I have been on the lookout for Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions. Meaning I am searching for it to lower it's price to a level that I feel I can and should buy it. My luck is that the price has not changed for a while now. Which is very frustrating since while I hope that game might be worth it I am not entirely sure if it is worth the current price they are asking. Then on friday this title caught my eye. It was on sale and basically a no brainer for me to purchase it. Only after buying and playing it I realized that there might have been a good reason for it to be on sale.
Visually I have no remarks whatsoever. Actually for me that is very rarely a criteria. Although it is always a plus if a game is nice to look at. But one thing that is almost unforgivable is the lack of freedom when it comes to swinging. I understand that with how the game is set up that you are limited. Then again there are many other things that were in the game and made no sense whatsoever which I will get into later. Spidey should be able to swing properly. It is one of the elements that makes Spiderman so awesome. Not having that ability or as restricted as it was seriously sucks out a lot of fun. They tried to compensate that with yellow markers / circles at certain points where you could webzip to with a little press on the right trigger button. But sometimes these markers disappear on you and then you are unable to attach to whatever you wanted to attach to usually while you already are swinging. Always leading for Spiderman to fall on the bottom of the floor where you had to find a marker again to go up. Which took out all of the speed that Spiderman is so famous for. Very bad move on the developers part.
One other thing I noticed was that very little thought is needed to do combat. It becomes a button mashing affair especially when overwhelmed with a lot of enemies at the same time. You kinda have to since there is almost no room and time to press the available combo's properly. Some of the combo's are really cool and pretty effective and remain to be so until the very end. There almost seems no point in unlocking and upgrading them. But I did anyway since I was convinced it would make the game more fun. At times it did and at times it didn't. It was pretty random plus you need to have a lot of patience since the baddies come at you over and over again. Defeated the enemies in one room they show up in the next. Very rarely were you confronted with a new type of enemy. And when you are it hardly matters. Repetition is not always an issue for me but there has to be a reason to make the fighting a lot more fun. When I started to get bored with the game I just stopped playing until I felt like it again and continued until I feel the need to stop again.
Then I got confronted with something that apparently was in Shattered Dimensions as well, free fall sequences very similar to the flying sequences in God of War 3. How are these even possible? Aren't you supposed to be inside a building? A pretty large and high one but still. With the speed you are falling you should have hit the bottom after the first one. And there are like multiple of these sequences. These sequences were annoying to say the least. I thought I could outsmart them by upgrading my health. As it turns out that doesn't do anything since the game will still make you lose a proportional part of your health. I get that the developers want to add some challenge where you have to react quickly and be focused. But as soon as you got that under control they add more difficulty by throwing fire and time warps at you so that you hit walls that previously weren't there. The only way to avoid them is to increase the speed / dive which makes it really hard to control Spidey 2099 which was very hard to start with. These make me scream at the screen. (My poor TV suffered from the vocal abuse but I made it up so don't you worry).
But what got me through this game then? Well, the interactions between the two Spidermen. It was their banter and the way they commented towards the events that made me keep playing the game. Plus while not really that impressive I did think that the way the story moves along was quite nice.
I think this Spiderman game is made for the casual fan. Someone who wants to play the game at very random and brief moments. Who is not particularly interested in the stories, the characters or the gameplay. Sad thing is that Spiderman easily could have been replaced by another super hero and it would not have made a difference. Although the game is filled with references and easter eggs for the comic fans. I can't deny that I had fun even with all the flaws and mistakes I have mentioned. But compared to for example Web of Shadows this is a very poor Spiderman game.