Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Review (Xbox360)

What intrigued me about Spider-Man: Web of Shadows was the trailer for it. Spiderman slowly walking on a rooftop surrounded by battles between unknown forces with Moonlight Sonata playing in the background. Out of all the recent games this holiday season has had, this trailer sparked more interest than nearly every other game I'd either seen or played. That, and the fact that it's a Spiderman game, was more than enough.

Spidey's new adventure is a doozy; his arch-nemesis Venom attacks the city and is giving the hurt to our hero. At his most vulnerable moment, the Symbiote which gives Venom his power (a loose interpretation) has a part of it go onto Spiderman, giving him a black costume and greater abilities. It doesn't make sense why this would happen, but then again neither does the progression of events, nor the rest of the story. Take this game with a grain of salt.

The black suit is stronger and more powerful than the red suit, but doesn't make good use of web shooting.
Super strength is one of the few powers Spiderman has that actually comes in handy. That, and his spider sense.

After defeating Venom, he becomes enraged with the missing part of the Symbiote and soon the whole city is in trouble. The tale is one Spiderman fans will scoff.

What the Story lacks the giant city of New York makes up for. It is huge. It takes five minutes to swing across the whole thing. There are thousands of buildings throughout the city, of all shapes and sizes, and for the most part players can only web-sling near the giant towers. Other than that, realism is tossed out the window, both for the fun and absurdity of it.

Web of Shadows is unique because of its aerial battles. Fighting on the ground is fairly consistent with only one attack button, one web-slinging button and one special move. But in the air, there are several very satisfying attacks that work in tandem with each other. Staying in the air for minutes at a time (remember, this is Spiderman, not Superman) is both possible and even necessary in some situations.

Web slinging around town gets surprisingly boring after going back and forth and back and forth and back and...
Aerial battles are where the action is at, albeit no fall damage will likely make it far too easy at times.

Beyond combat, Spiderman doesnít fare too well. Like the comic, heís overly sarcastic at all the right times, but like the movies heís too whiny and does not sound like a decent hero in the slightest. Which makes an interesting dynamic due to the good/evil choice system. At certain points of Web of Shadows, a choice to either follow the red- or black-suited Spiderman is given, red being good and black being evil. The more evil Spiderman becomes, the deeper his voice gets, which towards the middle of the game ensures his voice isnít too annoying to skip the cutscenes. Following the good path means Spiderman will remain sarcastic forever, but his voice will rip your ears out before you laugh at his jokes.

Little else can be said about Web of Shadows except that unlike previous Spiderman titles, this one is intended for teenagers instead of younger kids, and it doesnít help it along. Boss battles are not memorable and the few cameos other superheroes make are not particularly worthwhile. There is also a lack of unlockable secrets, which in the past had fans playing through the game over and over again to find each and every one of them. In the end, this incarnation of Spiderman is a mediocre game with very little satisfaction upon completion except that the good city of New York will be safe another day.

Top Gaming moment:
Successfully landing a finishing blow on a difficult boss by swinging from a tall building and kicking him mid-swing.

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