Spider-man: Edge of Time

9.0 Overall Score

It’s fun, it has a great story, and for Marvel fans, there are numerous nods to various series.

Suffers at times from “Lazy Designer Boss Battle”

Written by on November 17, 2011 in [, , , ]

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can. Spins a web, any size. Goes through time, then he dies.

Welcome back kiddies – I hope you’re all keeping warm out there as the chilly winter blankets the horizon. Unfortunately for our mutual pal Peter Parker, there is something worse than snow covering his world. Today we will be spinning a review for the newest video game of the Spider-Man franchise: Spider-Man – Edge of Time. Developed by Beenox and distributed by Activision, Edge of Time invites players to join not one, but two Spider-Men (Spider-Mans?) as they combine forces over time and space stop the Alchemex Corporation from rewriting history.

The Amazing Spider-Man in today’s world is contacted by Spider-Man 2099 to tell him the world is all wrong and that he will soon be killed by Venom. This isn’t the Peter Parker we know, he works for the Alchemex corporation. J Jameson is running for mayor, the Daily Bugle is now the Alchemex Daily, and the never-aging Walker Sloan (voiced by Val Kilmer) runs it all.

From the start of the game it is clear this is a cinematic experience, however is not “playing a cinematic” like so many games resort to. Even the title screen actually quite impressed me for its cinematic nature. It displays the game logo and a room with the time portal. When you start the game there is no loading – the logo fades away and the camera pans over to a battle already in progress between The Amazing Spider-Man and Anti-Venom, where the player then takes control of Spidey and learns how to fight.

The story to this game is surprisingly good. While it isn’t very complex, it has been well thought out by the developers. The plot does a good job of driving game progression, and even includes a few unexpected surprises to keep you interested. While I never found myself peeling my jaw off the floor at any M. Night style twists, there were indeed a few moments where I verbally exclaimed, “Huh. I did not see that coming”.

Being a game about time travel, there are some great time based moments. Unfortunately, the game has been advertised that “your actions in one world affect the other”, and this is true – however, it is only as true as the story goes. Amazing Spider-Man will need to do things such as destroy robot prototypes to save Spider-Man 2099 from robotic soldiers in the future. However, from what I saw, there were no optional modification paths. There isn’t anything like destroying a hall in the past to cause a new area to open in the future. The game is far more linear than that, allowing the player no room whatsoever to divert or change the story or game-world outside from what the fates at Beenox designed. In the case of this game however, I felt that was ok. The game actually works great as a very linear experience, and as much as I would like to change the future at my own whim, it didn’t really feel needed.

Oh, and there is a fun Quantum-Leap moment where future Spidey watches someone’s obituary change in real time as past-Spidey works on saving this particular someone. I won’t spoil it, but you’ll know it when you see it. Combat in Edge-of Time is nothing special. If you have played God of War, Devil May Cry, Bayonetta or almost any other fast-paced third person action game, then you are familiar with the combat. Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 do however both have some unique differences in their combat abilities. Amazing can move very fast in combat, allowing for quick combos. 2099 on the other hand can clone himself and keep fighting, confusing enemies as to whom they should attack. (In story terms, 2099 “can move so fast he appears to be in two places at once”, however 2099’s speed doesn’t actually change when using this maneuver). There are combos and the abilities of both Spidey’s that can be powered up, however there is nothing very original here, so I won’t bore you with combat descriptions you already know.

The music to the game, composed by the very talented Gerard Marino, continues the cinematic experience with some well tuned dynamic audio. The musical score is quite accessible for the audience and really brings the plight of our heroes to the ears of players. I can safely say that I hope to find this OST available for purchase on some form of musical purchase portal.

Ok, so the game is pretty damn good. Hell, I sat down to check the game out and four hours later was still playing. This is one game developer who was having a blast playing a game. But then it happened. The event where the game made me turn my head to cough, but then devil-pounded me square in the balls with that huge globe that sits on top of the Daily Bugle. I had come across the “Lazy Designer Boss Battle”.

Now, I can say from experience that you almost always need to cut corners and shave elements down when the deadline is coming up and a huge product release is on the line. But there are almost always ways to hide this. Like the removal of pressure zones from Bioshock, Space Suits from Duke Nuke 3D, or heck, the original final boss from Shinobi Njnja Attacks, which was planned to be a musical beat-based combat sequence.

In Edge of Time, the game auto saves quite frequently. You never really need to worry about losing progress as the game will save itself invisibly whenever you complete a minor progress element, which happens frequently. But then you get to a boss battle where you have to beat a character multiple times, where each time they get more difficult. This happens a few times in the game, but it’s well played each time. Well, almost each time. This battle in question takes place in a huge room. And it is LAME. There are combat platforms with lengths of paths between them. While in combat, if you walk just an inch off a platform, the boss and their allies will stand there and stare at you like Spidey just walked behind seventeen inches of transparent aluminum. That is very lame. But this is not the worst of it. Upon each defeat of the boss, they move to another combat platform. Spidey needs to find which platform, and defeat them all over again from full health, and with more minions.

And if you die? You have to start FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE FIRST BATTLE. There is absolutely no reason the game cannot do a progress save. There is no event hindering the save. The player is not in the middle of a battle. The developers for some reason decided to put the player in the middle of a multi-tiered battle against the exact same boss, make it very difficult, and if you die, you lose all progress in the battle tier and start from the beginning. This sucks worse than an evening where Mary Jane wants Peter Parker to call her Sticky Icky.

So. Spider-Man: Edge of Time. Should you buy it? Well… Yes! It’s fun, it has a great story, and for Marvel fans, there are numerous nods to various series’. The gameplay is nothing new, however the story and interactions between Amazing Spidey and Spidey 2099 will keep you quite entertained and curious as to what will happen next.

I give Spider-Man – Edge of Time 4 out of 5 photos of Mary Jane in a bikini. Go pick it up for your platform of choice, grab some snacks and carve out a solid weekend to play through the game and enjoy its many challenges and extras. This is a hard game to put down!

A copy of Spider-Man: Edge of Time was provided to The Married Gamers for review.


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Author: Dave Calabrese View all posts by
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dave has always looked towards creative mediums as a way to showcase untold stories and to entertain others. From a young age, Dave would spend hours in his family's home creating home-made board games and writing stories. His father worked in the game industry, which allowed Dave the early insight on another direction he could take his creative inspirations in. He eventually found a job in the game industry, and seven years later had a stack of published games under his belt and a number of award winning titles to bulletpoint his resume with. Dave continues to pave the way to the future of the games industry by telling stories and entertaining through interactive mediums which will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you come back for more.

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