Superheroes have their work cut out these days. Ever since Rocksteady and Batman decided to launch a superhero game, there’s been a shakedown. Uninspiring plots and bland gameplay are being booted out the door in favour of original stories based on comic fiction and realistic gameplay.
Amidst these refreshing winds of change, Beenox has brought four Spider-Men in their latest effort set in the Marvel universe — Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Joining the Amazing Spider-Man are the Ultimate (symbiote) Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099, and the stealthy Spider-Man Noir.
Tying in these four Spider-Men is a plot penned by The Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott. Mysterio breaks into the New York City Museum to steal an artifact called the Tablet of Order. Spider-Man shows up to stop the robbery, shattering the tablet with a force that scatters its pieces across multiple locations in four beautiful dimensions. It’s up to the Spider-Man of each dimension to find the pieces and bring them together.
That is easier said than done because each piece ends up conveniently falling into the hands of a super villain. Each level focuses on one super-villain, and Spider-Man has to chase down the super-villain across multiple boss encounters to get the piece back.
Each boss has been designed with utmost care, leveraging their strengths from the comic book universe, making each fight fun.
They also do a good job at hiding the lack of a story here. While four parallel dimensions may seem like the stage for a grand tale, you simply end up collecting the pieces in order to restore the tablet. However, the game finds its personality in its excellent script, voiced by Spider-Man veterans such as Neil Patrick Harris.
Despite being set in four dimensions, the gameplay is similar with the same moves replicated across dimensions. In the end, it all boils down to whether Shattered Dimensions continues the trend that began with Batman: Arkham Asylum? Has the web-slinger found his sweet spot in interactive entertainment? While some issues hold it back from greatness, it’s safe to say that Shattered Dimensions is a stepping stone towards it.