Spider-Man: Edge of Time Review


Spider-Man is one of the most prolific media superheroes of all time. Since his first appearance in 1962, he has starred in seven animated television series, a live-action television series, four live-action movies, more video games than you can shake a stick at, and even a show on Broadway (problem, Batman?). Add in the new movie and animated series that are set for a 2012 debut and you’ve got yourself a busy superhero! Right now, we have Spider-Man: Edge of Time, the follow-up to last year’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Edge of Time. Does Spider-Man still have what it takes to command the leading role in a video game or is his time running out?

Peter Parker returns as the Amazing Spider-Man, joined by Miguel O’Hara from Shattered Dimensions (the Spider-Man of 2099). O’Hara is suspicious of Walker Sloan, the new guy at work, and decides to tail him to find out exactly what dastardly deeds he’s up to. O’Hara discovers that Sloan plans to go into the past and start Alchemax, the company they both work for, changing history as everyone knows it. Alchemax is the corporate evil in the 2099 timeline. This historical tampering alters things like the Daily Bugle’s existence and Peter Parker’s employment. Another thing on Sloan’s sick and twisted list is to have the original Spider-Man killed, inciting O’Hara to save Peter from his untimely doom. Using Peter’s stored in Alchemax archives, he creates a chronal link between the two of them to keep in contact and let each other know when they’re in trouble and how to fix it. This is prominent throughout the game, and although it doesn’t necessarily help you other than moving the game forward story-wise, it is a nice touch to hear what the other Spider-Man has to say. It’s not a knock-out narrative, but it’s a passable story for a comic book game.

Speaking of what the Spider-Men have to say, there is some serious voice talent in this game. Two veteran Spider-Man voice actors return to play the roles with Josh Keaton as Peter Parker and Christopher Daniel-Barnes as Miguel O’Hara. Some of the many talented voice actors joining them are Steve Blum, Katee Sackhoff (of Battlestar Galactica fame), and Val Kilmer. The voice acting is very well done by all of the actors, but sometimes Miguel O’ Hara says a little too much during combat. I’m all for Spider-Man being a smart-ass chatterbox, but when O’Hara is portrayed as the “serious Spider-Man” as he is in this game, it is ridiculously cheesy when he says, “I’m your not-so-friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.”

Edge of Time borrows a lot from Shattered Dimensions. The gameplay and traversal are almost identical to its predecessor, but it does add a few interesting mechanics. Peter Parker now has Hyper Sense which makes him move at blinding fast speeds that dodge every projectile and laser sent his way. O’Hara, on other hand, can set a decoy of himself that his enemies will be duped by, giving him a chance to get the drop on his unsuspecting foes. The decoy can also be used to get past doors that need to be demolished by rockets or to get past turrets that will eat you up with bullets if you give them the chance. Both Spider-Men have the ability to use their spider sense to find out where they need to go and which enemy has a key if one is needed to continue. These new powers may be simple and not very engaging, but they work perfectly and force you to use strategy in combat.

Free falling makes a return and a triumphant one at that. The free falling sections are a lot of fun in this game, as opposed to the groan-inducing moments in Shattered Dimensions. Players can pay their thanks to a little cursor that shows exactly what you’re going to hit if you don’t move. This small addition to the free falling has made it into a part of the game that I wish there was more of. Fans of Shattered Dimensions can also be thankful that Beenox has decided to cut out Accelerated Vision, which was more of a pain than anything. It’s 100% more enjoyable to play as Spider-Man 2099 in this game.

The combat isn’t particularly engaging. You can make it through the game by button mashing or you can take the high road and learn to chain your combos. It’s pretty basic action combat reminiscent of God of War. One thing that I felt was interesting was that you can run away from some of the battles you are presented with. I found that was the easy way out if I didn’t want to deal with the large number of enemies in a certain room. The number of enemies is never overwhelming, but it can take up a lot of your time. Going through the game a second time, though, I found it was easier to dispatch with the small armies due to my newly upgraded Spider-Men.

One of the things that can be said about the game is that it looks fantastic. Even though the environments are not always the most interesting, the character models all look great and the pre-rendered cutscenes look absolutely beautiful. The Spider-Men’s uniforms look particularly good. The textures on the suits are finely detailed and – like Batman’s cape in Arkham Asylum – Peter Parker’s suit gets ripped to pieces as you make your way through the story. Along with the pretty visuals, Edge of Time has absolutely no load screens after the first initial load into the game. There are very few times that the game will pause for less than a second to a couple seconds. They are few and far between and do not detract from the experience.

The game’s story is short and players will be able to beat it within a few sittings. But thankfully, this game lends itself incredibly well to New Game Plus, letting you jump into the story at any point to completely upgrade the Spider-Men, complete any unfinished challenges, and gather the rest of the collectibles. The upgrades and challenges are extremely similar to what appeared in Shattered Dimensions, but for me the collectibles are where it’s at. The game supplies you with a large array of costumes from Spider-Man’s history including the Bombastic Bagman, Iron Spider, the Scarlet Spider, and even the new Future Foundation costume. They all look so great that if you’re a fan, it’s worth playing through at least a part of the game with each of them. There are other collectibles, but the costumes are the high point among them.

Spider-Man: Edge of Time is no Arkham Asylum. It’s not going to blow anyone’s mind outside of the cutscenes and it probably won’t be up for any Game of the Year awards. But what it is is one of the best Spider-Man games out there today. There is a lot of fun to be had with this game and thanks to the New Game Plus, collectibles, and challenges, there is a large amount of replay value. If you have no interest at all in Spider-Man then you probably won’t enjoy this game, but if you are a fan, this is definitely a game for you. Even those with a vague interest in the character or those who are fans of Marvel will find something to love about this game. Spider-Man: Edge of Time is a step up from Shattered Dimensions and paints a very nice picture for the future of Spider-Man games.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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