Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
|Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions|
Griptonite Games (DS)
|Release||Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Wii & Xbox 360|
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is a video game based on the Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man. Players control four different versions of Spider-Man, each originating from a different universe in the Marvel Comics multiverse. Previous Spider-Man voice actors Neil Patrick Harris, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Dan Gilvezan, and Josh Keaton each voice one of the four Spider-Men.
The game revolves around an artifact known as the Tablet of Order and Chaos. When it is shattered into pieces during a fight 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. Reviewers generally praised the idea of bringing four Marvel universes together, and lauded the voice acting and humor, though criticism was aimed at the story, choice of villains and the overall design of the cutscenes as well as technical difficulties.
The player can control four versions of Spider-Man, spanning the Amazing, Noir, 2099, and Ultimate universes. During some of the boss battles, Shattered Dimensions switches to a first-person perspective. The player can then use the analog sticks (or the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in the Wii version) to control the given Spider-Man's arms, punching their opponent and dodging their attacks. The punches can also be modified by holding down certain buttons.
Each universe's Spider-Man has their own unique fighting style :
- Amazing Spider-Man uses a combination of melee and web-attacks, mixing up-close and long range combat. He can deal increased damage by using weapons created by using webbing on the environment.
- Spider-Man Noir uses stealth and timing to silently defeat his enemies in combat. Noir gameplay focuses heavily on sneaking around enemies and uses color to indicate detection by enemies, with the screen turning black and white when concealed from enemy sight.
- Spider-Man 2099 uses acrobatics and his suit's advanced abilities in combat, adding unique free-fall gameplay segments. He has accelerated vision similar to a spider-reflex which allows him to dodge attacks quickly.
- Ultimate Spider-Man uses the powers of the symbiote suit to overwhelm enemies, using abilities like symbiotic spikes and tendrils, as well as a Rage mechanic.
The Nintendo DS version of Shattered Dimensions differs heavily from the console and PC versions. The game instead features side-scrolling gameplay, with each Spider-Man controlling identically to the others, and does not include the Ultimate Universe. This version also has several different bosses from the console versions, such as Amazing Electro, Amazing Tinkerer, Noir Boomerang, Noir Calypso, 2099 Vulture and 2099 Silvermane.
Mysterio attempts to steal an artifact known as "The Tablet of Order and Chaos", but is stopped by the Amazing Spider-Man, who accidentally breaks the tablet in 17 fragments. While Mysterio escapes with a fragment, Madame Web appears and reveals to Spider-Man that 12 of the fragments have been scattered to three other realities across the multiverse, including the Noir, 2099, and Ultimate universes, each of them with their own unique Spider-Man. To restore balance to the multiverse, Madame Web also recruits Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 2099, and a black-suited Ultimate Spider-Man to retrieve the fragments from their respective worlds. After a short tutorial, each Spider-Man easily retrieves their first fragment and returns to Madame Web, who warns them that, even shattered, the tablet can grant great powers and thus must not fall into the wrong hands. Meanwhile, Mysterio discovers that his fragment has granted him real magic powers.
In the Amazing universe, the Amazing Spider-Man finds a fragment in Kraven the Hunter's lair. However, Kraven tranquilizes him and Spider-Man wakes up in a jungle, where Kraven forces him to participate in his hunting game, promising him the tablet fragment if he survives. Spider-Man makes his way through all of Kraven's traps and hunters and eventually confronts him in a temple arena, where Kraven, humilated in front of his hunters for not being able to kill Spider-Man, uses the fragment's powers to gain super speed and strength. Nevertheless, Spider-Man defeats Kraven, who in the process is separated from the fragment, which Spider-Man then claims.
In the Noir universe, Spider-Man Noir finds a fragment in the possession of Hammerhead, who plans to give it to his boss Norman Osborn. Spider-Man stays hidden within the shadows to silently follow Hammerhead and his goons and later rescue some hostages without anyone noticing, although Hammerhead soon realizes his tricks and forces Spider-Man to get out of the shadows to fight several gangsters. After Spider-Man defeats them, Hammerhead, annoyed by his goons' incompetence, decides to deal with the web-slinger himself, thus using the fragment's power to turn his arms into guns. Spider-Man confronts Hammerhead in an abandoned warehouse, where the gangster, driven insane by his new powers, plots to overthrow Osborn. However, Spider-Man defeats Hammerhead before he can do so and claims the fragment.
