Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (Xbox 360)

[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”Shaba Games & Treyarch” publishers=”Activision” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”October 21, 2008″]

In recent times, comic book video games haven’t faired all too well, especially the Spider-Man line. To try and solve that conundrum, Treyarch and Shaba Games have teamed together to take a new approach to the series and remake the Spider-Man formula. How do you do that? Focus on the main features of course!

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows is yet again placed in New York City, but this time we’re battling a sibilant invasion – cues eerie music. Because Treyarch and Shaba games have rebuilt the game to focus on the combat side of things, New York has seen quiet an overhaul. The city has been transformed to feature a lot more buildings for a denser feeling to help Spidey grasp to things while fighting his massive amount of enemies.

Since combat’s the main feature, Web of Shadows has seen quiet a lot of fighting enhancements over past games in the series. Gone are the days of simple red Spidey battling in hand-to-hand combat. Now we have the ability to use our web slinging abilities to their fullest potential, fighting mid-arm between buildings, switching from red Spidey to black Spidey on the fly initiating mind-boggling counters. It’s a simple click of the button and you can follow a huge red suited attack with a monstrous black suit attack. Each suit has its own abilities as well. The red suit’s a bit quicker, and while wearing it your health slowly regenerates, something that’s great in one-on-one boss battles. On the black side of things, you’re stronger, and your health regenerates as you hit people.

We’re now able to use Spidey as a wrecking ball to take out clusters of enemies, or even use an attack that somehow turns an enemy into a skateboard like object letting you pound them into a ground while you race around at mach speed. Not a huge fan of solo only fighting? No worries, Web of Shadows also features six additional characters that you can turn into allies. The characters rang from Luke Cage, Black Cat, heck even Wolverine makes an appearance. Some characters however require you to defeat them in battle, I’m looking at you, Black Cat.

Defeating your enemies not only helps you rid the city of evil, but helps you earn experience. Experience is the in-game currency and lets you upgrade your Spidey moves. Each suit has it’s own upgrades, and each upgrade makes you faster, more powerful, or even teaches you new moves. One of the neat features about upgrading your character is you’re able to see the upgrade before you purchase it. Just highlight the upgrade in the upgrade screen, and you’ll be shown a short clip of the upgrade in action. Gone are the days of buying a mystery combo only to find that you’ll never use it.

On the graphical side of things, we have many new features that were absent from previous Spider-Man games. Instead of a huge health bar, we’re introduced to a smaller health bar and the addition to a Gear of War like death omen. The closer you are to death, the more of a pulsating spider web you’ll see creeping onto your screen from the edges. One of the small things I noticed was now your webs are much more life like. After you’re done swinging and you land on the side of a building, your web drifts away in the wind much like it’s real world clone.

Not all of the graphical changes were for the best though. First and foremost from the levels that I was shown, the city had a very dark, bland feel. Granted it was night, but it seemed as if there were way too many greys when New York’s a very colorful city. Another nagging feature that I didn’t agree with, there is a major lack of weather elements in the game. The game’s world clock is progressive meaning the time of day is ties to your missions, and there’s no weather elements like rain or snow. We’re simply giving a night or day look and that’s it.

Overall, Web of Shadows has the potential to be one of the top Spider-Man games to date. It’s not a dream Spidey game, but it has a lot of the core elements that were missing from previous installments. To swing into the action yourself, keep your eyes open for Spider-Man: Web of Shadows slinging into a store near you this October.

Kanji Prearms

Kanji has been holding a controller since he could walk, and loves nothing more than talking about his latest conquest with friends.

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