Over the past few years Activision has put out quite a few Spider-Man titles all promising something different. Some promising the best open world Spider-Man experience ever, and while others promise for the webslinger to go back to his roots. This year in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions we were offered up something different, four Spider-Mans. You read that right, this year developer Beenox has offered up four of the more popular versions of the comic book hero all in one package. So is it four times the fun? Read our full review to find out!
If you have read any of my past reviews of Spider-Man games I have been very consistent is saying that I would prefer a Spider-Man series that continued to improve rather then going to something brand new every year. I also prefer the open-world Spider-Man games but if they wanted to go linear it would be a perfect opportunity to do something the movies never did which is follow an entertaining story plot.
Instead this year we have a game that literally has no identity where you play as four versions of Spider-Man, which include Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099, and Spider-Man Noir. The basic premise of Shattered Dimensions is that the villain (Mysterio) has taken this tablet and broken it into four dimensions. It is now the job of the four different Spider-Man to work for the common goal and bring peace back to the world. It’s a rather clever way of tying the four different versions of Spider-Man into one game but sadly the story does little to nothing to move the game forward.
Once you have gone through the opening tutorial mode, which let’s you sink into the different playing styles of the four Spider-Mans you are off on your way. It is a rather lengthy introductions but somewhat needed given the different playing styles of the four spideys. Each Spider-Man has a different focus, Noir being more stealth, 2099 being faster paced, Ultimate being a beat-em up, and Amazing being more of a combination of movement and fighting. The idea in concept is brilliant as it alleviates the age-old Spider-Man problem of being repetitive, however sadly it causes a host of other issues.
What has really bothered me more then anything with past Spider-Man games and manages to be a glaring issue in this game is the camera. I cannot tell you how many times the camera would get lost in the shuffle and cause me to spend 5-10 seconds just trying to get my bearings. You would think by now they could figure out a workable camera angle for Spider-Man but this game just doesn’t cut it. The other major issue for me is that the game even with four different Spider-Man’s manages to still feel repetitive. There are some different flavors thrown in throughout the way but the main premise is make it through an area, fight the boss, get a piece of the tablet, rinse and repeat. It seems like the developers have some original ideas but never managed to capitalize on them.
If there is one thing I can say for Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions is it is a beautiful game. The developers did a superb job of capturing the four different Spider-Man’s and the time period they are set in. When you are playing Noir there is a great aged camera filter that really makes lurking in the shadows feel like you would want Spider-Man Noir to feel. At the same token Spider-Man 2099 feels like a Spider-Man game set in the future, which is a really impressive feat. The visuals are really the shining star of what otherwise is a rather lackluster experience.
Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions is a game on paper that sounds like a sure fire success. I can just see why you would want to create a game that features four different versions of Spider-Man. Given recent criticism of past Spider-Man games being to repetitive this seems like a sure fire way of fixing that problem. However two things happen you still have a game that feels repetitive and you brought along one of the classic Spider-Man game problems of a horrific camera. Combine those two areas and as much as we all love our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man it takes away from the experience.
One thing is for sure, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is a great looking game, and it is a game that in concept sounds impressive. However when the rubber hits the road it just manages an average at best experience that won’t change anyone’s mind about Spider-Man video games. Unless you are a diehard Spider-Man fan I would say there are better games to sink your time into this fall.