The lights are on
Ever since Spider-man 2 came out alongside the movie, no Spider-man game has compared. They all fell flat with mediocre gameplay, a number of bugs (no pun intended) or a lame story. I'm not saying Shattered Dimensions is perfect, but it's the best Spider-man game I've played in a long time. Admittedly, when I first put Shattered Dimensions into my Playstation 3, I braced myself for a slap of disappointment to the face. Every button I pressed, I expected to be met with dissatisfaction. Obviously, that's not the case with Shattered Dimensions. As a huge Spider-man fan, I had very high expectations for what a Spider-man game should be, I'm happy to say that nearly all my expectations were met.All of the player's time isn't spent on just one web-slinger though. Nor do you get to free roam around a city. You get to fill the costumes of 4 different Spider-men, each have 3 levels to play, with several fiendish villains to take on. Though some may find this linear approach a turn off, each level is large in size, and has plenty of room to explore.Each Spider-man- as the game's title implies- is from a different dimension; The Amazing Spider-man that everyone will be most familiar with, Spider-man Noir, a Spider-man from the 1930's, Spider-man 2099 is from- as his name implies- the year 2099, and finally Ultimate Spider-man, a younger Peter Parker running along the same time as The Amazing Spider-man. Each Spider-man has to have his own style right? Of course. Each has his own style of fighting as well as the artistic direction of their world. They each also have a distinct trait of their gameplay that is unique to each dimension. For instance, while every other Spider-man uses brute strength and a straightforward approach, Spider-man Noir sticks to the shadows and does Batman like takedowns with out being seen. 2099 has the ability to temporarily slow down time, and Ultimate wears the black symbiote suit which gives him the ability to go into an unstoppable rage, while Amazing has great use of his webs. For me, being Spider-man is fun enough in itself, but using Ultimate Spider-man's symbiotic strength to blast through enemies, taking down packs of goons from the shadows as Spider-man Noir, and freefalling through the futuristic cityscape of 2099 is tons of fun. Not to mention the art direction of each dimension that fits perfectly. My favorite dimension was Noir, as I enjoyed the Jazz soundtrack and oldschool feel. I'm happiest with the combat though. It was fun fighting like Spider-man does, jumping all over the place, dodging bullets and punches, and taking out a number of goons in one continuous combo is awesome. Veteran Spider-man voice actors come in to voice our heroes. 2099's voice doesn't fit him at all, but after the first level it will have grown on you, as will all of Spider-man's corny quips. You may roll your eyes at some of his lines, and even get annoyed by them near the end of the game, but you need to keep in mind that Spider-man has always been full of corny one-liners and it's almost a trademark of his to get on his foe's last nerve. Don't let the linear setup fool you, there's plenty of collectibles and challenges to complete per level. You can also buy upgrades in an easy to access menu for your Spider-men that gives you access to more combos, add to your health, or even unlock alternate costumes. There's lots of upgrades to get and challenges to complete, so you have plenty to sink your teeth into if you want to go for 100% completion. Shattered Dimensions isn't without it's flaws. I experienced 2 bugs in my playthrough, and they both caused me to restart from a checkpoint. Though it may add to how fun it is, the difficulty is low scaled. Even while playing on Hard it was a breeze to get through each level. The story moves at break neck speed; Spider-man catches Mysterio stealing a tablet that gets broken in the scuffle, then each Spider-man has to collect the pieces of said tablet across their dimensions and it all leads to them all throwing down with Mysterio in a big finale. From the previous sentence, I'm sure you can tell that the story is pretty lame as well; even if Stan Lee does narrate it. The camera also likes to look in the complete opposite direction you're trying to go when you're wall-crawling as well, which is a pain. The action in Shattered Dimensions is nearly non-stop, and at times can get hectic while you're pulling off combos and dodging at the same time. Fighting a boss is very unique to any other game I've played. Rather than chipping away at a health bar with combos, you do exactly what Spider-man does; use your environment to your advantage. This makes every boss battle unique and very entertaining. I applaud Beenox for Shattered Dimensions. Spider-man was in a rut for a while, but Beenox gave him the web-fluid to swing his way out. The couple of glitches I ran into were annoying, and in the end I think I would rather have a free-roam experience, (not to mention a better story) but Shattered Dimensions is definitely an amazing wall-crawling experience.
Honestly, this is one of my favorite video games of all time, the noir levels where great, the combat is amazing (no pun intended),and I love speedy characters in beat em' ups, making the 2099 levels an utter joy.