Like many of the other Spider-Man games released over the past decade, â€œSpider-Man: Web of Shadowsâ€ 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 â€œWeb of Shadowsâ€ 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 â€œSpider-Man 3,â€ 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 â€œVenom Bomb,â€ 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?
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 â€œGod of War,â€ 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, â€œWeb of Shadowsâ€ 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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