Spider-Man: Edge of Time Preview

by on April 20, 2011

Hanging upside down from the ceiling. Swinging between skyscrapers, hundreds of feet high. Easily scaling vertical surfaces.

All in a day’s work for Spider-Man.

You don’t survive for over forty years, spin-off a raft of alternate characters and star in Hollywood movies without offering something a little bit different. Spider-Man does that.

Peter Parker’s last HD console appearance was in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, a game which explored four of the Spidey-verses that Marvel has propagated over the years. Spider-Man: Edge of Time is a return, in some ways, to this idea. Uniting as it does, Amazing Spider-Man, the red and blue spider that we all love, and Spider-Man 2099, the geneticist from the future who shares many of the same fantastic abilities.

Godisageek received an invite to see Edge of Time and get a feel for how the game is progressing. The developer Beenox, who also created Shattered Dimensions, showed us their new “cause and effect” gameplay, where Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 have to work together, across time, to defeat an evil scientist plotting to control the world in 2099 and beyond. The actions taken by Amazing in his time affect the world and the levels of 2099, helping him complete his quest. We were shown a level where Amazing had to tear apart a giant robot (still an unfinished prototype) before it was completed, thereby preventing it crushing and killing 2099 in the future. Success meant the giant robot faded out of time, replaced by smaller prototypes that Amazing did not damage in the past. Nothing like some causal time travel to get the head spinning.

After Amazing commits this frankly scandalous private property damage to the huge robot, we get to see one of the really smooth moments of the demo, as the action fades seemlessly from Amazing’s universe to the world of 2099. Beenox are working to ensure that the game has no levels and no loading times; the experience is being designed as one fluid game spread across two distinctive Spider-Man worlds. The effect is undoubtedly impressive and it certainly put into sharp focus the effect of Amazing’s casual actions. It is great to see so many different parts of the Spider-Man lore brought together and truly integrated. Even more so when they are not just included to promote a book or tie-in to a TV show, and Beenox, along with Marvel and 2099 creator Peter David, who is writing the story for the game, think that these worlds have something to offer. Who are we to argue?

Those unique heroes and unique worlds deserve unique gameplay. At the very least, they deserve ‘Spider-Man’ gameplay. Whilst we didn’t get hands on time with the game, the demonstration made it look as if this was an action and combat type of game, superficially reminiscent of God of War type games. Hardly consistent with our expectations of the web crawler. Amazing would swing hammers and weapons made of webbing, utilising a dodge move to zip between enemies, and 2099 would batter enemies up close, using a ghost decoy to distract foes and punish them. There were glimmers of the wall-crawling, web-swinging and exploring that are so much a part of the skill set of Spider-Man, but to take advantage of the main character’s unique properties, Beenox will have to show that they have thought to include these sections as well.

No one was spilling the beans on plot and enemies, but we have been promised a number of classic Spider-Man villains to battle over the course of the game.

It is certainly exciting to think about what can be done with the time-travelling plot, and with the extra time afforded to both Amazing and 2099 when compared to Beenox’s previous four character effort. Here’s just hoping that this game is not just about two great Spider-Men and that it plays like a great Spider-Man game too.

You can see more Spider-Man: Edge of Time screenshots here. Spider-Man: Edge of Time is due out later this year on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.