Hey True Believers!!! Stan “GUI J” Lee here to bring you another tale of suspense, and highflying adventures from our wall crawling friend “The Amazing Spiderman.” This time our adventure comes to us in the form of “Spiderman; Web of Shadows” for the Xbox 360. The developers over at both Activision and Trearch bring us another shot at what has recently been a streak of lackluster Spiderman games, that have brought little to no innovation in quite some time.
I try to approach every super hero videogame with a fairly large amount of skepticism, especially since I am a self proclaimed comic book geek, I just hate to have my heart broken over, and over again by these games that only try to cash in on the name of the character franchise. As I start up the newest video game adventure for Spiderman, I knew I was in for something different; there was a sense of doom, and gloom, chaos that maybe Spiderman could not handle this time. For once in a comic book videogame the story line had me hooked from the start. The story for Spiderman: Web of Shadows involves a symbiote invasion (Symbiote is that thing that makes the villain Venom, for you comic book noobs) of New York. Forcing friends and enemies to work together, forming an uneasy alliance. As Spiderman you get to decide how this all plays out via a good or bad Spiderman. Selecting the use of Black Spiderman does this, as well as choosing the Red Spiderman (Outfits) I liked the pacing of the storyline also, as half of the game takes place around NY before the invasion even begins. By the time everything starts to fall apart you already feel like you are familiar with the city.
Being Spiderman is never an easy thing, especially if you had to control him in previous Spiderman games. Well, never fear true believers, because for the first time I think someone has actually come as close as we can to making you feel like our favorite web head. The thing that really stuck out right away was the detailed animations put into the Spiderman to make you truly feel how agile, yet powerful our superhero is. The combat (which you will do a lot of) is a great mix of both aerial and ground combat that can be strung together for a truly amazing visual feast. All of Spideys abilities are upgradeable adding to the combo-riffic arsenal he can hold. If you have played previous Spiderman games than you can see the groundwork that has been laid down for all the moves you can pull off, and while it may require some practice, (I’d say about an hour learning curve) you’ll find that in no time you’ll feel truly as bad ass as Spiderman should have been from the get go. Swinging throughout the city is the still the same as in previous Spiderman games. While not as frustrating, as in previous renditions of our hero I do once again find the camera to be the biggest blow with this game. After seeing our hero cling to walls, go upside own, and fly throughout the city from great heights, it is not uncommon for the games camera to go ape shit. This I feel had to be the most frustrating task for the developers and one that I don’t know can ever truly be mastered for a Spiderman game. The subtle animation additions added to Spiderman’s city swinging antics are once again a thing of comic beauty and while the cameras did go wonky while swinging (A LOT) I would find myself actually having a little more patience than with previous games. Probably because I was having so much fun living in a Marvel universe where the city felt alive.
Graphically the game is not the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, but for an open world game, the city does feel alive and the graphical attention to Spiderman’s character model is done very, very, well. (No I just got out of the water shiny Spiderman for you!)
The game play is spread apart with various missions, full of your standard share of escort, defeat enemies, protect innocents and so forth, that provide hours of really fun game play. What keeps it from being boring is how it is all tied into the story allowing it to flow in a harmonious comic book movement. Add to the fact that as you progress throughout the story you meek some of marvels mysterious Heroes and villains, which after strange encounters, can call upon them anytime to help you on your missions. For me it was Wolverine all day everyday. Spiderman: Web of Shadows may have a hard time shuffling itself out an already exceptional holiday line up due to the reputation of mediocre Spiderman games of the past, but if you are a comic book fan don’t let this one pass you buy its as good as it gets for Spidey fans. As for all you other gamers out there once the holidays start to slow down I say put on you web slingers and shoot down to your local game store for a solid, solid game that will provide more than your moneys worth of entertainment. And with that True Believers we give Spiderman: Web of Shadows for the XBOX 360 a Gamers Pub rating of…