Spider-Man: Edge of Time Review (PS3/360)

October 7, 2011

PlayStation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360

Spider-Man: Edge of Time is a third-person action adventure game developed by Beenox and published by Activision. Beenox acquired the rights to creating future Spider-Man titles after last year’s successful title, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Does Beenox’s second installment with Spidey show that they can continue to weave the much beloved Marvel character’s web or has this developer reached the edge of time?

Story: 5/5

Peter David, well known for writing the Spider-Man 2099 comics back in the 90’s, was brought in to help write the script for Spidey’s latest adventure…and what a story it is. As you start the game, you will literally see Spider-Man getting beaten to a pulp by Anti-Venom, whom has the ability to drain all the radiation out of Peter Parker. This ultimately leads him into not being able to do “whatever a spider can.” In the meantime, Spider-Man 2099 (Miguel O’Hara) is aware of Peter Parker approaching his untimely death and tries to find a way to notify Parker. After this opening sequence, they rewind time to show everything that was happening prior to Peter Parker’s death. The story essentially kicks off with Miguel O’Hara sneaking into the Alchemax, a corporation led by Dr. Walker Sloan. It is here where Miguel discovers Sloan’s plan to travel back in time and build upon his power and fortune, starting from an earlier time. Sloan opens the portal to Peter Parker’s present day and as Miguel enters the portal, he is restrained in between dimensions and forced to witness Peter Parker being murdered by Anti-Venom. Once he returns to 2099, he notices that New York City has changed into a grittier city due to Alchemax’s rise. Miguel then discovers that back in Peter Parker’s time period, the Daily Bugle ceases to exist and Parker works as a scientist for Alchemax. It is here where Miguel swipes Peter’s DNA from the company’s archives and is able to communicate with Parker during his time period, warning him of his death and trying to alter history back to it’s former state. The story progresses extremely well, with it’s superb dialogue, great pacing and nice plot twist later in the game.

Gameplay: 3/5

Let’s get one of the questions that many ask out of the way. There is no free roaming the city in this game. However, as much as people love their open world environments, not every single game needs to have that feature. Spider-Man: Edge of Time is a linear game with some slight backtracking involved. The game spans across 16 chapters throughout three acts (roughly a 7-8 hour campaign). The game relies heavily on what succeeded in Shattered Dimensions and tries to build off of that. While they enhanced a few gameplay mechanics, they also took a slight step back.

The combat in this game is a bit more polished than Shattered Dimensions, yet it’s been slightly simplified and doesn’t have as much complexity. As you progress through the game, you can upgrade each Spider-Man with new combat abilities to aid you in battle. Upgrading both characters will certainly aid you in dealing with the larger batch of enemies by the final act of the game. While some of the upgraded moves aren’t exactly necessary, utilizing them in combat certainly breaks up the monotonous button-mashing aspect that the game initializes on. You also receive the ability to freeze time via the “time paradox” trait earned early in the game.  This feature greatly helps out when you’re caught in a jam with tons of enemies and gives you a greater chance to take them down.  You have to fill up your spider gauge (located at the top-left corner of the screen) in order to use it but can only be filled up the more enemies you take out. The time paradox also doubles your strength so you can drastically weaken some of the tougher enemies later on in the game. The combat is not bad by any means and is 100% functional. It’s just a bit odd to see the combat get slightly downgraded from Shattered Dimensions.

The differences between playing as Parker and O’Hara are well…not much honestly. The differences lie in the setting each Spider-Man plays in, their combat move set and the fact that Spider-Man 2099 has a few free fall sequences. These free fall scenes (that return from Shattered Dimensions) are still one of the highlights in this game and always feels like an adrenaline rush. Peter Parker unfortunately, doesn’t have any specific sequences like Miguel O’Hara does. As for dodging, Peter Parker has an enhanced “hyper sense” ability that allows him to move at a ludicrous speed and dodge any attack coming at him. This is really sweet to initiate and a spectacle to see in action. Miguel O’Hara doesn’t have this same perk but rather utilizes his speed to create a decoy to confuse enemies so you can get the drop on them. You will notice the bottom right of the screen showing off certain scenes happening in each Spider-Man’s time period depending on who you play as. This feature is really neat as it truly builds upon the narrative.

When playing as Spider-Man, most people want to swing around in an outdoor environment. Well, you don’t get that in this game at all. The setting takes place throughout the entire Alchemax building, both the present day and future. While this sounds like an odd development choice, it really isn’t all that big a deal. The rooms you traverse through are normally large enough to web swing through and never pose much of a problem. A nice enhancement that Beenox made in this installment was polishing the web-zipping. In Shattered Dimensions, occasionally the game had an issue registering which object I wanted to web-zip to. This time around, it never became a problem and always felt like it zipped to the location I was facing. The camera has also been improved and never became an issue, no matter how intense the combat or platforming became. By far the coolest element the game had going for it was it’s cinematic design. Certain camera angles would come into effect during boss battles that truly enhanced the experience. When starting with Spider-Man 2099, the game’s credits are introduced throughout the environment as you sneak your way through Alchemax and tremendously added to that layer of cinematic experience.

Shattered Dimensions had some truly memorable boss battles so I was eager to see what Beenox was doing this time around. I was really satisfied with the boss fights again in Edge of Time, but there was one problem with them. There just wasn’t enough. There are a total of four bosses in the entire game, where as Shattered Dimensions had a total of 13 boss battles. This is a bit of a downer as the boss battles in this game are pretty cool…it’s just a shame that this department was lacking in quantity.

