review
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POSTED 10/10/10


SPIDER-MAN: SHATTERED DIMENSIONS

Activision
PS3 (also on Xbox 360, Wii, DS)

Whoa, we’re seein’ quadruple here – 16 Spider-Men! Right, now we’ve finished reappropriating old gags from The Simpsons, there actually are four Spideys here – Amazing, Noir, Ultimate and 2099, and they’re all well-equipped with the quippage we expect from Spider-Man, even if their body-hugging duds may vary.

The story’s been penned by Spidey comic writer Dan Slott, and whilst scarcely deeper than a Post-It note, it works. The ominous sounding Tablet of Order and Chaos has been smashed, its bits subsequently flung into four parallel universes – conveniently inhabited by our quartet of Spideys. Each must recover their segments or… mmfmmfgbblgbbl!

After quick training lessons for each Spider-Man, to gain a basic idea of their varying abilities, the first surprise is Amazing’s initial level. No more NYC, as he bursts into a jungular world of stone pillars and foliage. This knack for different locales permeates the entire game – a welcome break from endless skyscraperage. As expected there’s heaps of web-slinging, but also various combat styles, from fisticuffs – both in third person and a not-sure-it-works-too-well first person POV – to longer range stealth attacks and more rain-of-carnage type moves later on. With great power comes great need for brainpower to remember all the combos, but if worse comes to worst mashing can often get you through early on.

The general vibe’s a joy – from the various Spidey voice actors to varying takes on classic baddies, scads of collectables and power-ups to Stan Lee doing voiceovers. Each world has its own faithful look, too, from comic book for Amazing to seedy for Noir. Our main disappointment is finicky controls – most notably with the swinging and jumping.

Quibbles aside, Shattered Dimensions is the best time we’ve ever had taking Spidey(s) for a spin...

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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.