hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Spider-Man: Edge of Time

Review: Spider-Man: Edge of Time

2:00 PM on 10.08.2011 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions was better than many licensed games on the market, but it certainly wasn't anything special. At the very least, it included a wide range of recognizable Spider-Man villains and a flowing combat system that, while fairly mundane, got the job done. 

A year later, Beenox is back with Spider-Man: Edge of Time, and a unique design perspective. While sequels tend to get bigger and more ambitious, Edge of Time seems to think that scaling everything back is the way to go. 

It really isn't.

Spider-Man: Edge of Time (PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360 [reviewed])
Developer: Beenox
Publisher: Activision
Released: October 4, 2011
MSRP: $59.99

Spider-Man: Edge of Time reduces the amount of playable Spider-Men from four to two this time around, focusing purely on the "Amazing" era Spidey and his 2099 alternative. Following a battle with Anti-Venom in which Peter Parker is killed, 2099 Spider-Man finds himself in a situation where he can alter history, putting a stop to the plans of a nefarious CEO who happens to be voiced by Val Kilmer.

Most comic book games realize that the key to success is to give the fans as many character appearances as possible. Shattered Dimensions provided a good selection of villains for fans to get excited over, while the upcoming Batman: Arkham City has gone crazy with classic enemies and cameo appearances. It seems so strange, then, that Edge of Time does away with that driving principal entirely. 

With time in disarray, most of Spider-Man's villains were altered to not become villains at all. Aside from Anti-Venom, we only meet two other opposing Spider-Man characters -- a weak-willed and unimposing version of Dr. Octavius and a "fake" Black Cat. Although the game hints at cool alternative versions of established characters, we never see anybody. We don't get to meet the superhero version of Scorpion or see Mysterio as a successful Hollywood director. The alternate timeline full of interesting, potentially hilarious new takes on Spider-Man characters is never actually seen, since the whole game takes place in a single building. The game's two biggest villains were actually created by Beenox, further taking the game away from anything that would satisfy comic book fans.

Rather than open up the game beyond Shattered Dimensions, Beenox pulled everything back with Edge of Time, perhaps further back than any comic-based game has gone. The entire thing takes place in a single office tower full of small corridors and big, arena-like rooms. Progress mostly consists of pulling switches to open doors or finding enemies that hold keys to open other doors. It's the kind of back-and-forth, humdrum structure we've seen in games since the nineties and the type of experience that was a dime-a-dozen in the last generation of games. 

Using tried-and-tested Spider-Man mechanics, players press and hold the shoulder button to web-sling, or tap it to instantly pull Parker/O'Hara to a pre-set location. Pushing the Spider-Men toward a wall will also cause them to stick to it, at the cost of having a camera that occasionally fails to cope with the new perspective. There are moments in the game that conspire to force players to use these skills, but most of the environments are so small and tight that it's impractical to swing around on a web, thus eliminating the need for one of Spider-Man's most iconic abilities. 

The combat system is relatively unchanged from Shattered Dimensions, using button mashing commands to perform close attacks, long-ranged power attacks, and shoot web projectiles. Although the Amazing and 2099 characters perform slightly differently, general control remains the same for both of them. The Spider-Men can also create a "Time Paradox" that freezes enemies around them for a limited amount of time, or initiate a super-speeding focus mode that makes Parker faster and causes O'Hara to deposit distracting clones of himself. As with Dimensions, it's a combat system that remains wholly unimpressive and derivative, but similarly fails to offend. 

As is custom, each Spider-Man can be upgraded with experience points found in the environment or won from enemies. These add new skills that make use of a stamina meter, as well as extra strength to existing combat maneuvers. In addition, health and stamina is enhanced by collecting Golden Spiders, found hiding in the environment or earned via combat challenges. 

The big selling point for Edge of Time is the idea that actions in one timeline affect the world in another, as Peter Parker and Miguel O'Hara fight in both the present day and the future. However, none of this actually happens in-game. Players don't get to choose which Spider-Man they play, and any "consequences" are scripted. Carefully chosen marketing words make it sound like you'll have a dynamic, time-swapping adventure, but that's not the case. This is a linear, straightforward game, with players forced to play as both Amazing and 2099 Spider-Man at set intervals. 

