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Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows Review

Activision get in a tangle with Spidey's latest

Back when the Wii was first revealed in 2006 and everyone started brainstorming ideas about the sort of games that the exciting new control system might suit, one of our first thoughts was Spider-Man. Using the Remote and Nunchuk to web sling your way through New York? It sounded awesome to us.

So when the decidedly rancid Spider-Man 3 dropped in our laps last year you can't blame us for being extremely disappointed. It was unfinished, ugly, tedious and the controls were dismal. Fast forward 12 months and we have Web Of Shadows. Without the constraints of a movie license to hold them back we hoped that Activision might be able to right the myriad wrongs with their last effort and deliver the game that Spidey fans deserve. Have they managed it? Unfortunately, not quite.

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First up, the positives. It's a far, far better game than Spider-Man 3. While it's still no beauty - there's some nasty pop-up and the frame rate chugs along at times - visually it's a step up from its predecessor. The controls are better too and this is where the game really excels.

Most importantly, swinging through the huge city is a joy, with a downward flick of the Remote slinging your webs from building to building. The combat system is nicely nuanced and in-depth too. The B button offers a standard punch attack which you can level up by unlocking new moves. Z fires a web projectile and a downward swipe puts Spidey's heel into a foes face. Aside from that, there are a range of moves assigned to various waggles which can be chained to pull off some really satisfying combos.

It's a satisfying and relatively sophisticated system but one that's wasted on some unbelievably stupid foes. Yes, you can take the time to unleash an intricate barrage of attacks on an enemy but it's quicker and easier to just wade in with some button-mashing.

Punch, Swing, Repeat

And here's the game's biggest problem - it's extremely repetitive and, for the most part, very easy. There is a semblance of plot (some doggerel about Venom and an evil black goo attacking the city's civilians) but it's incomprehensible at best, giving way to mission after mission of beating up a set number of bad guys. There's the odd boss fight thrown in that throws up a little bit more of a challenge but as soon as you realise you just have to run away and hide for 10 seconds to see your energy fully replenished, they too are a push over.

There's a host of familiar faces to meet along the way - indeed, almost every character from the comic books shows up at some point - but the dialogue is so limp and the combat so samey that even this latent fan-service fails to inject much character into proceedings.

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There is some fun to be had swinging your way through the city and bumping bad guy skulls together; it's just a shame the whole package wasn't stitched together with a little more flair and imagination. There's a great game struggling to get out here, but alas, as it stands, this is a frustrating missed opportunity.

Comments

19 comments so far...
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  1. Dark Toad Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 15:02

    Weird how this got good reviews on other systems but not on the Wii.

  2. Nook T Nook 00 Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 15:07

    Weird how this got good reviews on other systems but not on the Wii.

    What does that tell you about the effort put into Wii games.

    Still, thats an alright score and this does look fun.

  3. ploiper Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 15:09

    its still a decent score, and the review wasnt to bad so it probaly is a good game to get.

  4. City Of Delusion Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 15:10

    Weird how this got good reviews on other systems but not on the Wii.

    Wrong answer!

    Wii Version: Metacritic 61
    PS3 version: Metacritic 69
    360 version: Metacritic 68

    Although there is definitely a difference between the Wii's scores and the PS360 scores.

  5. Super_Sonic96 Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 15:46

    A really big disappointment. I was hoping this could be the best spiderman to date...Which to tell the truth isn't that hard....

    But anyway i don't mind if it got a bad score on the wii, i'm intending to get it on the 360 anyway.

  6. Lost Rider Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 17:53

    What? A rubbish film tie-in? Surely not. :roll:

    Oh well, look on the bright side, it got a higher score than recent tie in attempts (*cough*ironman*cough*).

  7. Kolo67 Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 18:57

    Now Shaba Games has ruined this game, I'm devastated. I had extreemly high hopes for this, then you guys throw up in my face(Sorry). And If High Voltage mess up The Conduit then I will KILL NINTENDO! I will be extreemly ashamed if they mess it up. I would buy this game, but I will have a look at the review first.

    All in all a MASSIVE shame for Shaba Games for messing up a game like this!.

    WHAT A BIG RUINED GAME!

  8. mcr fan92 Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 19:05

    What? A rubbish film tie-in? Surely not. :roll:

    Oh well, look on the bright side, it got a higher score than recent tie in attempts (*cough*ironman*cough*).


    but its not a film tie in...

  9. 91nintendo Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 19:36

    Sigh.

    Why do people buy this crap?

  10. williamissocool Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 19:38

    I am well annoyed with ONM at the moment. The preview is all, yeah, it'll be the best ever, blah blah blah.
    Then the review comes and what happens? Oh, no, it's rubbish, no point buying it, get a nintendo game instead. This is so annoying and i will take a subscription off of my christmas list.

  11. Flash7 Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 19:43

    No surprise there then.

  12. Lost Rider Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 20:28

    What? A rubbish film tie-in? Surely not. :roll:

    Oh well, look on the bright side, it got a higher score than recent tie in attempts (*cough*ironman*cough*).


    but its not a film tie in...

    :oops: Whoops, my bad XD

    But still, even normal tie-ins are known too be iffy...

  13. kezao Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 21:23

    Weird how this got good reviews on other systems but not on the Wii.


    OXM only gave it 74 or somet like that, still a bit more than ONM but only because of better graphics and easier gameplay

  14. Oni-91 Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 21:52

    I love how everyone thinks that a 60-ish% rating is 'rubbish'.

    you just have to run away and hide for 10 seconds to see your energy fully replenished


    Games are still doing this!? It's probably one of the worst gameplay mechanics of recent time.

  15. Ryu5 Monday 3rd Nov 2008 at 22:40

    i've played the ds version and i love it. im really addicted to it and am predicting about 85% for it.

  16. Gisty94 Tuesday 4th Nov 2008 at 20:16

    :D personaly i think this game is wickid
    its fun
    its great to mess around on
    its better than any other spiderman game
    the combat it great
    you have two different combat styles (black/red suit)
    you can do more such as throw cars and letter boxes at enemy
    all in all i think this game is great fun and those who were dissapointed with spiderman 3 should ignore that and give it a go

    68 IS UNDER RAITED

  17. piece_of_kit Wednesday 5th Nov 2008 at 20:43

    poor spidey....

  18. Akriloth2160 Monday 23rd Mar 2009 at 14:08

    I love how everyone thinks that a 60-ish% rating is 'rubbish'.

    you just have to run away and hide for 10 seconds to see your energy fully replenished


    Games are still doing this!? It's probably one of the worst gameplay mechanics of recent time.

    Exactly. 60%-ish is more, "Not too bad, but not great" country. "Rubbish" is 49% or below!

  19. mario555 Monday 21st Sep 2009 at 07:25

    This game deserves 84%. It has a brilliant story line, excellent combat and you fight a lot of villains.

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