Spider-Man: Edge of Time Review
- Published on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 01:00
- Written by Kevin
- Hits: 882
At the end of August I got the chance to go to Seattle for PAX Prime. During my time their one of the video game demos that I got to play was Spider-Man: Edge of Time. I thought it was going to be yet another Activision quick cash in given the development time. To my surprise, Edge of Time was one of my favorite demos from PAX. The demo made me actually look forward to Spider-Man: Edge of Time. I had high hopes it would take everything its predecessor did right and improve on it.
As the spiritual sequel to 2010’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Edge of Times had a lot to live up to. Though I did not think Shattered Dimensions was a great game it was a fun one. Shattered Dimensions delivered the first good Spider-Man video game since Spider-Man 2. The question going into this latest video game adventure for Spider-Man was if Beenox would be able to build on their success with only a 10 month development cycle.
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is a big no. Though Spider-Man: Edge of Time has refined the gameplay mechanics it did not improved on everything else Shattered Dimesions did right. The truth is one of the few positives of this game is that the gameplay runs much smoother than last year. Specifically, the Spider-Man 2099 Halo jump sequence have become much more exciting this time around.
I actually had fun discovering Amazing and 2099 Spider-Man’s powers for the first few levels. That fun did not last long because once I finished playing the first act of the game I quickly discovered the monotonous nature of the gameplay. It quickly became apparent the one dimensional nature of the combat as all the enemies had the same fighting patterns and there was nothing new brought to the table this time around.
One of the best things about last year’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions was the fact that each world had their own set of villains to face. Though most of the gameplay mechanics were similar each Spider-Man had a different way of fighting their world’s thugs and villains. That is not the case hear because even though the Amazing (616-) and 2099 Universe exist in two different timelines they have the same exact enemies to fight.
It is quickly discovered that Beenox and Activision took the easy way out this time around and just gave us the same 5 enemies to fight over and over again. There is no variety or increase level in difficulty. There aren’t even boss battles spread throughout to break up the fact you are fighting the same enemies over and over again in both worlds.
Even when you get a boss battle, of which there are only three different bosses, they are quite easy thanks to Amazing Spider-Man’s spider-sense and Spider-Man 2099 illusion abilities. At no point do you feel challenged because just like the countless respawned enemies you fight over and over again the bosses all have their patterns. These patterns are quick to see through after seeing it once since they each have two moves that are easily dodged thanks to the two Spider-Men’s abilities. Instead of the bosses being challenging they were just as boring as the thugs you fight.
The game is not helped with the convoluted storyline that is written by Peter David. Though the concept of space and time crumbling due to circumstances of Amazing Spider-Man's death is interesting and fresh for a Spider-Man story the actual development quickly gets convoluted and story gets lost in itself. From beginning to end, the story is completely rushed and half-hazard with both David and the game developers taking easy ways out of things with little explanation. Even when you get to the big plot twist of the story it is not as much of a twist as it is the story losing a sense of focus.
It is a shame because the voice cast for Edge of Time is excellent. Returning, we had Josh Keaten, from the Spectacular Spider-Man, as the Amazing Spider-Man and, my personal favorite, Christopher Daniel Barnes, from the 90s Spider-Man: The Animated Series, as Spider-Man 2099. Barnes specifically steals the show this time around with his version of 2099 sounding like Spider-Man: TAS. That is a big win in my book as I still consider Barnes the voice for Spider-Man having grown up watching the 90's cartoon.
At the end of of the day, even with refined gameplay and a fantastic voice cast Spider-Man: Edge of Time is not able to get past the problems that come with a 10 month development cycle. Even with a cool premise and one of the best openings to a Spider-Man game Edge of Time never went out of its way to amaze, only disappoint. Spider-Man: Edge of Time only disappoints and bores during the 6 hours of content it has to offer.
If you want to get your Spider-Man video game fix do not look at this to do that for you. Instead go back and play Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions for that fix. This way you can save your money for Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Skyrim and all the other great games coming out these next three months are released.
Video Game Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10