The title of Beenox’s latest -- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions -- is a bit of a misnomer, as it’s not dimensions that are shattered, but a mystical tablet. Adding to the chaos, the pieces are scattered across various dimensions. This prompts Madame Web to task various Spider-Men to obtain the shards before Mysterio, the game’s Big Bad, has the chance.
It’s the perfect set up for what makes Shattered Dimensions so unique, giving the player control of one hero in four different “styles,” allowing for the developer to offer up more web-slinging variety than any Spider-Man game before it. Or so you’d think.
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Beenox does an amazing job of creating four distinct dimensions for the game’s four playable Spider-Men -- Amazing, Ultimate, the Noir, and the futuristic 2099. Each has its own unique look, giving you a completely fresh take on old Web Head in each world. Amazing and Ultimate are similar, with their hand-drawn comic book look, hard lines, and bright colors, yet each has its distinct visual touches that set them apart. 2099, which takes place far in the future (hence the 2099), depicts a New York City that’s been overtaken by technology, with bafflingly large skyscrapers and flying cars. The Noir world may be the most striking, with its monochrome palette and heavy use of shadow and light.
Not kidding, without exception, each and every level is some variation of the above actions. It’s as if, instead of designing various missions, Beenox designed one and had its artists and level designers put twelve different skins on it. The upside here is that each level is damned cool, most notably the Deadpool “game show” level and a beautiful Noir carnival level. The problem is that the game’s mission patterns are so obvious and noticeable that chasing after the tablet becomes extremely repetitive a few hours in. The sense of deja vu from mission to mission is overwhelming, much to the detriment of the overall experience.
It’s disappointing that Beenox couldn’t add a bit more to these sections, switching things up with interesting patterns like Punch-Out!!’s pugilists. Instead, every time you’re faced with the sequences you’ll likely find yourself groaning that you have to do it again. Smashing in the bad guy’s face is supposed to be fun, right? What happened?
Score: 6 -- Alright (6s may be slightly above average or simply inoffensive. Fans of the genre should enjoy them a bit, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled.)
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