Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
|Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions|
|Developer(s)||Beenox (PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360),
Griptonite Games (Nintendo DS)
|Release date(s)||Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, Platformer, Stealth|
|Mode(s)||Single-player video game|
|Distribution||DVD (PC, Xbox 360), Blu-ray (PS3), Wii Optical Disc (Wii), Game Card (DS)|
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is a video game featuring Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions blends together four universes from the Marvel Comics multiverse, allowing the player to play as four different Spider-Men. Known Spider-Man voice actors Neil Patrick Harris, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Dan Gilvezan, and Josh Keaton voice a Spider-Man from each of their respective alternate universes.
The game revolves around an artifact known as the Tablet of Order and Chaos. When it is shattered into pieces during a skirmish between Spider-Man and Mysterio, it causes problems with multiple Marvel Universe realities. Madame Web calls on four versions of Spider-Man from four realities to assist her in bringing the realities back into balance: the Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 2099, and Ultimate Spider-Man.
Shattered Dimensions received fairly positive reviews from critics, with reported aggregate scores averaging 62% to 79% at GameRankings, and Metacritic reporting scores of 76 out of 100 or lower. Reviewers generally praised the idea of bringing four Marvel universes together, and lauded the voice acting. The game's story was more divisive, with some reviewers enjoying the link between the four universes, and others stating there was not enough depth to carry the game. Glitches and bugs present in the game also drew criticism.
The player can control four versions of Spider-Man, spanning the Amazing, Noir, 2099, and Ultimate universes. During key moments of gameplay Shattered Dimensions switches to a first-person perspective. During these sequences the player uses the analog sticks to control the given Spider-Man's arms, punching their opponent. Developers described these sequences as a reward for the player.
Each universe's Spider-Man has a unique fighting technique that distinguishes him from the others. Amazing Spider-Man uses a combination of melee and web-attacks, such as web hammers designed to combine webbing with the environment, mixing up-close and long range combat. Spider-Man Noir uses stealth and timing to silently defeat his enemies in combat. When the player is in the shadows the screen turns black and white, signifying concealment. When the player is exposed in light the screen becomes colored meaning the character can be seen.
Spider-Man 2099 uses acrobatics and his suit's advanced abilities in combat. He has talons which give him a close combat advantage. He has accelerated vision similar to a spider-reflex which allows him to dodge attacks quickly, much like the Spider-Man 3 video game. Ultimate Spider-Man uses the powers of the symbiote suit to devastate enemies, generating symbiotic spikes and tendrils which act like extensions of his own body much like in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. There is also a rage meter for the Ultimate universe, much like the Spider-Man 3 video game. Ultimate Spider-Man does not appear in the Nintendo DS version.
An artifact known as the "Tablet of Order and Chaos" is shattered during a brief battle between Spider-Man and Mysterio, causing problems with multiple Marvel realities. Madame Web calls on four versions of Spider-Man from four realities to assist her in bringing the realities back into balance: the Amazing Spider-Man (Spider-Man's primary incarnation), Spider-Man Noir (a 1930s version of Spider-Man), Spider-Man 2099 (a possible future version of Spider-Man) and Ultimate Spider-Man (Spider-Man's younger incarnation from an alternate present bonded with a black suit). Each Spider-Man easily gains their first tablet fragment and turns it over to Madame Web; however, she explains that those with evil hearts will be drawn to the power of the fragments like moths to a flame. Adding to the bad news, Mysterio has one of the fragments, which grants him the power of true magic.
The game begins in the Amazing universe, with Amazing Spider-Man pursuing Kraven the Hunter for his tablet fragment. When Spider-Man confronts him, Kraven uses the fragment's powers to gain super speed. Spider-Man manages to defeat Kraven and claim the fragment. In the Noir universe, Spider-Man Noir moves through the shadows to claim a fragment from Hammerhead. When confronted, Hammerhead uses it to fuse his guns to his arms, and decides to use his new powers to overthrow his boss. Spider-Man manages to defeat Hammerhead and claim his fragment. In the 2099 universe, Spider-Man 2099 chases Hobgoblin through the city; cornered, Hobgoblin uses the fragment to amplify his psy-powers. Spider-Man eventually defeats Hobgoblin and claims the fragment. In the Ultimate universe, Ultimate Spider-Man battles Electro at a nearby dam where Electro uses the fragment to grow larger and make minions to fight Spider-Man. Spider-Man tricks Electro into attacking a dam which releases water, shorting out Electro's powers. Spider-Man then claims his fragment. Meanwhile, Mysterio is robbing the museum with his new powers when his fragment shows him the Spider-Men giving their fragments to Madame Web. Craving more power, Mysterio leaves to find Madame Web.
