Spider-Man: Web of Shadows

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Review for PS3

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The city is overrun and Spider-Man must seize control before it's too late.

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6Out of 10
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If only a better game had been built around the combat and swinging
If only a better game had been built around the combat and swinging

If only a better game had been built around the combat and swinging

Playing super hero games usually always goes something like this: get excited about a new game featuring some of the best super heroes around; play said game and realise there's nothing super about the gameplay; and turn off game wishing you hadn't bought it in the first place. There are exceptions to the rule, but not many, and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows isn't one of them. Although marginally better than Spider-man 3 in some ways, the lack of a movie license and an awful lot of uninspired missions make this an unfortunate chore to play through.

After a bizarre opening that sees Spider-Man zooming through New York City and taking on Venom as he tries to hurt the rather large-shouldered Mary Jane, you're unleashed into the game proper. It's an open world, so missions are dished out on the fly, with completed tasks opening up new activities and story missions. Initially you'll mainly be talking to the massive Luke Cage, who hands out missions and teaches you a few of the moves you'll need to dispatch the many enemies in the game, but eventually you'll open up new allies (or villains) that can help you out.

Seeing as you can play as either red suit Spider-Man or black suit Spider-Man (the more evil version) by a simple press of a button, who joins you will depend on how you like to play. If you want to be bad and choose a darker path through the game, villains will join you, whereas good guys like Wolverine will help out everyone's friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. This good/bad theme running through the game isn't nearly as complex or impressive as it might have been, essentially giving you a different ending depending on how far you've strayed from your moral compass. It's really not something worth playing the game through again for.

Whoever you choose to play as, combat is surprisingly decent and fast paced. On the ground Spidey can perform easy to pull off combos, pick up and throw cars, sling web at foes and generally give goons a hard time. It's your air-based moves that come in most handy though. By linking together these air attacks you can move from one enemy to another without breaking a sweat. It's undeniably cool to see Spider-Man pulling off such acrobatic attacks, but it does make things rather easy.

It's a shame then that the game you're given to play is so devoid of ideas. Missions start off basic in order to let you get to grips with Spidey's powers (using Spider Sense to locate enemies, for example), but the game doesn't really elevate itself too far above these early moments. A lot of the time you'll be asked to do something over and over again or told to take out a set number of a certain type of enemy. As entertaining as the combat is, it's not good enough to stop you getting bored very quickly.

Visually it has its moments, but the city looks quite basic.

Visually it has its moments, but the city looks quite basic.

Web swinging is something that can almost make or break a Spider-Man game, with Spidey's fast, acrobatic movement through the city being a core component of the gameplay, and why we play these games in the first place. Developer Shaba has done a decent job of this in Web of Shadows, with Spidey eventually able to move through the air at some speed. His web attacks are also pretty good once you've levelled them up - although this once again is wasted because of the dull missions.

We've seen some stunning open-city games this year, but sadly Web of Shadows isn't one of them. Spider-Man and the other main characters look decent, but the city isn't nearly as detailed as those seen in other current-gen games and the lighting looks quite primitive compared to the likes of GTA 4. Voice over work in the game is generally of a high standard, but we couldn't help but laugh the first time we heard Spider-Man's ultra weedy tone. We got used to it, but it certainly seems a little out of place.

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows ends up being a disappointment despite a lot of potential. We reckon the combat system, the web swinging and special moves are about the best we've seen in a 3D Spider-man game, but the city feels lifeless, the graphics lack spark and the missions range from OK to dire. Spider-Man fans will likely still get a lot of fun from the game because of the decent treatment of the main man, but he really needed better material to work with in order to have a broader appeal.

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BLAZER's Avatar

BLAZER

no other spiderman game can match the combat and swinging mechanics of this game
Posted 13:31 on 15 April 2010
schnaps's Avatar

schnaps

This game lets down all the recent games of Spidey...but at least its better then that last crap one, friend or foe i think it was....
Posted 06:45 on 29 June 2009
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ttttm

no the game is supposed to be the best spiderman game ever iTS NOT DULL
Posted 15:22 on 07 January 2009
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tommyno1

totally agree with review--looks like ps2 game on gen console--gameplay addictive but is that enough-----ill stick with playing madden 09--best game ever
Posted 14:50 on 31 December 2008
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JediKnight

Too much comparison to GTA - graphics are good, combat is fun - so we know what the missions are going to be...big deal! We just want to see Spidey take out the symbiote.
Posted 05:32 on 12 November 2008
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Roy

What's dull is the review.. It's a decent game and it deserves more credit than currently given by the reviewer.

I mean come on.. What is the reason to compare the GTA environment with Spider-Man:WoS ?
Posted 12:44 on 02 November 2008
NinetiesKid's Avatar

NinetiesKid

Decided to let this go down in price before I get it... as it will probably happen relatively soon.
Posted 18:17 on 30 October 2008
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Alexander

"Spider-Man" for the Playstation 1 layed down the gameplay that would be basically reused in every 3-dimensional Spiderman video game to come, and unfortunately no one has managed to improve everything else in the franchise to match up with this one decent feature.
Posted 15:51 on 30 October 2008
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dreamhunk

there is no web of shadows pc game review
Posted 16:07 on 29 October 2008
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Brad

Wow, good job comparing a Spiderman city to a Grand Thefy Auto City.
Posted 14:22 on 29 October 2008

Game Stats

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
6
Out of 10
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
  • Swinging feels good
  • Lots of moves
  • Combat is fun
  • Missions are dull
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Release Date: 24/10/2008
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC , Wii , DS , PS2
Developer: Treyarch
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 2,492 17
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