Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is a superhero based action game revolving around the multiple worlds of everyone’s favorite web-slinger, Spider-Man. Released just over a year ago, in late 2010, this Beenox developed title is a great romp through a variety of Spider-Man universes. I sunk a fair amount of time into this game, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The main gimmick of Shattered Dimensions is the way the game is structured. Over the course of 12 levels, you control 4 different incarnations of Spider-Man, the Amazing, Ultimate, Noir, and 2099 versions. All of these Spider-Men control differently and you’re forced to alter your style of gameplay for each level.
Amazing Spider-Man is the typical Spider-Man. Most of the levels involve using his webs to swing around, solve puzzles and beat up bad guys. This Spider-Man is the featured as the main protagonist, with the majority of the story taking place in his dimension. Ultimate Spider-Man is a fighter, currently being bonded with the alien symbiote (Venom). As such, the majority of his levels feature wave after wave of enemies for you to beat back. Noir Spider-Man is set in the 1930’s, and the Spider-Man in this dimension is a lot weaker than the others, and, as such, requires the use of stealth gameplay, sticking to the shadows and not taking enemies down in groups, rather one at a time (a la Splinter Cell). Finally, 2099 Spider-Man is set in future Manhattan, where all the buildings have been raised to ridiculous heights, and you frequently dive off of them in order to chase a boss. This creates some interesting free-fall combat segments, in which you must catch up to your prey and beat the living daylights out of them,while simultaneously dodging certain obstacles (eg. flying cars, random billboards, etc.).
The story for this game is a bit weak, but works well as a way of bringing these different Spider-men together. Mysterio (A recurring villain) attempts to steal a magical tablet: The Tablet of Order and Chaos. In his attempt to stop him, Amazing Spider-Man accidentally breaks the tablet, shattering it into 12 pieces, which end up scattering around the multiple universes. Madam Webb set’s the multiple Spider-men on a quest to find all 12 pieces before Mysterio can. However, these pieces have all been found by Spider-Man’s many enemies, and so, Spider-Man must face off against them to get the pieces back.
I had a few problems with the game, but not enough for it to be a major concern. The wall crawling (which is a key part of the game) can sometimes be frustrating when turning corners or changing surfaces. This is especially noticeable in the Noir universe, as if you don’t wall-crawl properly, you will be seen, and more than likely fail the level. This is in part due to the camera, as once you turn a corner, it re-orients itself, occasionally causing you to turn back, around the corner you just turned. There were also a few glitches in the game, such as when Ultimate Spider-Man would fall off the edge, instead of progressing to the in-game scene in which you save yourself, he would simply hover. Unsurprisingly, this is not the first Spider-Man game in which this has happened to me.
Overall, I found the game to be a very enjoyable, fun-filled romp through the many different Spider-Man dimensions. As a non-comic, reader, I did not feel alienated from the game in the slightest, as it fully explained everything about the universes that I needed to know. Plus, there’s always Wikipedia. I would whole-heartedly recommend this game to any fan of Spider-Man, or of action games in general.