Many different versions of Spider-Man exist these days. Marvel’s wall-crawler has been re-envisioned as everything from a 17th century Scottish rogue to a radioactive pig. In the past, I’ve had little reason to pay attention to the Spider-Man variants. However, developer Beenox makes a strong argument for some of Spidey’s time-displaced alternates in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.This leads me to wonder why games have focused on only one version of Spider-Man for so long.
Creating a game with four different main characters, four different worlds, four different art styles, and four different game types sounds overly ambitious, but any smart developer knows that it needs to change things up to keep the action fresh. Shattered Dimensions works that need for variety into its fiction.One level had me running through the jungle using Spider-Man’s spider sense to dodge sniper fire. In the next I was falling past mile-high skyscrapers, dodging hover cars in a future version of New York. Next I was web-zipping between crates as they twirled through the eye of a giant sand tornado. Then a series of spotlights hunted me across the skyline as I quietly knocked out a mob of thugs. The action in Shattered Dimensions is almost schizophrenic, but it’s never boring. Usually in a game like this, half the action ends up feeling unpolished, but Beenox avoids that pitfall while making all of Shattered Dimensions’ disparate game types flow seamlessly together.
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions lands just shy of being the full package, but it delivers a non-stop action ride with something new around every corner. Though its story leaves something to be desired, it’s one of the best Spider-Man titles in recent memory, if not the best Spider-Man title to date.