Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Hands-On Impressions

We learn how important playing nice with others can be and try on a couple of snazzy Spidey outfits in this hands-on.

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Last week in New Zealand, Activision Blizzard held its annual Activate Asia conference to give media from the region a look at the key games for the 2008 holiday season. Among the games on show was the latest Spider-Man adventure, Web of Shadows. We had a chance to get our hands on an Xbox 360 development build of the game and spent some time swinging and punching our way through a symbiote-infected New York City.

Web of Shadows' story is being written from scratch and will feature new and unique elements not found in the comic and film series. That said, during our demo it was apparent that a nod is also being given to longtime Marvel comic fans. Classic characters, including Luke Cage, Venom, and the Vulture, will be making appearances to fight with and against Spidey. Though we didn't come across Wolverine in our play time, a trailer for Web of Shadows clearly showed off both normal and symbiote-infected Wolverine.

Activision reps at the event told us the game will feature branching storylines that will adapt based on the decisions you make, your behaviour in the gameworld, and subsequently the heroes and villains you associate with. We were told these decisions will also dictate the game's ending.

It's simple: Just remember red for web and black to smack.

Both the red and black suits will be available from the outset, and you can switch between them on the fly by toggling the left thumbstick. Each suit has its own specialty moves and abilities. The red suit focuses on providing more traditional Spidey webbing and agility attacks, while black is designed for dealing out the heavy melee damage. You'll use the X button for the majority of your attacks, and depending on your suit colour, when you mash B you'll either perform a quick ranged web burst attack to cocoon enemies or grab enemies using your symbiote tentacles. Since you're considerably stronger in the black suit than in the red, you can pick up and throw objects within your range by hitting the B button. We had fun throwing cars around while SHIELD officers rallied against spot crimes taking place.

A hit combo system also means you'll be able to perform multiple attacks by weaving in and out of the two outfits to mix up the action as the situation dictates. In the red suit you'll be able to perform the webstrike attack, which is a move that fires a long web tether from you to your targets and then draws you to them quickly when you hit the Y button. By hitting Y again when you're within striking range, you'll perform a small hop, dealing damage and springing upright off the enemy. Tapping the left trigger will target the nearest enemy, and once you get the timing down, you'll be able to spring between groups of enemies and chain combos without hitting the ground.

Killing thugs and completing missions earns you experience points that can be spent on upgrading specific abilities and attacks in your repertoire. Each move includes button press instructions as well as a demo video so you know when you're performing it correctly. The limited number of experience points means you won't be able to max out all stats and abilities, so you'll need to plan your upgrade path.

In response to plenty of community feedback, the team at developer Shaba Games has put a lot of work into helping simplify the game's camera to keep you in the action. Tapping the left trigger will fire up Spidey sense to scout out action and evildoers, but if you hold it in during combat, you'll lock the camera to your nearest enemy; doing this will keep the enemy in the centre of the screen at all times regardless of the aerial acrobatics you're performing.

Since Spidey isn't the kind of guy to hop into a cab and since running is a slow way to go, swinging is the best way to get around the city, and from our hands-on time, the swing mechanics are fun and forgiving. Lifting off is as easy as pressing and holding the right trigger, and once you're in full swing, letting go and pressing the trigger again will keep you moving. Giving the trigger a quick tap (preferably while on the upswing) will perform a forward lunge move midair, which is useful for slowing down and changing direction quickly. We had no trouble finding anchor points in New York, and once we were moving, we were able to get a decent clip built up quite quickly. We were told this will vary by location, and when you're in more open areas you will need a little more precision and forethought for your next swing.

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows is looking solid and will begin swinging its way onto shelves for all platforms from October 22.

Discussion

176 comments
ultigamer12
ultigamer12

there has to be a major difference between the amazing allies edition and the original.i played the amazing allies edition and it's nothing like the image above!i played the P.S.P version and it's not free-roaming like it suggested!I'm starting to feel side-tracked here!

Hoops0123
Hoops0123

So is the psp version the same or what, cause this is exactly what they put for all the console previews?

BSEE10
BSEE10

I doubt this one

haidar_meong
haidar_meong

It's the greatest spiderman game ever in the PC... you all must buy it..!!!

catabuza
catabuza

i'm playin' it on the PC and i love it!.. it's definitely the best spidey game.. the combat is cool.. thumbs up from me

chaosjap
chaosjap

gamespot goes lazy and copy paste material from one console to another. WAKE UP! - this is allies edition

enagenado
enagenado

Hey gamespot team dont you should to show the original pictures of this game, i mean the 2D version made for PS 2 and DS, it is really frustrating to make a wrong choice because you dont update this ps2 section whit the real information, theres a lot of people that still have a ps2

Leonhart1995
Leonhart1995

Wow is the game cool? The image ^ there looks very 3d and nice !! i am going to get it now!!!

si-lurino
si-lurino

played this one on Wii... and it's damn straight better than previous spidey games. can't wait to see if the PC version is also better than its predecessors.

mondo87
mondo87

There has been some mistake on the PS2 version. It is not what u have read here. The cover displays the correct tittle but when played it displays "Spiderman: Web of Shadows Amazing Allies Edition". A bloody side scroller!... MISTAKE,MISTAKE,MISTAKE!!!!!!!!!!!

