Spider in the Apple

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 November, 2008, 12:00am

Your favourite arachnid superhero returns in a riveting, action-adventure saga: Spider-Man: Web of Shadows.

Published by Activision, it comes in three versions: a free-roaming 3D action game from developers Treyarch and Shaba Games (on Microsoft's Xbox 360, Windows-based PC, Sony's PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii); a scroller beat 'em up game by Amaze Entertainment (PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable); and a side-scrolling platformer from Griptonite Games (Nintendo DS).

Set in an apocalyptic New York City, players are given a huge amount of choices, including control over the game's direction and outcome. The city is threatened by an invasion of 'symbiotes', alien organisms that bond with the living, enhance the host's physical attributes and have murderous urges.

Another first in this title is the ability for players to switch costumes at any time - using either the web slinger's classic red-and-blue suit or the black anti-hero suit favoured by the symbiote-controlled Spidey. That means you can switch allegiances instantly between the other Marvel Comics superheroes or the supervillains.

The black costume boosts Spidey's strength, making for more powerful but slower attacks. His original blue and red suit makes him faster and more agile.

Players control which Spider-Man continues on his quest to save the city.

Web of Shadows' all-new fighting system will challenge players to master fast-moving acrobatic combat, web-slinging moves and attack combinations, as the fight is taken up the sides of buildings and onto rooftops.

For the novice gamer, simple button-mashing will get you through any tough spot. More experienced gamers will find the nuances in combat deeply satisfying.

As players progress, they gain experience in multiple combat disciplines; this allows them to custom-design their ideal Spider-Man.

The graphics, visual effects, storyline, cast of characters and soundtrack are all amazing. The few glitches include pedestrians walking into walls, which can sometimes be distracting.

It looks like Activision has got it right, Web of Shadows is the best Spider-Man game to date.

Pros: Gamers control the high-octane battles and the unfolding of the compelling storyline.

Cons: There are still a few minor hiccups.