Spider Man Edge of Time Review
Another year, another Spider Man title. Don’t get me wrong, I love Spider Man. He’s my favorite Marvel hero, but damn it Activision, let me miss him. You’re going to drive yet another awesome series into the ground. Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero come to mind. Oh, and if you’re going to release a game every year, at least make sure each subsequent game is better than the last!!! /rant
Today, I sat down and fired up my Xbox to check out Spider Man: Edge of Time. First thing I noticed about this game is that the plot is rather questionable. I know, I know, I’m being a purist here, but you can’t tell me just because Peter Parker dies the entire world goes to hell in a hand basket, can you? I mean, this IS the same universe that contains hundreds of other heroes. I don’t think the Avengers, Iron Man, etc. would stand for Alchemax taking over everything, time travel or not. Evil corporations are evil no matter what time they’re in. Not to mention, why does the Daily Bugle turn into Alchemax, anyway?
Plot gripes aside, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the gameplay. Combat is fast and fluid, and Amazing Spider Man packs a punch as he weaves in and out of enemies with ease – in other words, if you’ve played a Spider Man game in the past three years, you know what to expect here. The notable addition for the Amazing half of the game is the ability to accelerate time, thus being able to dodge lasers easily.
The 2099 half of the game, aside from the many free-fall sequences, do not differentiate themselves from Amazing enough to be called a different segment of the game. Even the ability to create decoys is a bit of a letdown here. I was expecting much more of a difference.
One thing I do have to note though – the entire game pretty much takes place within an office building. So, you liked web slinging through buildings only to drop down on baddies? Nope. Not here. This game feels less like a Spider Man game and more like a, dare I say it, God of War or perhaps even Force Unleashed with Spidey powers. Of course, being inside of a office building doesn’t allow for much variety in atmosphere, either.
Enemies are bland and uninteresting, and boss battles are few and far between. Even the “change the past to effect the future” puzzles are heavily scripted and often require little more than pressing a button or hitting a switch. The game’s objectives are also extremely repetitive – Parker himself jokes after doing something three times “What is this, a video game?” Indeed.
That’s not to say the game doesn’t have its upsides. Beenox did an excellent job with the overall presentation of the game. It looks slick, the sounds are great down to every ‘thwip’, and the voice acting provided by Christopher Daniel Barnes (of the 90s Spider Man cartoon) and Josh Keaton are excellent. The banter between Amazing Spider Man and 2099 Spider Man is awesome and had me laughing out loud at points. Hell, even the main characters make fun of the game’s convoluted plot.
Combat is good enough where you will still have fun, even though the enemies you are fighting pose little threat to you if you upgrade your character correctly through the now standard experience system in most action games.
Overall, Spider Man Edge of Time isn’t a bad game – it just feels like a step backwards after last year’s excellent Shattered Dimensions. With the lack of replay value other than the standard unlockable costumes, we wouldn’t recommend more than a rental. Get those Gamefly accounts ready folks, because I wouldn’t necessarily skip this one. The game is still fun to play, despite all of my gripes will the story and environments. That being said, the game is short. So in all, Edge of Time is definitely a rental, and it falls just short of being a worthy addition to any Spider Man fan’s library.
[Reviewed on Xbox 360]
Dustin Steiner is GameZone's eSports Correspondent and Freelance Editorialist. Follow him on Twitter @SteinerDustin