark Spidey who is more interested in his own needs. The different characters can be swapped at will and have different powers. I did not find the differences huge and played as the original Spiderman for most of the game as he was better equipped. However, the fact that you can double the moves is good fun. The game has several endings depending on how you play the game - good or bad, which will you be? With the added split personality effects the game did enough to recapture what was good about 'Spiderman 2's gameplay, without being inspiring. (3 out of 5)
With freedom from the films Activision had the chance to go anywhere with this game. The world inhabited is slightly different from that of the films with a more science fiction leaning. What I liked about the story was less the moral ambiguity of the good/bad Spiderman and more the fact that the story escalated as the city becomes more and more corrupted by Venom. The story proved a little cheesy for me and was not as intelligent as I would have liked, however, the characters were strong enough to make the cut scenes worth watching. It was nice to see a few cameos from other Marvel characters who would aid you depending on your allegiances to good or evil. (3 out of 5)
With many tie in games you expect the game to be over in a few short hours. I was surprised then that 'WoS' actually goes on for a little too long! The game is pretty large and there are lots of side missions to complete to gain experience and fully complete the game. Even by concentrating on the story missions alone you are in a game of at least 10 hours. To sustain this length the game adapts over time giving you different enemies from gangs, to cyber soldiers to aliens. Personally, I did not find that the gameplay mechanics developed enough against the various foes that they made much difference.
If you are into achievement points, to fully complete the game will take a long time. There are many hidden orbs around the world that would take an age to find. One good point in that the world does remain open after completion to allow you to finish off any collection areas you do not have. (4 out of 5)
Because 'WoS' is based in the real New York there is direct comparison available; not only with the real world city, but also other games set there. 'WoS' is not the prettiest of games and does enough to be functional and not much else. The city is clear enough and the draw distances are impressive. However, in order to be able to see into the horizon the game has sacrificed lots of details on the buildings. The multitude of grey skyscrapers and flats means that the game was never a beautiful thing to look at. (3 out of 5)
Like with many open world games the level design is not about levels as such, but the world itself. 'WoS' is a realistic version of New York, but as someone who has played several games with the setting that is not enough. The trick is to use the world to create great missions within it to act as the levels. 'WoS' fails to do this in enough different ways to remain exciting throughout. Too many times you end up doing a similar task painted with different colours. I would have liked more opportunities to go inside buildings or elsewhere in the world. (2 out of 5)
Separate from the films means creative freedom, but none of the actors from the films to do voices. This is a blessing in disguise because Tobey Maguire is even blander as a voice actor than he is on the screen. The actor that replaces him does a decent enough version of Spiderman to feel true to the character, Unfortunately, none of the actors on show stand out and are only able to do an adequate job. This is the same for the sound effects and music that is there, but not noteworthy. (3 out of 5)
'Spiderman: Web of Shadows' is not a game that stands out unless you are a fan of Spiderman. Like 'Spiderman 2' it successfully recreates the feel of the comics and films with the open city and the ability to swing. However, the second game is many years old now and 'WoS' does not do enough to progress to warrant it as a must buy. The added extras of evil Spiderman do not do enough and only the progressive collapse of the city stands out as unique. I enjoyed the game whilst it lasted, but the average game mechanics means that the game feels average as a whole. (3 out of 5)
Maker: Activision RRP £50
Amazon uk £13.29
There hasnt been a spider man movie for a while yet a game is out. Web of shadows follows the web swingers adventure as he deals with a venom symbiote infection to the rest of the city. The story makes you meets some familiar faces rom venom, kingpin to wolverine which is always nice to see. The story is god to go through once with options to play as good or bad and having multiple endings depending on your choices in the game.
The gameplay has been changed adding some good combos and upgradeable move list. You can aso switch between the black and red suit to switch between power and agility. The web swingin is pretty much the same from previous games and gets boring soon.
The music is just about allright but the vice acting is downright terrible. The graphics aint better either especially that of characters like mary jane. The main storyline is farily short and although there is abundance of side quests they quickly get boring and tedious after a while. There are about 2000 colleactible sprayed across the city but again gets boring to collect after a while.
If you realy need a spider man fix then this will keep you occupied for a while otherwise avoid.
Spiderman Web of Shadows is the first Spiderman game in a while that isn't a movie tie in, surely a good thing as it must have had more time in development!
The story of the game isn't very complex, its about a big symbiote invasion which is infecting the city and turning it evil, Spiderman must step in and save the day! Perhaps the guys over at Treyarch have been relying on having a movie script to give them a story these past years.
Spiderman has been infected with the symbiote too after an epic battle with Venom so he can use the powers it has to offer with the black suit or stick with his red suit.
The gameplay has been refined further from Spiderman 3, swinging through the city is even better with even more cool flips and acrobatic manoeuvres to perform and it's still one of the most fun ways to traverse a very well replicated version of New York.
Spiderman now has two suits available all the time, the speedier classic red suit or the more badass and aggressive black suit which offers the lure of more powerful attacks, you can get upgrades for both suits too.
There are a few boss fights here which is a good excuse to chuck in some classic Marvel characters, enter such favourites like Wolverine, the Black Cat and Rhino. As you can imagine this leads to some really fun match ups!
The game also has sidemissions like those found in Spiderman 2 to keep you occupied and upon completion they will award you with points to upgrade Spidey. The game also has good replay value as you can pick either a good or evil ending depending on your in game choices.
This is one of the better Spiderman games released and if you are a fan of the character you will love this game!
When a deadly symbiote invasion devastates the streets of New York City, only Spider-Man can seize control and bring the city salvation. From the game's direction and outcome through to Spider-Man's destiny, Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows puts control in the player's hands.