In the 2099 universe, Spider-Man 2099 finds a fragment in the possession of Hobgoblin, a mysterious mercenary who makes the web-slinger chase him through the city. Along the way, Spider-Man defeats several Public Eye officers who attack him and stops Hobgoblin's destructive rampage. Spider-Man eventually corners Hobgoblin on the top of a building, but he uses the fragment to amplify his psy-powers, creating a reality of his own. Nevertheless, Spider-Man defeats Hobgoblin and claims the fragment, while also analysing Hobgoblin's suit and discovering that he was hired by Alchemax, the only company that could have provided him that kind of high tech equipment.
In the Ultimate universe, Ultimate Spider-Man finds a fragment in the possession of Electro, who is attacking a nearby dam. Spider-Man stops Electro's rampage and makes fun of him, which angers Electro and causes him to use the fragment's power to grow larger and create minions to attack Spider-Man. After saving the staff and fixing the dam, Spider-Man defeats Electro by tricking him into attacking the dam, which releases a large amount of water that proves to be too much even for Electro's powers; he is shorted out and taken away by the water, leaving behind only the fragment, which Spider-Man then claims.
All four Spider-Men return with their fragments to Madame Web, before leaving to find more. Meanwhile, Mysterio finds out as well about the other fragments and seeks to collect them all and gain unlimited powers.
The Amazing Spider-Man finds his next fragment at an abandoned Roxxon Industries quarry in the desert, but just as he is about to claim it, Sandman shows up and takes it instead, using its power to take over the quarry and create minions which attack Spider-Man. Spider-Man makes his away through the tunnels and defeats Sandman and his minions multiple times using water, but this angers Sandman and causes him to turn into a giant tornado. Nevertheless, Spider-man defeats Sandman for the final time and claims his fragment.
Spider-Man Noir finds his next fragment in the possession of Vulture, who has been granted teleportation powers. Spider-Man chases Vulture through the city, defeating numerous gangsters along the way and even saving some civilians from a building which Vulture set on fire, before eventually cornering him in an abandoned warehouse. Before fighting Vulture however, Spider-Man overhears him telling one of his goons that their boss, Norman Osborn, does already have a tablet fragment in his possesion. Upon defeating Vulture by exposing him to light and claiming his fragment, Spider-Man prepares to go after Osborn, especially now that he knows that he has the final fragment in this dimension.
Spider-Man 2099 finds his next fragment in the possession of some Public Eye officers, only to soon witness them being attacked by Scorpion, who steals the fragment and makes off with it. Spider-Man chases Scorpion, who uses the fragment's power to turn an entire building into his nest and lay eggs which spawn smaller clones of himself. Travelling through the infested building, Spider-Man rescues several civilians caught in the fight between the Public Eye and the scorpions and eventually confronts Scorpion in his nest, where Scorpion reveals that he was hired by a "mysterious lady" to bring her the fragment in exchange for becoming human again. Spider-Man defeats Scorpion by trapping him under some debris and claims the fragment, although he feels bad for Scorpion, because, in the end, he just wanted to be cured of his condition, and is determined to find this "mysterious lady" he told him about.
Ultimate Spider-Man finds his next fragment in the possession Deadpool, who challenges him to appear in his reality show: Pain Factor. With no other choice to claim the fragment, Spider-Man accepts the challenge and arrives on the set, a massive oil tanker in the middle of the ocean. Spider-Man makes his way through the set, beating all of Deadpool's fanboys and challenges along the way, which include destroying several cameras hidden around the set, a fight Deadpool himself, and escaping a massive tsunami. Spider-Man eventually makes it to the end of the set, but after the show ends, Deadpool refuses to give him the tablet fragment and instead tricks him into taking a fake one, while he uses the real fragment's power to clone himself. Nevertheless, Spider-Man defeats Deadpool and claims the fragment.
The four Spider-Men return once again to Madame Web with their fragments, but this time Mysterio attacks and threatens to kill Madame Web if the Amazing Spider-Man doesn't bring him the final four fragments. With no other choice, the four Spider-Men leave to find the final fragments and rescue Madame Web before it's too late.
The Amazing Spider-Man finds his final fragment in a construction yard, but he is once again interrupted before he can claim it, this time by Juggernaut, who is fleeing from Silver Sable and her Wild Pack, who want to claim a bounty on his head. Spider-Man tries not to intervene, but after the fragment accidentally gets stuck on Juggernaut in all the chaos, he begins chasing after him, defeating several mercenaries along the way, who attack Spider-Man because he also has a bounty on him. Spider-Man eventually corners and fights Juggernaut on top of the under-consturction Oscorp building, but their battle causes the building to collapse. Luckily for Spider-Man, this causes Silver Sable and her mercenaries to depart, leaving him alone with Juggernaut and the fragment. However, Juggernaut discovers the fragment and uses it to amplify his strength, but Spider-Man manages to defeat him nevertheless and claims the fragment.