Amazing Spider-Man then finds a fragment in the clutches of Sandman at an abandoned quarry owned by Roxxon Industries. Sandman uses the fragment's power to take over the quarry and create minions, which he uses to attack Spider-Man. Spider-Man defeats Sandman with the use of water, claiming his fragment. Spider-Man Noir pursues Vulture through the streets; Vulture's fragment grants him teleportation powers. When he finally faces Vulture, Spider-Man defeats him by exposing him to light, then claims the fragment. Spider-Man 2099 chases Scorpion for a fragment stolen from the Public Eye; it allows Scorpion to lay eggs that hatch into smaller clones of himself. Scorpion says he was hired to steal it, right before Spider-Man traps him under debris and claims the fragment. Ultimate Spider-Man is challenged to appear on Deadpool's reality show: Pain Factor. He maneuvers through an off-shore oil rig, which has been converted to a television set, while fighting Deadpool's fans, destroying cameras and evading tidal waves. Deadpool gives him the fragment for winning, wondering what it does; Spider-Man explains, only to realize the fragment is a prop. Deadpool uses the real fragment, creating two clones of himself, each duplicate with a different weapon and same mind. Spider-Man defeats Deadpool and claims the fragment, but is left confused as to how he's going to get home.
In the Amazing universe, Madame Web receives the four fragments. Mysterio attacks, threatening to kill her if Spider-Man doesn't bring him the other fragments. Spider-Man finds the next fragment in a construction yard; unfortunately, Juggernaut is chased through by Silver Sable's Wild Pack, getting the fragment stuck underfoot. Spider-Man isolates Juggernaut from them, hoping to get the fragment; however, Juggernaut uses it to become stronger, at the cost of increased vulnerability. Spider-Man defeats Juggernaut and claims the fragment. In the Noir universe, the Goblin uses a fragment to become monstrous. After a battle under a circus tent, Goblin is defeated and Spider-Man Noir claims his fragment. In the 2099 universe, Spider-Man 2099 encounters Doctor Octopus, head of Alchemax's Shadow Division, and the one who hired Scorpion. Driven insane by the fragment, she plans to use it to power a one-of-a-kind reactor. Spider-Man shuts down the reactor and claims the fragment. In the Ultimate universe, S.H.I.E.L.D. has acquired a tablet fragment and Carnage in the Triskelion; however, attempting to create a new energy source, they make the mistake of attempting to combine the two. Carnage escapes, draining the life from the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and using the fragment's power to turn them into his minions. When Ultimate Spider-Man arrives, the Triskelion is already under Carnage's control. Spider-Man stops Carnage with the help of reprogrammed Spider-slayers. After Carnage is defeated, Spider-Man claims his fragment.
Despite Amazing Spider-Man's efforts, the tablet reconstructs itself and is absorbed by Mysterio; effectively now a god, he shatters all the borders separating the other realities, planning to build a new one under his sole rule. The Spider-Men, teleported to their location by Madame Web, defeat Mysterio and separate him from the tablet. As Mysterio tries to reclaim the Tablet of Order and Chaos, the Spider-Men knock him out. Madame Web then thanks them for saving all of reality. After the others return to their own dimensions and the walls between them are repaired, Amazing Spider-Man takes Mysterio to "Super-Villain Day-Care".
During the credits, Madame Web is then visited by Spider-Ham, who hoped to help save reality but answered Madame Web's call a bit too late. Madame Web is left baffled by his sudden appearance.
