Spider-Man: Edge of Time and the Sophomore Slump

spider-man edge of time

As you guys know I bought Spider-Man: Edge of Time this past Tuesday, and I think I’ve played enough of it to get a firm grasp on whether or not it’s a good follow-up to Shattered Dimensions and if it’s worth your time and money. The short answer is no, and it makes me really worried for future Activision published sequels that aren’t Call of Duty.

The long answer is: instead of the four different Spider-Men from the last game, this time you play only as the basic Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099. When I first heard about this I was a little disappointed but I figured that Beenox would find a way to vary up the fighting and puzzle sections enough between the two Spider-Men so it wouldn’t just feel like I was playing the same game with a palette swap. This unfortunately isn’t the case because all you do in Edge of Time is beat up dudes. A lot of dudes. The fighting in Shattered Dimensions was interesting because every Spider-Man had his own unique style but in this game both 2099 and Amazing are pretty much exactly the same except Amazing can hit people with giant web flails which are now inexplicably less effective than they were in Shattered Dimensions. The game also suffers from some pretty bad pacing issues as certain combat or free-fall sections can go on for entirely too long (free-fall also has the annoying habit of not giving enough time to recover after you slam into obstacles meaning that once you hit one thing you’re pretty much dead).

Edge of Time really feels thrown together as there’s not much inspiration in the combat encounters, the story, or the level design. The quantum reality-shifting aspects could be cool but it makes very little sense most of the time (the two Spideys even comment on how fast and loose the whole thing is) and kind of gets predictable very quickly. Hearing Christopher Daniel Barnes as Spider-Man 2099 is awesome for fans of the old 90s cartoon, but other than that there’s no real reason to play Edge of Time. Maybe that was obvious to you guys, but I liked Shattered Dimensions and I was hoping Beenox could keep up a decent level of quality. Given that Fall of Cybertron was just announced (another sequel that’s coming a year after the studio’s last title), I’m worried about how that’s going to turn out. Honestly, I’m worried about any Activision game that isn’t Call of Duty.

Do you guys have any sequels that were a huge disappointment, especially if they were sequels to games that weren’t universally loved? Go!

What Are You Playing: Show Me Your Rage Edition

what are you playing

We might have to do a What Are You Playing every Tuesday from now until the end of the year because it’s about to go down, people. There’s maybe about a billion games coming every week for the next few months on this exact day, except for Skyrim, which hits on a Friday (also known as “Eff Your Weekend Plans, Here’s Skyrim” Day). Naturally, we’re curious about your gaming tastes as it helps us format the content for the site and it also lets us know that your care enough to respond. That said, let’s dig in.

Because I’m a crazy person, my purchase today will be Spider-Man: Edge of Time, Beenox’s sophomore attempt at this property. I enjoyed their last effort, Shattered Dimensions, so who knows, I might like this one too. Other than my guilty pleasure we have RAGE and Dark Souls, one of which I know Anthony is salivating ferociously over. I also picked up the Witcher 2 on Steam for 30 bucks and of course there’s the Battlefield 3 Beta and Gears of War 3 when I get a moment. Who ever said that gamers are lazy should really look at the 2011 release schedule. That’s a lot of gaming to get done with so little time!

So what’s on your docket? RAGE, Dark Souls, something else? Polishing off the backlog maybe?