I've recently been playing through some of the older games in my collection (via cheap re-pickup or wiping the dust off of stuff I haven't used in a while) and it brought me to a game I had a lot of fun with last year called Spider-man: Web of Shadows.
And the review goes a lil somethin' like this:
It's a Venom invasion on New York City as he starts "spawning" symbiote clones of himself and infects the populous and a few super-heroes as well. It's up to Spider-man to save the day, but will he do it Dirty Harry Style or Aunt May Style? With the option of choosing good or bad guy decisions at key spots throughout the game, you can mold your own Spidey adventure, and ultimately decide the fate of New York and what it thinks of him in the process.
Visually, I still long for the days of the Todd McFarlane Spider-man era with the outlandish poses, crazy stretches and gigantic eyes. This game has none of this sadly. Do not take that as a bad thing as overall, the game is pretty with "some" minor graphical glitches but nothing really to take away from the adventure. Your swing and fall animations are great and the enemies are varied with some interesting takes on some classic villains like Electro and Vulture. Electro looks simply AWESOME with a look that is somewhat of a throwback but still very firmly planted in the here and now. He is no longer a clowned costumed bad guy. It would have been great to see the city streets more populated, similar to the volume of people you see in a very similar game called "Prototype", but this is nit picking really. There's still plenty of great stuff to see here. When the city finally gets overrun with the symbiotes, you really see a destroyed city. It looks great and you get a feel similar to a zombie movie.
The sandbox style of game can feel limiting at times, as you hit invisible walls if you try to cross the Brooklyn bridge, or any of the other bridges. The city is HUGE, but it's more like a Coney Island big, not a Manhattan Island big. There are supposed to be millions of people living in this small space and to be quite honest with you, it's really no bigger than St. John's Newfoundland's total land mass.
The sound is somewhat of a short-coming in the game in only ONE major department. Spider-man is a whiny bitch. Seriously, this is the WORST voiceover for Spider-man ever, even worse than Tobey Mcguire. Everything else is perfect. Web whips, symbiote splats, etc. ALL perfect.
The real thing that makes a game for me is playability. The game can look kinda bad (see: Dragon Age: Origins) but still be amazing. It can sound awful and still be great. But a game can't be hard to play. Learning curves should be gradual, not frustrating. This is where this game really shines. It is easily the best and most easily played Spider-man title ever. It's actually FUN to swing around the city, doing it is a breeze. The fighting can be button mashed OR be done with learned skill moves, and you'll still get through fairly well.
I like to rate games with money values. At best I'd pay full price for a game, which around here can hit $69.95. If it's a crap title, it goes to the dump bin, which will garner it a 4.95 price tag. Spider-man: Web of Shadows gets a healthy $49.95 price tag from me, as it is a great game to play, fun and easy with only a few minor hickups to keep it from being worthy of being purchased for a new price.
$49.95 out of $69.95