Spider-Man Noir finds his final fragment in the possession of Norman Osborn, who uses it to become the Goblin, a hideous monster. The Goblin and his goons take over a carnival in order to attract Spider-Man, but he stays hidden within the shadows and successfully rescues all the hostages, before making his way through all of the Goblin's goons and the carnival attractions, which have been transformed into traps for the web-slinger. Spider-Man eventually confronts the Goblin under a circus tent and defeats him through a combination of both stealth and brute force, claiming his fragment.
Spider-Man 2099 breaks into Alchemax, where he finds his final fragment in the possession of Doctor Octopus, the head of Alchemax's Shadow Division and the one who hired Scorpion. Driven insane by the fragment's power, she plans to use it to power a dangerous reactor, but Spider-Man tries to foil her plan and escapes from Octopus' lab to go shut down the reactor. Travelling through Alchemax, Spider-Man battles numerous Public Eye officers along the way, as well some of Octopus' genetic experiments and a mechanical claw piloted by Octopus herself, and eventually shuts down all four batteries of the generator, with some help from a few Alchemax scientists also aware of the danger of Octopus' plan. However, after this doesn't stop the generator, Spider-Man returns to confront Octopus, who reveals that the fragment is enough to power the generator, and then uses the fragment to power herself some weapons to battle the web-slinger, including her six mechanical arms, a force field and some laser beams. Nevertheless, Spider-Man manages to disable the generator and defeat Octopus, claiming her fragment.
Ultimate Spider-Man visits S.H.I.E.L.D., who have found both the final fragment and Carnage, keeping them secure in the Triskelion. However, Carnage managed to escape and stole the fragment, using its power to drain the life from numerous S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and turn them into his zombie minions. When Spider-Man arrives, the Triskelion is already under Carnage's control and swarming with zombie agents and symbiote minions. Making his way through the infested base, Spider-Man chases after Carnage, defeating numerous infected agents and symbiotes along the way, as well as several S.H.I.E.L.D. Slayer Robots programmed to fight the symbiotes, which attack Spider-Man because of the black suit he's wearing. After a brief fight with Carnage and escaping from a crashing S.H.I.E.L.D hellicarrier, Spider-Man eventually reaches the top of the Triskellion, where Carnage's nest is located. With help from a few reprogrammed Slayer Robots, which recognise him as an ally, Spider-Man defeats Carnage and traps him under some debris, claiming his fragment.
The four Spider-Men return with the final fragments and hand them over to the Amazing Spider-Man, who hesitates in giving them to Mysterio. He eventually decides to attack Mysterio, but in the process he drops the fragments and, while Mysterio lets Madame Web go, they combine with the other fragments, recreating the tablet. Mysterio absorbs the tablet and becomes all-powerful, shattering the borders between realities and planning to build a new one under his rule. Madame Web tells the four Spider-Men that they need to work together if they want to defeat Mysterio and save the multiverse, so they take her advice and battle Mysterio one after another: Spider-Man Noir sneaks up to Mysterio by staying hidden within the shadows and avoiding his light; Ultimate Spider-Man battles numerous minions of Mysterio, including several magic spheres that mimic the powers of all the previous defeated villains; Spider-Man 2099 makes a long free-fall to catch up with Mysterio, avoiding his attacks in the process; and the Amazing Spider-Man battles Mysterio himself, eventually smashing his helmet against a giant rock and stripping him of all his powers. By doing so, the four Spider-Men successfully save their realities and defeat Mysterio, who in the process is separated from the tablet and then knocked unconscious. As the realities return to normal, Madame Web thanks the Spider-Men for all their help and, while Amazing Spider-Man takes Mysterio to prison, the others return to their respective dimensions, ready to save the day once again. The game ends with a short narration from Stan Lee and all four Spider-Men swinging through their respective dimensions, stating that out of all the Spider-Men out there, they are the best one.
Each of the different Spider-Men is portrayed by an actor who voiced Spider-Man in a prior animated series:
- The primary, present day traditional version of Spider-Man. After a battle with Mysterio in his home universe, the "Tablet of Order and Chaos" was fragmented and sent to several different alternate dimensions. This version of Spider-Man has to contend with the likes of Kraven the Hunter, the Sandman, and Juggernaut before the final confrontation. Harris previously played Spider-Man in 2003's short-lived Spider-Man: The New Animated Series that spun out of the 2002 film.