Development and marketing
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions was unveiled on March 30, 2010, where two of the universes, Amazing and Noir, were revealed. The third universe, 2099, was revealed on June 8, 2010. The final universe, Ultimate was first shown to players at San Diego Comic-Con 2010. Beenox made each universe feel unique by creating an individual art style for each universe and giving each Spider-Man different gameplay mechanics. For example, the Amazing and Ultimate universes are rendered with bright colors and tones of cel shading, the difference being that the Amazing Spider-Man has many web-based attacks and the Ultimate Spider-Man uses symbiote attacks from its suit. In contrast, the Noir and 2099 universes are rendered with realistic graphics. The 2099 universe was given a futuristic feel while the Noir universe was given a "very dark, very gritty" feel. Noir Spider-Man uses stealth-based tactics on his enemies, similar to the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series, and 2099 Spider-Man uses free fall sequences. The developers also worked closely with Marvel Comics to create new versions of characters not seen before in a particular universe, such as Hobgoblin 2099, Hammerhead Noir, and Doctor Octopus 2099. The story for the game was written by Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott and later provided him with an inspiration for the Spider-Verse comic book crossover event, which saw dozens of Spider-Men from alternate realities teaming up.
A number of costumes from different universes could be either unlocked early or downloaded by pre-ordering the game from various vendors. GameStop offered for a limited time a Cosmic Spider-Man bonus for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles, which brings a Cosmic Spider-Man outfit to each of the given dimensions. It was later included as a free bonus on the PC version. Players could unlock Iron Spider-Man early for the 2099 universe by pre-ordering at Amazon.com. Additionally, players received a book containing concept art for the game. A Scarlet Spider early unlock was offered at Kmart and applied only to the Amazing universe. Finally, pre-ordering at Best Buy rewarded players with the Negative Zone costume in the Noir universe as an early unlock. Wal-Mart.com offered a 20 page comic book with a pre-order of the game. On October 9, 2010, an announcement was made stating that the previously GameStop-exclusive Cosmic Spider-Man costumes would be made available as downloadable content in the latter half of October 2010. The costume was released for the Xbox 360 on October 28, 2010, and was released for the PlayStation 3 on November 2, 2010.
Several of the game's actors have voiced characters in previous Spider-Man series or games. Each Spider-Man is voiced by a different actor who has voiced Spider-Man in the past. Neil Patrick Harris (Spider-Man's voice in 2003's Spider-Man: The New Animated Series) voices the Amazing Spider-Man. Christopher Daniel Barnes (Spider-Man's voice in the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon series) voices Spider-Man Noir. Spider-Man 2099 is portrayed by Dan Gilvezan (Spider-Man's voice in the 1980s cartoon Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends). Finally, Ultimate Spider-Man is voiced by Josh Keaton (Spider-Man's voice in the 2008 cartoon The Spectacular Spider-Man). Stan Lee narrates the story for the first time since 2001's Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro.
Several actors return to reprise roles from elsewhere in Spider-Man and Marvel Comics media. John DiMaggio reprises his role as Hammerhead from The Spectacular Spider-Man. Steven Blum (the voice of several characters in The Spectacular Spider-Man as well as Wolverine in various media outlets) voices Hobgoblin, Vulture and Silvermane. Jim Cummings (Shocker's voice in Spider-Man: The Animated Series) voices Kraven the Hunter, Goblin, Boomerang and Tinkerer. Thomas F. Wilson (Sergeant Stan Carter's voice on The Spectacular Spider-Man) voices Electro. Nolan North reprises his role as Deadpool from Hulk Vs. Fred Tatasciore reprises his role as Carnage from Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. Jennifer Hale reprises her role as Silver Sable from Ultimate Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Friend or Foe while also voicing Calypso. John Kassir (Deadpool's voice in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2) voices Scorpion and a couple of Deadpool's fanboys. Tara Strong, the voice of Christina in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, voices Doctor Octopus. James Arnold Taylor, who voiced Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, voices different miscellaneous thugs and henchmen throughout the game. Other cast members include David Kaye as Mysterio, Dimitri Diatchenko as Sandman, Matt Willig as Juggernaut, and Susanne Blakeslee as Madame Web. Jamie Thomason, the voice director from The Spectacular Spider-Man series, directed the actors. Jim Dooley composed the game's orchestral score.
