Batman Arkham Asylum was a huge step up for games based on super heroes, since it wasn’t getting any better for Superman or other super hero games. It’s a shame since there is a lot of potential for making a good game based on a super hero. It works for Batman, so why doesn’t it work for Iron Man or Superman? A good example of at least having two good games to their name is Spider-Man. He has a game that was released on the Playstation and N64, which was good, and the movie-to-game adaptation of Spider-Man 2 was good too, but then he went back to sucking. Why can’t people use super heroes right? However, we now have a game that has potential, and is not that bad. The game I am speaking of is Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. I mean, when I saw this, I was instantly hooked, since what could go wrong by playing with four different Spider-Mans or would that be Spider-Men? Oh, whatever. Either way, this idea definitely works, but how well does it work? Well, let’s swing our way into the review and take a look.
The main story starts off with famous Spiderman villain, Mysterio, attempting to steal an artifact known as the “The Tablet of Order and Chaos”. Luckily, Spiderman comes in to save the day, and by save, I mean accidentally destroying a tablet that is probably worth millions. Mysterio then escapes with a part of the tablet. Madame Web contacts Spiderman saying that he needs the help of three other Spidermen from different universes and get all the pieces of the tablet back. By the way, Stan Lee narrates the story. That is just cool on its own merits.
The gameplay is different. It isn’t set in one specific style of gameplay. The first Spiderman we play with is from the Amazing series, and is more of an all-around fighter. He isn’t super fast or super strong, he is just good all-around. The second Spiderman we play with is Noir Spiderman. His gameplay is basically Batman Arkham Asylum “lite”. Noir is more stealth takedowns, and his boss fights are based around sneaking around your enemy and striking them without being seen. The third Spiderman we control is the 2099 Universe Spiderman. He is based more around speed, with certain areas and a specific area in the final fight where you are dashing towards a target. Finally, we get Ultimate Spiderman, who is definitely based around powerful moves. Two of the Spidermen really only have abilities that show off their attributes, like 2099 Spiderman has a mode where he can move faster than others, and Ultimate Spiderman has a berserk mode where you can use the power of the black suit to bring strong takedown moves. There are also certain areas where they take a God of War 3 first-person view, and punch the villains face in. The main goal is to go through each level and fight a boss at the end and get a fragment.
Graphically, the game is amazing. It looks like a comic book in 3D. I also like the design of certain characters, like Noir Spiderman and Mysterio have to be two of my favorite looks. The musical score is also very well done. Composer James Dooley, who is famous for soundtracks for Epic Mickey, Infamous, Dead to Rights 2, Jak and Daxter: the Lost Frontier, and for films like the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, did a wonderful job composing each world’s unique music. Another great piece of the presentation is the voice work with some pretty big names. Neil Patrick Harris voices Amazing Spiderman, Christopher Daniel Barnes voices Spiderman Noir, Dan Gilvezan voices Spiderman 2099, and Josh Keaton voices Ultimate Spiderman. The villain cast isn’t bad either, with some great actors, like Steve Blum voicing Hobgoblin and Vulture, John DiMaggio as Hammerhead’s voice, and fan favorite Marvel character Deadpool voiced by Nolan North. Then, we get some other big name actors like Fred Tatasciore as Carnage, David Kaye as the voice for Mysterio, Matt Willing as the Juggernaut, Dimitri Diatchenko as Sandman, John Kassir as Scorpion, Thomas F. Wilson as Electro, and voice actor legend Jim Cummings voicing Kraven and Goblin. This game must have had a big budget to have Jim Cummings.
Sadly, however, I found some rough areas that kind of pull the game back a few notches. I found that some of the villains, after getting the power from the tablet, feel the same. For one, Kraven and Vulture seem the same since they are both super fast. The same goes with Hobgoblin and Deadpool, since both make clones of themselves. Granted, they have their unique moments, but I think they could have easily made Vulture into, well, a humanoid Vulture! I also found some glitches that mostly dealt with the camera getting stuck in some areas and zooming in way too much. I have had to restart from the last checkpoint to get the camera back to normal. I also found that the camera could be awkward when you are climbing the walls, but I only found that issue in Spiderman Noir’s world due to the whole world being black and white, but mostly black. It just doesn’t feel polished camera-wise, and it takes away from the game itself.
All and all, though, Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions is a really good game. I say it is definitely one of the better super hero licensed games out there, but it does have a few rough areas like repetitive missions, glitches, and not enough variety of things to do. So, now we have two games that people need to use to make great licensed games. I say, rent it first if you’re not the biggest Spiderman fan, but if you are, then I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t have this game. It’s fun, and in my humble opinion, leaves itself open for a sequel.
This game gets an 8 out of 10