Spider-Man: Edge of Time hit store shelves yesterday. Mike Boyd offers his first impressions.

Last year’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions was arguably one of the finer entries into the vast pantheon of Spidey-themed video games. In my very recent memory it was one of the best, melding together the multiple universes that exist for the character (Ultimate, 2099, Noir, and Amazing). Now, a year later Activision brings us Spider-Man: Edge of Time, an update attempting to correct some of the flaws first showcased in the previous entry. Here are my first impressions from the first 25 minutes of gameplay.

Edge of Time starts out with a bang, and without spoiling any of the plot, I’ll just say pressing the start button hurls you into combat with Anti-Venom (Eddie Brock). The brief glimpse of combat I caught here seems to be a marked improvement from the last game, and I can tell that a larger move set is in store for our hero. Graphically, the glossy finish to the suits of both spider-men (Amazing and 2099) seem to be an improvement from last year, even though the engine of the game is the same. Again, this is not an “open-world” game, but focused more on combat and quick web-slinging as opposed to exploration.

Post-prologue level, the player is transported to the future, and Spider-Man 2099 makes his presence known. The plot, thus far, is played out through a great interactive credit sequence where you guide Miguel O’Hara (Spidey 2099) through the labs of the Alchemax Corporation in an attempt to discover what a man named Walker Sloan (voiced by Val Kilmer) wants with Alchemax. To summarize it quick, greed propels a man to change his future by altering the past, and hoping to knock out the competition.

Following the interactive credits, players begin to web-swing and zip line, collecting the essential gold spiders, orbs, and health upgrades necessary to keep both spider-men growing. By the time the first combat sequence is reached, a new and awesome addition to Spidey’s arsenal manifests itself; a quick button tap allows you to do a quick “decoy-like dodge” where you are able to move quickly past treacherous obstacles and projectiles.

With a story and dialogue by Peter David (the man who scribed the original Spider-Man 2099 comic book for Marvel in the 90’s), Edge of Time is shaping up nicely. There are a myriad of collectibles, challenges, and memos to collect throughout the game, and the more streamlined experience of two spider-men as opposed to four will hopefully tell a more cohesive story. I hope to have a full review forthcoming. With decision making affecting gameplay choices, Spider-Man: Edge of Time should provide players with another mighty Marvel adventure for the wall crawler to occupy himself with and give him a break from “Spider-Island…” not the ideal vacation spot mind you.

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