SDCC 2011: Spider-man: Edge of Time (Xbox 360) Preview
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 08.01.2011
Hands On: 411mania gets a look at the latest installment of the Spider-Man videogame franchise from Activision. Play as classic Spidey or Spidey 2099 in the Edge of Time!
During a special Activision preview event at the San Diego Comic-Con, I got the chance to play the new Spider-Man: Edge of Time videogame. Only the Xbox 360 versionw as available for play. The new game puts you in the role of the classic 616 style or "Amazing" Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) and Spider-Man 2099 (aka Miguel O'Hara). The game is a sequel to Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions which was also developed by Beenox [Developer of Edge of Time].
The game features a new story written by longtime comics veteran Peter David. The game will apparently take place after the events of the Shattered Dimensions game. The plot brings Peter and Miguel together and the two have to team up to prevent a great catastrophe (Mary Jane's death?). Involved in the scheme are Alchemax and the scientist Walter Sloan. Video clips to the demo also apparently hint at Sloan's plot involving Anti-Venom who is attacking Spider-Man. Black Cat will also be appearing in the game.
There were different levels in the demo where you could play as either Peter Parker or Miguel O'Hara. Peter's uniform is tattered and the poor guy looks to have gone through absolute hell. Spidey is in an Alchemax lab and is warned by Spidey 2099 to take out these nasty zombie science experiment monsters that are attacking Spidey 2099 in the future. So you have to search the lab facility for the zombie monster tanks and destroy them. This will keep the monsters from attacking Spidey 2099 in the future. Spidey will also have to fend off various armored guards and foot soldiers. The graphics and environments look really tight and smooth. The CG renders and models for the Spider-mans look great.
So let's talk about controls. Web-slinging and web ziplining works very well. Combat and attacks not so much. The action fails to measure up to Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 which were a lot more smooth. The combat is extremely quick which isn't so bad, but it is quick in a very herky-jerky and awkward way. The combat is very rough and the controls at times were frustrating. I like that the fighting incorporates web ziplining up toward your enemies in mid-air, but besides that it lacks certain polish and smoothness I want a Spider-Man game to have. Besides his different melee and web type attacks, Spider-Man can build up a meter that will let him unleash a time paradox attack. This will slow his enemies down and let Spider-Man speed up and attack them.
In the Spider-Man 2099 level, you have to locate a key to unlock a door. Unfortunately this one was a little harder to figure out. It appeared you needed to use a special decoy ability for Spidey 2099 to turn the missiles of a robot security drone on the robot. The decoy ability was a little confusing and hard to figure out how to use right, but it looks like a cool feature. Spidey 2099's level did look impressive.
The other frustrating aspect of the demo is that it would automatically stop after a certain amount of time instead of letting you play through. The story aspects of the game were also a little hard to follow and confusing from playing the demo. Also, Anti-Venom is a good guy, why has he turned against Spider-Man? It must be some sort of mind control. Also at some point in the game, Spidey will be pitted against his old flame in the Black Cat. Black Cat in the game will be voiced by Battlestar Galactica's Starbuck herself, Katee Sackhoff. Josh Keaton returns once again to voice Spider-Man which is awesome. Christopher Daniel Barnes voices Spider-Man 2099, and Laura Vandervoort voices Mary Jane.
Spider-Man: Edge of Time looks like it still needs some work which will hopefully be smoothed out for its release, but we shall see. The game is set to drop on October 4 on Xbox 360, PS3, Windows PC, Nintendo Wii, DS, and 3DS.