Review: Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions
When you first think of Spider-Man there are a lot of things that come to mind. Hopefully Stan Lee and one of the most popular comic book franchises of all time. More likely, Kirsten Dunst, Tobey Maguire and a pair of sequels which should never have seen the light of day. But if you can move past that and think back to Spiderman’s comic/cartoon series roots then Spiderman Shattered Dimensions (I’ll just call it Dimensions from now on shall I?) might be the game for you.
Dimensions is a game with a simple, if very well executed, premise. Spider-Man and Mysterio get into a big fight (think Batman POW! KABLAM! style) in the Museum of History and Spiderman accidently shatters a tablet of unknown power. Mysterio has a little giggle to himself and promptly disappears and Spider-Man suddenly hears the voice of Madame Web in his head. She informs him that the tablet he destroyed had unimaginable power and was really awesome… bla bla bla. Pieces of the tablet are strewn across four dimensions and four different Spider-Mans (Spider-Men? Spider-People?) will have to reclaim them.
Now while this may sound as if their writing team came up with the story five minutes before pitching it to the studio, the end result is surprisingly engaging. Each of the four Spider-Bros play in a different way, through levels which are both varied and at the same time formulaic. It’s a great game to sit down and do a level at a time and then move onto something else, but playing it all in one (or a few) massive sessions might try your patience.
For fans of the series, you will find most of the bosses true to their comic book alternates with a few re-imagined slightly to fit the context. If you are less of a fan of the series but still want to give it a go, every level has a boss and they are all fairly entertaining (if a little repetitive).
Dimensions is a throwback to the good humoured super hero days of old, before The Dark Knight made everything so serious (dare I ask, why so serious?). It has an expanding combo-based combat system and fairly linear level design with a few collectables along the way. Think Crash Bandicoot meets Batman: Arkham Asylum.
To sum things up: If this game was any of the four Spider-Dudes by themselves it would get boring pretty fast (with the possible exception of Noir Spider-Man, that guy is awesome). But it’s not. The game manages four convergent storylines and four main characters with different combos and different abilities who live in different worlds. Whether you are free falling in the year 2099 with the Spider-Man of the future, using the Venom (black suit) Spider-Man to crush your enemies, sneaking around in the 1930s with Spider-Man Noir or just getting back to some classic web-slinging action with Amazing Spider-Man; at the end of the day, you are usually having a good time.
Oh and did I mention one of the Spider-Chaps is voice acted by Neil Patrick-Harris? Yeah I thought you’d like that.
Neil Patrick-Harris: 5/5