Nintendo DS version
In the Nintendo DS version of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, several changes are more apparent in comparison the other consoles. Spider-Man encounters Electro and Tinkerer as well. Spider-Man Noir encounters Boomerang and Calypso but does not encounter Vulture. Spider-Man 2099 encounters Silvermane and Vulture. Finally, Josh Keaton voices the Amazing Spider-Man in this version as there's no Ultimate Spider-Man in this version.
Spider-Man learns Mysterio is after the Tablet of Order and Chaos, which was unearthed at a construction site. Mysterio uses the Tablet as a shield, forcing Spidey to try pulling it away with webbing; he ends up tearing half of it from Mysterio's grasp. Mysterio escapes the Amazing universe, with Spider-man left holding a fragment. Madame Web informs Spider-man of the chaos his inflicted on the multiverse thanks to his blunder; he is to team up with Spider-Men from a past unlike his and a future that may now not come true. In the Noir universe, Spider-Man confronts Boomerang who is stopped by Spider-Man before even getting the fragment. In the 2099 universe, Spider-Man confronts Vulture who uses a fragment so his wings could shoot bullets. In the Amazing universe, Spider-Man confronts Tinkerer who uses a fragment to power up a machine that created an army of robots. In the Noir universe, Spider-Man confronts Calypso who uses a fragment to raise the dead. In the 2099 universe, Spider-Man confronts the now cyborg Silvermane who uses a fragment to be immortal. In the Amazing universe, Spider-Man confronts Electro who uses a fragment to boost his speed. Then the Amazing Spider-Man confronts Mysterio who uses the last fragment to become a god that created a new dimension, which threatens to destroy the others with its existence. Spider-Man defeats him and gives the tablet to Madame Web.
The game received mostly positive reviews from critics. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 74.50% and 73 out of 100 for the DS version; 77.95% and 74 out of 100 for the PlayStation 3 version; 79.16% and 76 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 version; 75.30% and 75 out of 100 for the Wii version; and 62.50% and 68 out of 100 for the PC version.
IGN gave it eight out of ten and said, "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions has a lot of great things going for it." Game Informer awarded it 8.5 out of 10 and said it "delivers a non-stop action ride with something new around every corner." GamesRadar gave it three-and-a-half stars out of five and said "Shattered Dimensions is a good game, but it fell short of an Ultimate Marvel Team-Up." GamePro gave the Xbox 360 version four and a half out of five stars and said, "Thankfully, [Spider-Man's] latest adventure, Shattered Dimensions, is one of his best yet, offering four unique worlds, classic Spidey action, and an engaging story that puts it near the top of the franchise both in terms of quality and impact." X-Play gave the game four stars out of five and said it "streamlines the usual trappings of the genre to focus on combat and personality. It’s true that the linear gameplay and old-school combat sensibilities don’t put it on par with Arkham Asylum, but the game succeeds regardless. It’s fun, fast-paced, and long enough to make it well worth checking out." 1UP.com gave it a B and stated, "The change in combat options is a welcome addition, I just wish that the story had delivered on the comic legacy of one of Marvel's more enduring heroes."
Non video-game publications gave some strong praise for the game. The A.V. Club gave the Xbox 360 version a B+ and stated: "Filled with countless remember-when moments—as in “Remember when you outran that wave of sand?”—Shattered Dimensions is less literary and artful than Batman: Arkham Asylum, but it’s far more fun." The Daily Telegraph gave it seven out of ten and stated, "The combat, and it's worth noting that this makes up the majority of the game, is superb. It's not particularly deep nor clever, but it's immensely rewarding, as too are the scripted first person sections which exist purely to, yes, let you punch things in the face." However, The Escapist gave the Xbox 360 version three stars out of five and said, "Creative set-pieces and an awesome concept can only hide a repetitious game structure for so long - and the stealth sections that mix it up are just frustrating."
The Nintendo DS version of the game drew mixed reviews. IGN and Digital Chumps praised the visuals. IGN felt the visuals stayed true to the comics, while Digital Chumps the smooth and detailed animations. Reviewers felt that overall the 2.5D Metroid-style gameplay was enjoyable, and fit the DS well. Sounds and voice acting were also praised. Some reviewers felt the game was too short, and that not enough emphasis was put on exploring the open world.
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