Confusing Web Still a Fun One For Loyal Web Heads

spiderman_web_of_shadows_360_mainLike many of the other Spider-Man games released over the past decade, “Spider-Man: Web of Shadows” is an action/adventure/beat-em-up that sees Forest Hills’ favorite super hero defend New York City. Different in the fact that the entire world may depend on the webslinger’s action or inaction this time around, this game allows you to carve your own path by either harnessing the power the black symbiote suit or Spidey’s traditional garbs, giving “Web of Shadows” more gameplay choices than any other game based on the comic.

However, an uneven story and repetitive combat take away the majority of the fun, making the title one that will only be enjoyed by the most loyal of web-heads.

And even they will find the story a bit too much to handle at times.

Much like “Spider-Man 3,” gamers will have the opportunity to web-sling all over New York City. This element makes the game a thrill-ride for loyal Parker fans. The game’s look is a bit different from others in the series and has the feel of the comics, as Spidey’s eyes are a bit smaller this time around, an obvious homage to the good ole days of the series. While these elements give the game its own distinct flavor, the way the story progresses hurts the credibility of the title and makes it a bit hard to follow.

Taking a note from the Avengers story line “Venom Bomb,” it appears that the symbiote has taken control over the city and its inhabitants, forcing Spidey into action, all while he still has to come to grips with the black suit finding its way to him once again. Add in Luke Cage, Wolverine, the Black Cat, Moon Knight and several other characters who appear in the story and you should have enough of a cast to tell an amazing tale, right?

Not exactly.

Much like the last Spider-Man film, there’s just too much going on and the story doesn’t have the staying power it should, making your progression through the game feel more like a chore than an adventure. At first, the story feels fresh and exciting, but falls flat after a few hours of gameplay. Many of the guests have a garden variety feel to them, slowing down what could have been a fast-paced tale to an almost snail-paced one.

Making the game even harder to swallow is the control system that while, simple and fun, is repetitive and shallow. Despite having a plethora of moves and items to unlock along the way, most enemies have easy weaknesses and only a few button pushes away from defeat. It does take some time to unlock all the moves and again, while they are fun to experiment with, they’re not essentially needed to take down many of the enemies. Combining elements from “God of War,” the boss battles too are at times monotonous and derivative, taking away the originality of the character, replacing them with time-proven gameplay techniques that are not the least bit original.

With a lackluster story and brainless controls, “Web of Shadows” isn’t going to be the game to attract new fans to the series. However, those who have the older titles will quickly be at home with it and will not have a problem playing through it. They’ll enjoy their time with it just because web-slinging through the city is a blast, but they won’t remember it for being amazing, spectacular or sensational.

In spite of obvious flaws, “Spider-Man: Web of Shadows” is still a fun romp through New York City that will unfortunately remind you of the other games you’ve played in the past more than anything you experience for the first time while playing it.

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About Patrick Hickey Jr. 12202 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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