THE NEXT LEVEL
In the Activision game “Spider-Man: Web of Shadows,” gamers take the role of Spider-Man, as an army of alien goo-creatures attack New York.
The game starts with a lot of promise, as gamers are dropped into a chaotic cut scene. The paramilitary organization SHIELD is on hand, trying to shut down these symbiotic creatures, which have bonded with New Yorkers and are now wreaking havoc.
Spider-Man joins the battle, and the gamer discovers that former allies Luke Cage and Mary Jane Watson are upset with Spider-Man about his role in the incidents.
The game then flashes back to four days ago, as Spider-Man is in a battle with Venom. Venom is former Daily Bugle photographer Eddie Brock, who bonded with the alien symbiote that once bonded with Spider-Man. In the battle with Venom, some of the symbiote again bonds with Spider-Man.
During the game, Spider-Man can switch from the red suit to the black symbiote suit, where Spider-Man is stronger and more of a brawler. “Web of Shadows” allows the gamer to choose whether Spider-Man takes a more altruistic path, or a more selfish path. However, despite the game’s intimations to the contrary, it has more to do with decisions at specific points than how often the gamer uses the black suit.
Spider-Man meets with Luke Cage and stops various gang-related activities, until the symbiotes begin bonding with people and attacking the city. It’s up to Spider-Man to find an ally who can stop the invasion. Along the way, Spider-Man meets up with Black Cat, Moon Knight and Wolverine.
The battling is pretty fun, but repetitive. Most of the levels simply require the gamer to defeat a certain number of villains using a particular move. And while the story shows promise, it doesn’t have the impact of a storyline like “Ultimate Alliance.” The voice actor portraying Spider-Man is particularly whiny.
“Web of Shadows” shows some promising ideas and has some cool Spider-Man moments, but ultimately doesn’t deliver. It’s an improvement over the last few Spider-Man games, but Spider-Man games aren’t the innovations they once were.
– Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman
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