Having to write this review was a bit of an unwelcome intrusion because it meant stopping playing the game long enough to come up with something a bit more meaningful than ‘yay!’ or ‘it’s great’.
Having reluctantly torn myself away from playing it, I want to urge you all to rush out and buy a copy. But in case you need more in the way of persuasion, here’s the full review:
Since I was lucky enough to play a preview of this last month I’ve been anticipating getting my hands on a copy of the full game and I’m pleased to say I’m even more impressed than I was with the preview.
As a kid of the 70’s I fancy that I grew up during the home gaming revolution, we had plenty of those TV games consoles including the Atari 2600 before migrating to ‘proper’ computers such as the C16, C64, Amiga, PC and onto Macs, along the way I even had an Amiga CD32 console. But somewhere during that journey I fell out of love with games, the simplicity and addictivness of games such Impossible Mission, Spy v Spy and PacMan game way to frustratingly complex and unforgiving games where failure to make a pixel perfect jump brought play to an end.
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows is very much a (welcome) return to those days of fun gaming. The control system is so intuitive that within 30 seconds even my 62 year old mum was able to have Spidey swinging through New York City without crashing into the scenery.
As with all good games, Web of Shadows guides the player through the story, enhancing their control over Spider-Man, teaching new moves and introducing them to other characters as the main thrust of the game slowly builds around them.
If you’re not already aware, the game an original storyline which sees Spider-Man fighting against an invasion of New York and the choices the player makes puts them in control of Spider-Man’s destiny.
As the classic ‘red and blue’ Spidey moves through the city, residents cheer him which adds to the hero feeling and makes you feel part of a sentient world. But if you make darker decisions, play the darker, not so friendly variant of Spider-man the citizens of New York can be less welcoming.
The game world is HUGE, I seem to recall the developers boasting it was 8 square miles but even if I’m wrong it feels massive and it looks stunning with some great colours and lighting effects.
Fail a mission and you’re presented with the option to retry it, longer missions autosave as you complete each segment so failure just means retrying from the point you turned out to be a bit of a wuss.
As mentioned before, the control system is intuitive and it takes no time at all before you have full control over Spider-Man and are swinging down Now York’s busy streets, stopping between missions to help police units tackle incidents and winning applause from passers-by.
As well as defeating the bad guys Spidey has the option of saving innocent members of the public, racing to get them to hospital in time.
I genuinely cannot fault any aspect of this game, it has been carefully structured to build the ability and confidence of the player to ensure maximum playability and the control the player has over events means it will stand up to repeated playings, something which lets down many games.
Huge fun and an essential addition to any games player’s collection.
Spider-Man™: Web of Shadows is published by Activisin and is available on Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2, PSP and DS from the seenit.co.uk store