Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions • Page 2

Spidey-hi!

The remaining variations are more basic straight-up brawlers, each one seeing Spider-Man's abilities enhanced in a particular manner. Ultimate has a nice Rage mode, doubling your attack ferocity for as long as you can keep the meter filling up by smacking baddies around, while 2099 has a rather dull slow-mo mechanic, which is offset by some dazzling, sci-fi art deco landscapes and surprisingly forceful combat. The Amazing Spider-Man is the campaign that holds the whole thing together, and is also the one that offers most ordinary hero of the bunch: the vanilla Spider-Man, with the fewest gimmicks. That said, he comes with some of the most inventive levels to navigate, so it's hard to complain too much.

Combat is deeper than it initially seems. You can mash your way through it, but it's far more satisfying if you make use of the juggles and grabs, and pull off the occasional show-stopping web-spring attack that launches you half-way across a room on a collision course with somebody's face.

Traversal, however, is slightly more problematic. This is an intensely linear game and most of the time, in cramped environments, the engine does a pretty good job of allowing you to blast from one automatic perch-point to the next with the press of a trigger. On the rare occasions that things open out, though, the controller can struggle to distinguish between a single tap meaning, "Hello, I would to zip stylishly to that highlighted ledge, please," and a longer squeeze, indicating, "Howdy, may I web-swing into a non-stick wall in a manner that suggests I have scoliosis and then fall inelegantly to my death?"

Inevitably, levels tend to outstay their welcome. In between the set-pieces, Beenox juggles only three different ideas, for the most part: beat everyone up before the door opens, rescue some civilians, and get over a largish gap. It's all enlivened by a wonderful punning script, however, and the presence of a smart series of optional challenges tucked into each environment. These regular asides – kill ten of these, break eight of those – help keep the adventure moving when the invention runs out, and they also serve to fill the shelves of a well-stocked unlock shop where you can buy moves, perks and extra costumes.

Its best ideas may be borrowed, and it tends to repeat itself fairly regularly, but Beenox's latest is still a generous and witty button-basher. Shattered Dimensions isn't going to be cropping up on any Game of the Year lists, I'm guessing, but it's nice to see Spidey's caretakers finally showing a bit of ambition. Any true believers left out there can file this one under "pleasant surprise".

7 /10

Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions is out from 10th September for DS, PC, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360.

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About the author

Christian Donlan

Christian Donlan

Features Editor

Christian Donlan is a features editor for Eurogamer. He is the author of The Unmapped Mind, published as The Inward Empire in the US.

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