Most helpful critical review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Fun game, worth a rental
on August 12, 2011
The last few Spider-Man games seemed to follow the same schtick. Taking a cue from the Grand Theft Auto games, you played in an "open world" where you could explore New York City and would have to solve so many tasks before progressing in the story. (I.E. you had to stop ten robberies, five gang fights, etc). It was fun but after a while it started to get a little tired repeating the exact same tasks over and over.
In that regard, Shattered Dimensions is a refreshing change of pace in that it follows a more linear narrative. The plot is nothing special; Mysterio attempts to steal some sacred tablet, causes a big mishap in which the tablet breaks off into different realities. Thus, each Spider-Man from a different reality has to find their pieces of the tablet before its too late. In the process, various supervillains attempt to steal various pieces to augment their powers. It's just an excuse to get play as the different Spideys, which is good enough for me. There's the standard red-blue Spidey, the teenaged 'Ultimate' Spidey (who is given the black symbiote suit to make him stand out from his older counterpart), the futuristic one from the year 2099 and last but not least the darker 'Noir' Spidey.
The highlight of the game for many is the different types of Spideys you can play as. There different animation styles present to give each character a different 'feel' and your abilities vary. When you get past the different looks, three out of the four Spideys all feature similar type of gameplay with considerably minor differences (I.E. Ultimate Spidey's symbiote makes him stronger when he's enraged). The levels that stuck out for me and were the definite highlight of the game were the Noir levels. All the colors are sepia toned which give it a real unique atmosphere in comparison to the other universes (which were more traditional in appearance), and the Spider-Man character is significantly different for the player. You are much more vulnerable to bullets, so you have to hide in the shadows and web up crooks without getting caught. To be honest, this is pretty much directly copying Arkham Asylum's Batman, but I didn't care. I got the impression that the makers had the most fun designing this part of the game, and I'd love to see more games in the 'Noir' universe.
Each level follows the same formula. You fight the villain's thugs and finish some tasks (I.E. rescuing hostages or disarming shields), then you fight the boss once. He escapes, you do more tasks, and then you face the villain when he's more powerful thanks to the Tablet. I don't want to say it's repetitive as there's plenty of variety in the different types of tasks and visual style for the levels, but there were times when I felt deja vu.
The voice acting is pretty good. Once again taking cues from Arkham Asylum, each Spider-Man is played by a voice actor who did Spidey for an animated series. As someone who grew up on the 90s cartoon, seeing Christopher Daniel Barnes in particular again was a real treat. As a fan of the cancelled-too-soon Spectacular Spider-Man, it was nice seeing Josh Keaton as well (playing the teenaged 'Ultimate Spider-Man' appropriately).
In the end I'd say it's worth a rental. I'm hardly an expert gamer and I was able to finish it one weekend with only a moderate level of difficulty. Still, I had a fun time doing so and I didn't feel my time was wasted. It's worth checking out at the very least.