pz11479
pz11479

ps2 version is completely different. its horrible. such a disappointment to play

DaEmptyTomb
DaEmptyTomb

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

privios
privios

i really wanna have this game becuz free roaming games are fun 2 when you finished the whole game :P so my birthday is today and when i have my money this game is mine XD

idosofacility
idosofacility

games are about fun gameplay not graphics.. so far Im amazed, Ill be getting this for shure! I was long waiting a spidey good game not related to any movies or animated series.. SH2 was pretty good .. and with this looks like they fixed the only major problem the game had... fighting gameplay. that said Im all in for a ride in the big apple! but when are we going to see spidey taking a vacation in Rio de Janeiro? well hulk already did, so lets wait for a drop by anytime XD

Rycarus
Rycarus

This one will be even better in good difference with previous spidey games than even The Force Unleashed with previous Star Wars games. Dont take this as "another ugly spidey game". It could as well be a Final Fantasy game, but instead we get to see something from Marvel this time. which is better, because well get enough of FF on PSP sooner or later. ;) Have fun!

Haunted_shadows
Haunted_shadows

souljahofman Posted Sep 25, 2008 7:47 am GMT if this game sucks worse than friend or foe, might it be the last we see of spidey? IF it is that bad, Hopefully it will be the last... But I loved all the other Spidey games, if they manage to bring it back to good with this game its gonna be GREAT

Jambajuice95
Jambajuice95

sounds like its gonna be a pretty good game.

megamaster32
megamaster32

This game has to be the the best spider man game yet

RaveFoX
RaveFoX

solo espero q este bueno porque la verdad es q la jugabilidad de las versiones anteriores es bastante pobre...

gamerkiduri
gamerkiduri

i love spiderman.i love his games,comics and films.im from pakistan.and i am so obssesed with him.cant wait for this game.

gamerkiduri
gamerkiduri

i love spiderman.i love his games,comics and films.im from pakistan.and i am so obssesed with him.cant wait for this game.

HiroNakamaru
HiroNakamaru

yeah hopefully its not as bad as spiderman 3...... the very mention of that crappy game sends shivers down my spine

ErkiB
ErkiB

Damn I hope its good.

ResidentX19
ResidentX19

..I can already tell you the best part about this is the "Playable" other characters, hopefully wolverine is available.

laeb21
laeb21

quote: URSpaztic Posted Sep 25, 2008 1:25 pm PT wow. Amazing Allies? Gay title. Why is this one E10? I want violent spidey games, for crying out loud!!! /quote. yes, 'cause Marvel wants to please internet posters who cry Gay and beg for a more violent version of the Marvel Universe flagship character and everyman. On the videogame system that targets families, and non-gamers, before those of us who frequent the gaming sites and their message boards. Really, if you want to look for mature violence, find it somewhere other than in a game about a science-geek superhero invented in the 60s, who thought a good use of his gifts would be to dance around NYC in long-johns and ignore his real life, rather'n use his talents and genius to change the world. Guy invents a super-adhesive substance that can support buildings, and what does he do? He goes around, trying to smack sense into other nutcases who dress up in halloween costumes. . Spider-man's a mainstream comic-book character. All you'll ever get is mainstream comic-book violence from him.

biglou2128
biglou2128

Developers keep giving us crappy games because we keep buying them. It's as simple as that. this game looks good to me. but I'm definitely looking out for reviews first.

URSpaztic
URSpaztic

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

souljahofman
souljahofman

if this game sucks worse than friend or foe, might it be the last we see of spidey?

dfired9
dfired9

This game looks like it's about to drop a deuce on everyone.

flowdee79
flowdee79

Watch some of the videos the graphics aren't that bad. Sure they're not great but they are fine.

aaaaaa12
aaaaaa12

WOWOWOWWOWOW THIS GAE LOOKS COOL BUT I WONDER BOUT THE GRAPHICS.

aaaaaa12
aaaaaa12

Solid my a**. The game's gameplay is fun so far but the graphics look like crap the the other games. Whats so SOLID bout this one? It must be dammm solid lolz. Guys pls dun flame me its just my opinion.

david_joseph93
david_joseph93

dude Sonic7777777 MIGHT have a point not ALL Spider-Man games have been Outstanding but it might be good.. you never know...well thats when i saw Mercenaries 2 World in Flames well i when i saw it i knew it was Gonna Suck because it looked like Just Cause so i was like ¨this will be Really shallow¨ well gettng back to Spidey, Sonic7777777 might have a point so lets just watch the rating and RENT the game no Buy

Sonic7777777
Sonic7777777

This game has failure written alllllll over it.

Ganados0
Ganados0

One month to go and still nothing on the Wii version.

Iqen
Iqen

Looks pretty decent...

me4656
me4656

looks cool and @ben99:since when are kids smashing up zombies?(or zombie-ish freaks)

rachkovsky
rachkovsky

This game's plot is very unique for a superhero game. I am getting the game as soon as I can.

flowdee79
flowdee79

Cool. Web slinging was the only good part about 3, combat looks better on this.

DarkspineSonic0
DarkspineSonic0

That sounds awesome! And I agree with stan105. Spiderman 3 = Not so good Spiderman Web of Shadows = Let's hope it's better!