Video Game Review: Spider-Man: Edge of Time

Developer: Beenox

Publisher: Activision

Release Date: October 4th, 2011

Platforms: X-Box 360, PlayStation 3, Wii,

Genre: Action/Adventure, Platformer

Rating: T for Teen

By Nolan Patrick Smith

(Victor Valley)–The Amazing Spider-Man: he is one of the flagship characters for Marvel Comics. The web slinging, the spider powers, the spider sense, the lightning fast agility, all paired with the flawed, true to life character of Peter Parker. With all that said, a game about the web slinger sounds like a dream come true, but there have been plenty of missteps for the arachnid over the years. Edge of Time is the newest entry into the next generation of gaming, so how does it stick?

Story: The last Spider-Man game, Shattered Dimensions, put players in the roles of four spider-men: the Amazing Spider-Man we all know, the Spider-Man from the year 2099, the younger Ultimate universe Spider-Man and the Spider-Man from the 1920’s noir era. This game follows suite, making playable only two of the four from last time, Amazing and 2099. Someone in 2099 has made their way to the past in order to change the future. Alchemax scientist’s Walker Sloan is going back to our present day to start Alchemax now, and it changes both the present and the future in the process. Throw in a mind controlled Anti Venom, and you have the premise of the game. Oh, and you start the game with Anti Venom defeating Spider-Man.

That is just another reason to go back in time. The idea is to switch between both Spider-Men in an effort to stop Sloan from ruining the time line. As the Spider-Man we all know, you fight in transformed Daily Bugle, now Alchemax. In the future, Spider-Man 2099 is in the same exact building, making what you do in the past affect the future. Enemies come in the form of generic futuristic soldiers and as Anti Venom, on more than one occasion.

Design/Art: The look of the cut scenes for Edge of Time are some of the best I have seen. The design of the game, the textures that can be seen in the detail of the costumes is so intricate; it is definitely the high mark in the Spider-Man series when it comes to graphics. Level designs are nice, but gets old and boredom sets in after the first few challenges.

Gameplay: This is where the game really goes downhill. With the previous title, the difference in gameplay between the different spider-men was the main draw: with the noir Spider-Man, the gameplay was stealth; with 2099 the game play was more about aerial attacks, and so on. This time around, the game play mechanics between both spider-men seems so similar that you forget which setting you are in from time to time. The levels don’t seem to help, as they both look very similar and have a touch of sci-fi. Gone are most of the familiar faces, instead we get Sloan, your run of the mill type villain, and plenty of fights with Anti Venom, which are cool, but get tiresome eventually.

Sound: The voice acting in Edge of Time is worth speaking about. The cast of actors is quite impressive, with Josh Keaton, Christopher Daniel Barnes, and Val Kilmer voicing the leads. Other star talents lend their voices to the game as well, including Laura Vandervoort of Smallville fame and Steve Blum, who anime fans will know from the classic series, Cowboy Bebop.

Overall: I was so excited to play this game, but after spending some quality time with it, I found myself bored and dissatisfied. Developer Beenox took what made the last game enjoyable and completely disregarded it. Now, all I can do is look forward to next year’s Amazing Spider-Man game, based off the upcoming film, and hope for the best.   An average game, I give Spider-Man: Edge of Time a 7 out of 10.

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