We'll give the premise about as much attention as developer Beenox has: some ancient, magical slab gets stolen, shattered, sucked into four different dimensions - spanning past, present and future - and lands in the hands of various Spidey villains.
You take on the role of alternate Spider-Men in a quest of linear platforming to get the fragments back one at a time. That's all there is to it and there's no attempt to embellish in any real way.
Zip through to each dimension, meet a bad guy, follow him as he runs away - knocking through waves of henchmen as you go - before catching up with said evil-doer in a pretty standard boss fight. Sometimes three. It's a drag.
But let's not dismiss the web-head just yet. There's actually a lot of stuff we like about Shattered Dimensions. The visuals, for example, are surprisingly lush. The vivid cel-shading works perfectly considering the comic book source; the animations are dynamic and each of the four Spideys occupy their own unique, vivid world, based on the alternate Marvel universe they belong to.
They each come with their own abilities as well, although 2099 Spider-Man (from the future) and Ultimate Spider-Man (in the Symbiote suit) only show slight variations on the classic Amazing Spider-Man we all know and love.
Noir Spidey of the 1930s, on the other hand, brings a whole new stealth mechanic to the game with brutal, silent take-downs in his arsenal. It's almost Arkham Asylum (but not).
We love some of the in-game mechanics, which at times feel like a mini-game in
their own right.
Duelling with a super-villain for long enough, for example, will trigger a first-person punching-bag gimmick like a basic Fight Night Round 3, where Right and Left analogue sticks control strikes and dodges.
Our favourite is the Spider-Man 2099 chase sequence with the futuristic Hobgoblin where you freefall after Gobbo from skyscrapers, dodging objects that would really hurt if you hit them at speed. We can't remember seeing the old superhero dive since Batman: Vengeance. It's a staple of comic book heroes and has been missed in their gaming counterparts.
Features like these mean Shattered Dimensions would actually work as a Spidey game even though it's not an open-world swingers' party. It's just a massive shame they're housed in such a linear and grindingly predictable format.
It drags the whole thing right down to levels of mundane where Spider-Man should never be. When we heard we were taking on Electro for the third time after that stupid fragment boosted his powers yet again, we nearly cried.
Great visuals, good ideas, boring routine
- Lovely comic visuals
- Plenty of Spider lore
- Some cool mechanics
- Grinding repetition
- Unimaginative boss battles