The Web of Challenges from Shattered Dimensions also returns. This time, they’ve cut the web down a little and made each chapter include roughly four to five challenges to complete. Some challenges are straight forward and simple such as, “defeat X amount of enemies within X amount of time” while some are downright insane such as, “don’t receive any damage and defeat X amount of foes.” The challenges are an addictive addition to tackle due to being able to start any challenge for any chapter in the Web of Challenges menu.  If you can best these challenges, you’ll unlock Spidey’s alternate costumes…and there’s many more this time around than with Shattered Dimensions. For all you web head fans, some of the costumes you’ll unlock are the Iron Spider costume from Civil War, the Ben Reilly costume and the Spider Armor just to name a few. Also, another rewarding feature that Beenox incorporated was for those who played Shattered Dimensions, they will automatically have some of the costumes unlocked.  It’s great to see a developer incorporate alternate costumes as unlockables, rather than overpriced DLC.

Graphics: 4/5

There’s no question that this is Spidey’s best looking adventure. While Spider-Man 2099 looks exactly the way he did in Shattered Dimensions (which is fine), it’s cool to see Peter Parker’s dimension with a more realistic art style. Spider-Man’s costume has a very photorealistic, detailed look to it that will please all wall-crawling fans. Both characters animate with the same fluid style as Shattered Dimensions since it is running off the same exact engine. The environments themselves look pretty good thanks to some dynamic lighting in certain areas. While the setting is strictly kept in the Alchemax building during the present and future, each era distinguishes a unique look to it. The only complaint really is that the main enemies you’ll be facing throughout the campaign don’t look as great as both Spideys.

Sound: 5/5

Easily some of the best voice acting in a game. Josh Keaton and Christopher Daniel Barnes reprise their roles as Peter Parker and Miguel O’Hara respectively. They both have a lot of charisma when portraying these characters and hearing the two of them bicker to each other back and forth is really spectacular. They execute their lines perfectly in which you can’t help but laugh with a lot of the jokes that are being thrown out there. It is also really cool to hear Val Kilmer making a return to the entertainment industry by playing Sloan and does an excellent job. Gerald Marino, known for his work on the God of War series, joins in on composing a really cinematic score that contains hints of God of War style music, with an Inception style mix to it. Add in some really tech-y tracks and this is one soundtrack that perfectly fits the setting and cinematic action.

Overall Score: 17/20 = 8.5 out of 10

Spider-Man: Edge of Time is another great addition to the catalog of Spider-Man games. While the gameplay mechanics have been simplified a bit from Shattered Dimensions, everything else is the real driving factor here. With an excellent story (crafted by Spider-Man 2099 co-creator, Peter David), top-notch voice acting, powerful cinematic soundtrack and solid visuals, Spider-Man: Edge of Time is one game that web heads won’t want to miss.

PROs:

+ Excellent Story

+ Amazing Voice Acting

+ Strong Soundtrack

+ Plenty of Unlockable Costumes

CONs:

– Simplified Combat

– Lack of Boss Battles

– No Outdoor Environments

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About Glacier928

Marcello is the founder, creator and editor-in-chief of GamersXtreme. His dedication and passion shows as he keeps gamers informed with daily news articles and provides truthful, honest opinions on all gaming related news. Having experience with video game design, as well as over 20 years of gaming under his belt, Marcello has always had a massive interest in the gaming society. Originally, he created GamersXtreme in the style of a magazine back in middle school. Today, he has taken what was created as a basic premise and has evolved it into the site it is today.

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6 Comments on “Spider-Man: Edge of Time Review (PS3/360)”

  1. Jourdan Cameron Says:

    Nice review! You know, I really would love to see an open-world Spiderman game, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this gen. And you’re right, it probably wouldn’t have gone with the story, anyway.

    Reply

    • Glacier928 Says:

      Thanks! While I really enjoyed open-world Spiderman games, I’m also perfectly fine with linear structure as well. We will certainly see a new open-world Spiderman game next generation.

      Reply

  2. James Says:

    Would you say this is up there with Spiderman 2’s videogame?

    Reply

    • Glacier928 Says:

      It’s interesting because Spider-Man 2 was not exactly my favorite Spider-Man game. The only thing I really enjoyed was the free-roaming in that game. The campaign itself was mediocre in my opinion. My personal favorites were Spider-Man for the PS1/N64, Ultimate Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows prior to the installments Beenox developed. While I’m not sure where I would rank it amongst my favorites, I will say that it is certainly worth playing if you’re a fan of Spider-Man.

      Let me know if you’re site intends on reviewing the 3DS version. I heard that it’s exactly like the console versions and if that’s the case, then the freefall sequences would look awesome in 3D.

      Reply

      • Cyberxion Says:

        Ooh, I had a love-hate thing going for Ultimate Spider-Man. On the one hand, the graphics were great and the storyline was interesting to me as a fan of the comics, but on the other, the gameplay just wasn’t up to snuff. The combat was alright, but the chase missions in particular were annoying as all get-out. Those weren’t insurmountable, but they seemed to exist solely for the purpose of padding the game out with artificial difficulty, and the spazzy camera didn’t help things any. Still, I actually finished the game, though it only took a single short play session to do it, and to be honest I wasn’t entirely disappointed by the game. It just wasn’t as great as it had the potential to be.

        Shattered Dimensions, on the other hand, I dug totally and completely, save for the broken stealth mechanics in the Noir missions. They were so easily exploitable that it ultimately ended up feeling like they had been shoehorned into the game at the last minute. I’m sure that’s not the case, but Beenox was definitely at the top of its game when it focused on straight-up action as it did with the other Spider-Men.

        As for this game, if it compares favorably to Shattered Dimensions, then I’m sold.

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  1. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions | GameAmbassador.com - Video Games! | The Games Online - October 26, 2011

    […] – Interview With Executive Producer Brant NicholasDeconstructing: The New Ultimate Spider-ManSpider-Man: Edge of Time (PS3/360) Review jQuery(document).ready(function(){ […]

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