by: Sam "Samoza" Tyler
“Spiderman, Spiderman, he does whatever a Batman can”. Or Activision wished he did in their latest annual Spiderman game; ‘Spiderman: Edge of Time’. Last year’s ‘Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions” was the best game in the series since ‘Spiderman 2’, so what went wrong with ‘Edge of Time’?
‘Spiderman: Edge of Time’ opens with more than a hint at trying to be the Dark Knight. You crawl inside a giant skyscraper as the credits roll around you. Not before long it appears as if Spiderman is about to die, but then a wormhole in time opens and Amazing Spiderman becomes connected to Spiderman 2099 via some telepathic Spidey Sense thingy. Can Spiderman 2099 save his antiquated ally? The two of them must aid one another through time and space, against a foe who wishes to rewrite history.
Whilst ‘Shattered Dimensions’ took place over four separate Spidey worlds, ‘Edge of Time’ has reduced this to two. The most obvious missing element is the stealth sections of Spiderman Noir which broke up the previous titles slightly repetitive gameplay. ‘Edge of Time’ does not do this and soon becomes a series of very similar levels set in two different time zones. To try and shake up the format Beenox have introduced the concept of time anomalies; present day Spiderman can alter the building he is in to affect the future, therefore aiding Spiderman 2099. Sounds interesting in a ‘Day of the Tentacle’ kind of way, but it is sorely underused as the time anomalies are nothing more than full motion video.
With the entire game being set in one massive skyscraper, over two time periods, ‘Edge of Time’ is not the most diverse of game. There are a lot of grey rooms to visit and similar looking enemies to kill. However, it does have one saving grace that lifts it from one to avoid, to a game that Spiderman fans will actually get something from; the script. Written by comic book and novel writer Peter David, the adlibs and asides are of a high standard. What could have been renamed ‘Spiderman’s Boring Adventures in Dull Towers’ is suddenly uplifted by the playful script. David’s writing is the one element of the game that actually makes ‘Edge of Time’ stand out.
With ‘Batman: Arkham City’ ready and waiting on the shelves, there is not a huge reason to rush out and buy ‘Spiderman: Edge of Time’. Last year’s ‘Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions’ should be in plenty of bargain bins by now for anyone looking for their arachnid fix. The one glimmer of hope that makes ‘Edge of Time’ a Silver Billy and not bronze, is the fun script that will please Spiderman fans. Apart from that, this is one of the weaker games in the Spiderman Web.