- An alternate version of Peter Parker from a dimension referred to as the "Noir Universe". Taking place in 1933, this version of Spider-Man has a darker personality and a more brutal fighting style, with a greater emphasis on stealth. Over the course of his involvement in the story, he is forced to face off against Noir versions of Hammerhead, Vulture, and Norman "the Goblin" Osborn before joining the other Spider-Men to battle Mysterio. Barnes previously acted as Spider-Man in 1994's animated Spider-Man TV series. He would go on to play Spider-Man 2099 in the Shattered Dimensions sequel Spider-Man: Edge of Time.
- A different character who took up the Spider-Man mantle in the future, Miguel O'Hara is forced to contend with the machinations of the evil Alchemax corporation in addition to facing off against future versions of Spider-Man enemies: Hobgoblin, Scorpion, and Doctor Octopus. Gilvezan previously voiced Peter Parker in the 1981 animated series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.
- A younger, only slightly altered variation of Peter Parker from a dimension known as the "Ultimate Universe", this version of Spider-Man is fitted with a black symbiote suit that is controlled by Madame Web, which enhances his aggression and pre-existing super strength. In his universe, Ultimate Spider-Man is forced to face off against Electro, Deadpool, and Carnage before joining the final battle. Keaton previously portrayed Spider-Man in the 2008 animated series The Spectacular Spider-Man, as well as other video games like Marvel Super Hero Squad and Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. He also went on to play the character's traditional version in the Shattered Dimensions sequel Edge of Time.
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 (several characters in The Spectacular Spider-Man as well as Wolverine in various media outlets) voices Hobgoblin 2099, Silvermane 2099, and both versions of Vulture. Jim Cummings (Shocker in Spider-Man: The Animated Series) voices Kraven the Hunter, Noir Goblin, Noir Boomerang and Tinkerer. Thomas F. Wilson (Sergeant Stan Carter on The Spectacular Spider-Man) voices both versions of 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 Noir Calypso. John Kassir (Deadpool 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 (Christina in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series) voices Doctor Octopus 2099. James Arnold Taylor (Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and Spider-Man: Battle for New York, Mysterio in Spider-Man 2, and Electro in Ultimate Spider-Man) 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, Susanne Blakeslee as Madame Web, and Kevin Umbricht as Spider-Ham. Additionally, Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee narrates the game's story. Jamie Thomason served as voice director, having previously directed The Spectacular Spider-Man. Jim Dooley composed the game's orchestral score.
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, with the Amazing universe given a traditional comic feel based on those of 1960s classic comic book art styles, while the Ultimate universe was meant to evoke more modern comics from the early 2000s. In contrast, the Noir and 2099 universes are rendered with realistic graphics, with the 2099 universe given a futuristic feel while the Noir universe was given a "very dark, very gritty" appearance. 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.
Several pre-order bonuses were offered for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions prior to release. Players who pre-ordered at GameStop received a Cosmic Spider-Man pack, which provided a Cosmic Spider-Man outfit for each Spider-Man. It was later included as a free bonus on the PC version, along with some minor fixes, which were not patched on the console versions. The Cosmic Spider-Man pack was later publicly released as downloadable content for the Xbox 360 on October 28, 2010, and for the PlayStation 3 on November 2, 2010. Pre-orders via Amazon.com included early access to Spider-Man 2099's Iron Spider costume and a book containing concept art for the game. Kmart pre-orders offered early access to Amazing Spider-Man's Scarlet Spider costume, while Best Buy included early access to the Negative Zone costume for Spider-Man Noir. Wal-Mart offered a 20-page comic book for online pre-orders of the game.
Shattered Dimensions was de-listed from the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live marketplaces in 2014 following the expiration of Activision's existing licensing deal with Marvel. The game was re-released via Steam on October 24, 2015, but was later removed on April 1, 2017.
The game received mostly positive reviews from critics. Metacritic gave it a score of 73 out of 100 for the DS version; 74 out of 100 for the PlayStation 3 version; 76 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 version; 75 out of 100 for the Wii version; and 68 out of 100 for the PC version.
IGN gave the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions eight out of ten and said, "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions has a lot of great things going for it", but scored the Wii version half a point lower despite being nearly identical to these two versions due to finnicky camera controls. 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 praised 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.
The premise of Shattered Dimensions eventually became the inspiration for the 2018 animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, although the film does not directly adapt the game. The three Spider-Men that are playable across all versions (Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Man 2099), as well as Spider-Ham, appear in that film in varying capacities.
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The plot sets up a game that is heavily inspired by past 'Metroidvania' titles, complete with a slick presentation.
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