Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099 travels back in time to present day New York City to stop a scientist from altering the timeline that could cause the death of Peter Parker/Spider-Man at the hands of Anti-Venom. -IMDB.com
I recently picked up Spider-Man: Edge of Time, the stand-alone sequel to Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Unfortunately, EoT falls a bit short of Shattered Dimensions, which was described by The A.V. Club as “fresh and exciting” and received generally favorable reviews, averaging at a 76 metascore on Metacritic.
While the storyline is interesting enough (though can get a tad confusing at times), what ruins EoT is its execution. It seems almost like a step back from what was a very good formula in SD. The gameplay is more or less the same, yet somehow this time around gets stale quickly.
This is also the case when it comes to the artwork. The graphics are okay, considering it came out 3 years ago, but everything is just so stereotypically “sci-fi” that every room looks alike, save for certain variations here and there. This is not to say that they recycled rooms (though you could count down from 100 until you were in that dang portal room again), it’s just that everything is textured the same, especially because the entire game takes place in one building. Blues and purples and metals. That’s it. Same goes for the enemies. They all looked exactly how you’d expect a futuristic robot or failed genetic experiment to look like.
Another area EoT disappoints is in its level-based system. While SD used this system as well, you never felt cramped; a feeling you get a lot playing Edge of Time. As mentioned before, the game takes place in a single building. It’s big, but it’s still one building. A Spidey game is best when you have room to roam and swing freely. Yes, there are a couple of rooms big enough to swing around, but those are very few and far between.
Don’t get me wrong, however. Spider-Man: Edge of Time is by no means a terrible game. Perhaps if it spent more time in development (the game came out only a year after its predecessor) it would’ve been better. The storyline had a lot of potential.
The interactions between the Spiders was the highlight of the game, which was usually shown through a window in the lower right-hand corner. And idea so simple yet almost ingenious. The seriously serious 2099 Spider-Man getting frustrated with the wise-cracking Amazing Spider-Man was hilarious the whole time and their quips back and forth never got old, as some games tend to do with your character talking outside of cutscenes.
This brings me to what really shines bright in the game. The voice-acting. While it is unfortunate that Neil Patrick Harris failed to return, the acting was still extremely good and never felt dry.
If you are a fan of Spidey with a few bucks to spare (my copy was $22 at GameStop), I’d say pick it up. It’s a nice little story that should entertain you (for it’s extremely short 8 hour playthrough). If you aren’t a Webhead, this game is definitely not going to convince you otherwise.