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Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Preview

Spider-Man remains one of the most iconic superheroes of the last century with hundreds of different representations of the character in comics, cartoons and films. In the past few years, with the release of the three films, there was a boom in Spider-Man video games and there have been 7 released since 2002 as well as cameo appearances in many other titles. However, the latest titles have received mixed reviews from critics so can Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions being something new to the web-slinging series?

The most striking aspect of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is how ambitious the project is. The story concerns a strange artefact known as The Tablet of Order and Chaos being broken and split into four different pieces which creates a series of problems drawing several of the Marvel universes together. The classic "Amazing" universe, featuring the most commonly recognised Spider-Man acts as the base for the plot and involves his attempts to track down the pieces of the artefact with the help of his counterparts from the different dimensions.

 Shattered Memories

Instead of simply acting as a clever plot device, each of the universes will be playable and will involve different gameplay and visual styles. It's a brave undertaking by the developers, Beenox Studios, to craft four different games and successfully mesh them together, but from what GameOn has seen, it is already looking very promising. The first gameplay demonstration we were shown was Spider-Man swinging through the Amazing universe in order to battle one of the series' most well known supervillians, Kraven the Hunter. Immediately obvious is the colourful cel-shaded graphical style which brings to mind the original comic's classic artwork, which looks very impressive.

It soon becomes clear that in each of the universes you'll face a series of Spider-Man's classic enemies, with Kraven possessing part of The Tablet of Order and Chaos in this particular dimension. In the Amazing universe the gameplay seems familiar to previous Spider-Man titles with an emphasis on web-swinging and some outrageous and over-the-top combat. The fighting was particularly acrobatic with a variety of high-flying moves used to dispatch the enemies mainly using Spider-Man's webbing to perform different combos. In one section Spider-Man threw various objects at foes using the webbing before crafting a lasso from it to disarm and take out the remaining opponents. Other attacks involved web projectiles and a nice move where Spider-Man uses webs to grab his enemy and fling himself into them, taking them out.

 Shattered Memories

Reaching the climax of the level there appears to be a showdown between Spider-Man and Kraven who has received extra powers and abilities from the tablet. Each world will feature encounters between different 3 different villains with a climactic battle with the owner of the shard. In this intense finale Spider-Man had to battle the hunter while dodging stone columns and make the maximum use of his athletic abilities. This boss battle looked particularly challenging and really showcased the distinctive fighting styles from this dimension.

The second universe we were shown was very different and takes place in Marvel's Noir setting which has a very distinctive and unique visual style. Based in an America still deeply troubled by the Great Depression of the 1930s Spider-Man is re-imagined as a stealth-based superhero fighting various characters including Hammerhead and The Green Goblin (aka Norman Osborn). The level we saw took place at Norman Osborn's carnival at night with a graphical style so dark that it felt like an old-style black and white film. Spider-Man wears a dark leather waistcoat and shirt with a modified World War I gasmask substituting his more traditional disguise. The atmosphere is creepy and unsettling as Spider-Man sneaks carefully around dispatching guards with stealthy takedowns immobilising them with webbing. The levels bring to mind Batman: Arkham Asylum with a similar style of fluid stealth and combat, though there is a greater emphasis on evasion.

 Shattered Memories

Visually the Noir universe is incredibly striking creating a truly eerie atmosphere which is unlike any Spider-Man title. At various points in the level fireworks go off high above, looking stunning but creating the very real danger of revealing your position. This suddenly happened during the playthrough making the screen flash red forcing Spider-Man to dash for cover and hide until the guards stopped searching. This stealthy approach feels very exciting for a Spider-Man title as having the ability to climb walls and swing through the levels creates new opportunities for ambushes which could create some really unique gameplay.

 Shattered Memories

The final level we were shown was from Marvel's 2099 universe featuring a futuristic depiction of a Spider-Man created not from a radioactive spider but one involved in genetic experimentation. The visual style here was very futuristic with New York having developed into a large and sci-fi urban metropolis with flying cars. Again the differences are significant with the gameplay being faster paced than the other dimensions, with Spider-Man 2099 chasing after this universe's incarnation of the Hobgoblin. The chase made use of Spider-Man's enhanced suit with the pursuit swerving in and out of the lanes of flying traffic. The combat here seemed more brutal and almost feral with the suit having a set of claws on, which was showcased during a battle against Hobgoblin 2099. While not much of this universe was revealed it looked unusual and was the polar opposite of the other two dimensions.

There's certainly a lot to get excited about with Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions with the final universe still to be unveiled at a future date. The idea of combining several of the different incarnations and depictions of Spider-Man is a really great idea which really seems to be tapping into the rich and previously unexplored wealth of material available for the series. While tying the different gameplay styles together effectively could be tricky, from the footage we were shown this certainly seems to be well on track. By including the different universes the game should be fresh and varied and it seems that this could well be the game to put Spider-Man back at the top of video game superheroes.

evilgiraffeman | 8th June, 2010
Rasher's picture
I have some ideas (my own, not hints from the developer) on what the last Spider-man may be....

Anyone else got any views on it?

also a trailer just got added to the bottom of the preview
Dead Alive's picture
I reckon Pestilence would be a good version for a world. Or maybe Spider Carnage.

Pestilence:

Spider Carnage:

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