Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is a "Teen"-rated superhero game that serves as an interactive comic book. The web-slinger engages is a lot of combat -- between the four different worlds and four falvors of Spider-Man characters -- including a stealthy level that requires you to sneak up on unsuspecting enemies. Fighting involves hand-to-hand fisticuffs (punches and kicks, including combos and aerial attacks), plus he can use his web to inflict damage, too. Some of the fighting is from a first-person perspective in closeup and slow motion.
What's it about?
He's baaack. The web-slinging Marvel superhero has returned to a small screen near you in SPIDER-MAN: SHATTERED DIMENSIONS, Activision's latest interactive comic book for multiple platforms. Narrated by Spider-Man creator Stan Lee, we learn at the start of the game of a magical artifact being shattered by Spidey himself, which pulls at the fabric of time and space. In order to reverse the damage, the all-knowing Madame Web calls on four versions of Spider-Man, from four realities, to retrieve the four tablet fragments. As such, players will play as four different Spideys: the Amazing Spider-Man (the classic acrobatic and web-slinging hero); Spider-Man Noir (a darker, stealthier Spider-Man); Ultimate Spider-Man (the modern-day Spider-Man with the black Venom suit); and Spider-Man 2099 (in the future, with special vision and abilities).
Is it any good?
Yes. While ambitious, this Spider-Man game gets a lot right, though some of the worlds are better than others. For example, the Amazing Spider-Man and Ultimate Spider-Man levels were more enjoyable than Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Man 2099 (as the latter two felt more repetitive and limited in Spidey's bag of tricks). Along with unique abilities and upgrades, each of the four worlds have its own environment, enemies, bosses, and 15 specific challenges. Overall, the developers did a great job making players feel like they're in control of distinct heroes. The controls are tight, enemies are memorable and voice-acting is terrific (both the writing and delivery, including some familiar voices such as Neil Patrick Harris). Spider-Man fans looking for some action won't be disappointed with Shattered Dimensions. Note: Despite some control and visual discrepancies, all versions of the game are the same between platforms, except for the DS version which is rated E10+ and only has 3 version of Spider-Man.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether a combat-heavy game like this is more suitable for younger players than other fighting-based video games. After all, it's clear the game looks like a comic book, with most worlds bright and colorful, plus he's a superhero who fights against evil. Or is this Spider-Man game no better than other fighting games? Is violence still violence even if you dress it up in comic book fiction?