Spider-man first appeared on the scene in 1962 and was born from the desire to create a character with whom teens could identify. Over the time it seems Spider-man has been pushed aside as other popular super heroes are developed, but he still remains one of the more iconic super heroes of all time.
There is something about his spidey sense, super human strength and ability to climb walls that makes every young boy want to be like him. From recent memory, there hasn’t been much to write home about in terms of Spider-man video games, but could Web of Shadows be one of the better Spider-man games yet?
Web of Shadows throws you straight into the action in the middle of New York City. The story is based upon civilians of New York being infected with Symbiote (the substance that caused the black alternate Spidey suit) and the ensuing madness that follows. You control Spider-man pre infection and guide him through to the end of the story which has a number of alternate endings. From the outset, the ability to swing among the skyscrapers using spider-man’s web is easily the most fun part of the game. It is surprisingly simple to do and only takes a brief moment to get the hang of – you will find yourself flying and flipping in any direction you please in no time.
As you progress through the story, you can choose to play as red or black Spidey and you can switch between the two at any time you please. Most of you should be familiar with the red/black Spidey suit story by now and it is pleasing to see the implications of good and bad decisions made, on the outcome of the story. Combat plays a large part of the game, with a big emphasis on linking together combos. While the controls are simple enough for the beginning gamer, there is some depth added through the use of a countering system and varying types of attacks you can dial in. However, to me it all seemed a little too heavy on the button mashing side of things which may or may not suit your style of gameplay or the type of game you choose to play. Combat takes place on the ground, in the air and also on the sides of buildings as you would expect! This allows for a good variety of moves, which can also be upgraded as you progress through the game.
Visually there is not a whole lot to discuss. Combat animations look great, with a lot of fluidity between combos and transitions. The lead characters look spectacular as you would hope, but the city didn’t fare as well. While a large free roaming city was a great idea, they didn’t completely pull it off, with scenery pop up quite an issue as you swing around New York on your web. It can become quite a hindrance as you chase down villains in some of the chase scenes. The missions are pretty straight forward which is a good thing in my books – you won’t be left wondering how to get past a certain level or boss, instead you will be able to steamroll through the missions at an enjoyable pace. It’s great to be able to step back from the action though and enjoy a little freestyle Spidey swinging (web style of course) and there are the odd side mission you can partake in.
I actually found the story a little too erratic at times, with the constant ‘guest appearances’ from other Marvel super heroes leaving me feeling almost awkward. It just feels like the story was hacked together with very little thought or effort put in. And who did the voice over for Spider-man? Seriously, he sounds like a 14 year old pre-pubescent boy on crack. If you can look past the button masher style of controls and the weak story you can probably enjoy most aspects Web of Shadows has to offer. While I haven’t played any other Spider-man games, I definitely wouldn’t feel comfortable suggesting this could be one of the better Spidey games available – but ill leave that decision up to you guys!