Generally, Beenox does just enough for its game to be considered playable while refusing to ever rise above its station as a quickly produced cash-in. As far as those types of games go, Edge of Time is fairly decent, but those are some incredibly low standards. Edge of Time seems happy to be a king of the flies, rather than ever striking out to be something impressive or special. Throw in a bunch of unskippable cutscenes and awful checkpointing (with checkpoints usually occurring right before some of those aforementioned cutscenes) and you've got a recipe for a typical, mediocre, pointless licensed experience that paints by numbers without regret. 

Spider-Man: Edge of Time isn't unplayable and it's not the worst title on the market, but it's not remarkable in the least. The lack of even basic ambition confuses me, as I can't fathom why Beenox thought we only needed Anti-Venom as a recognizable villain alongside two characters the studio invented itself. Most games of this nature earn some good grace by at least providing a bunch of famous characters to meet, but setting the whole game inside a boring corporate headquarters and having Spider-Man face off against droves of repetitive robot enemies doesn't cater to anybody.

Videogame fans want something more engrossing and comic book fans want something with more fan service. Spider-Man: Edge of Time satisfies neither demographic, and can safely be ignored by everybody.  



THE VERDICT

5

Spider-Man: Edge of Time - Reviewed by Jim Sterling
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Flegma avatarFlegma
Thinking of starting to document my attempts in Super Mario Maker with screenshots etc. in a series of blogs - think USgamer's Daily Mario. But I think most who would spare a glance at it would be way better level designers and players than me by default.
Script avatarScript
Tearaway was cute, but it was kinda short and underwhelming to me. I would recommend paying around $20 for it if you value your money.
Lena Gredasova avatarLena Gredasova
Pixonic has published its game Walking War Robots globally on Google Play. Walking War Robots is a 3D MMO shooter where players pilot giant robots and battle in 6 vs 6 teams. Get it for free now! play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pixonic.wwr
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I wanna buy PS+ Plus but I know once I play my PS4 this weekend I wont touch it again for half a year.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
MGS V starts with a flaming unicorn. Yup, I already fucking love it! :D
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
Writing about Tearaway PS4 & referencing Metal Gear Solid several times because, guess what, Tearaway is really dang good
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
I took some shots of my DIzznee Infineetee Quorra figure. Been waiting for this since the brand first stumblefucked its way onto the scene. (pics in comments of post to save feed space)
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Now Listening to Old Music 7 - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
[youtube]https://youtu.be/9aHQnDTd1y4[/youtube]
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/ix6BJTSjAB4[/youtube] There is a ton of awesome music in this game.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Laracraft: World of Tomb Raiders
Joe Parlock avatarJoe Parlock
So there's a game called School of Ragnorok coming out, and in it there's my new boyfriend. He's an 8 foot tall demon thing with awesome hair: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ibgnjCHv24
Nerdcotic Network avatarNerdcotic Network
check out this awesome video made by the Nerdcotic Network. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3KgJfBt0uE
Nerdcotic Network avatarNerdcotic Network
Hay check out this awesome video made by the Nerdcotic Network on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QemwbuspOJg
The Travisionist avatarThe Travisionist
[img]http://cdn.destructoid.com//ul/308609-RR1.jpg[/img] Dayum. Billy Mays is back and lookin' good.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
Pivot smash my way to victory
Osc44 avatarOsc44
You ever dream of flying through the clouds, but couldn't so you just watch TV? Me neither.
Zack Furniss avatarZack Furniss
Oh GOOD, The Flock is awful. I was hoping to break my high review score streak. (this is a joke)
Zack Furniss avatarZack Furniss
So many PAX things to write. So many.
Shinta avatarShinta
Bwahahahaha .... my helicopter now arrives in the middle of a fight blaring "Take on Me" on the loudspeakers. Metal Gear 5, 10/10. [youtube]https://youtu.be/djV11Xbc914[/youtube]
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Oh neat, Hollow Knight got through the Colosseum of Fools stretch goal while no one was looking. Shame they couldn't get to three characters but the game still looks awesome.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Spider-Man: Edge of Time


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -