Review: Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (Wii)

Wii Review

"There are more story arcs than any of the films managed to shoe horn in and the fan service is especially interesting. Who doesn't want to fight alongside Luke Cage, Black Cat or (gasp!) Wolverine?"

Oh! What a tangled web you weave Spiderman! After luring us in with the excellent Spiderman 2 you then dished out a cumbersome camera and control system in the atrocious Spiderman 3. And now you return as if nothing happened! So, surprisingly we can't promise our senses weren't tingling when we sat down to review your latest outing…

And that's exactly how Web of Shadows starts. You want it to be Spiderman 2. You want the thrill of being Tarzan in a concrete jungle. You want to smash skulls against the pavement and drop your foes from the empire state building. You want to just enjoy it. But, as ever, Peter Parker gets all technical and once again there are flaws preventing the game from hitting the heady heights of its predecessors.

Ignore the last movie for a moment (if you can, we've tried and the self indulgent Spiderman 3 just won't go away) as this is a whole new story. Activision and Treyarch have created their own Spidey universe this time and it does enhance play. How you ask? Well the scope is better for a start. There are more story arcs than any of the films managed to shoe horn in and the fan service is especially interesting. Who doesn't want to fight alongside Luke Cage, Black Cat or (gasp!) Wolverine? The supporting cast certainly keeps things interesting and definitely involves you in the cities plight.

Kissing with mask on? For shame!

Yes, that's right. New York is in danger once again! Surprised? After a brief introductory fight against Venom, a symbiote part of him leaps to Spidey, attaches itself and leaves our hero with a darker side in which he is stronger and faster yet not necessarily 'good'. After that there are pods spawning thousands of symbiotes around the city and each pod is infecting those chirpy New Yorkers and all hell is breaking loose. After that the city is placed in lock-down and S.H.I.E.L.D. shows up and tries to blow everything away.

We initially liked the story as it offered something different from the usual 'get enemy X'. As each supporting character came into play we kept getting the notion that 'it's going to change the gameplay…" yet it never did. Instead we found ourselves fighting wave after wave of symbiote and saving wave after wave of New Yorkers. The added functionality of good/bad (via the symbiote suit) certainly hinted at spicing things up and, with alternative pathways through the title (giving the game multiple endings) we ploughed through purely on the 'potential' of the story. It was just unfortunate that the story arcs weren't used as a means to change the fundamental model of play.

Additionally we hit a point where we tired of the control scheme in Web of Shadows. Sure, leaping around New York and swinging is handled expertly (with a flick of the Wii remote you'll be zipping around in no time) but it's the combat system which will have your head (and limbs) aching. Web of Shadows will make you shun all forms of virtual reality as your arms start to ache from bashing enemy number 100. It's a shame that the controls weren't mapped better. Shaking the nunchuck horizontally changes your suit from red to black yet shaking the nunchuck vertically locks onto enemies. You can imagine the chaos that ensues when the screen is full of enemies and you want to lock onto the next villain. It all gets a little confusing. Throw in a few attempts to control the camera during battle via the D-Pad and you'll feel like more like a chump than a champ.

We thought the menu design summed up the poor design perfectly. Not only do C and Z move you through the menus but the analogue control only moves you through individual options. Why not just use the D-Pad/analogue or IR functionality of the Wii?

Who needs the RAC?

The fact remains that you will enjoy just leaping around an admittedly huge New York City. The city is rendered well with geographical New York hotspots represented at every turn. Sadly you'll feel like you're viewing New York through a veil of mud as everything has a brown hue to it. A real shame to an otherwise well created city. Thankfully Spiderman and co. look great.

It seems like every effort has been made to right the wrongs of Spiderman 3 yet when the graphics are poor, tasks are the same at the end of the game as at the beginning and the difficulty level remains constant (ie: not too tough at all), you're left battling a control scheme and an enemy that seems to want you to give up by sheer boredom. Ironic then that our tingling senses were right! Now to scale that building…

N-Europe Final Verdict

Web of Shadows goes its own way and, plays better for it. But while Treyarch seem confident of their story telling, their overall lack of technical mastery and ability to create an enjoyable combat mechanic kills any enjoyment past the first few hours

  • Gameplay3
  • Playability3
  • Visuals3
  • Audio2
  • Lifespan3
Final Score



New York is MASSIVE!
Story can be interesting
Off the ground controls are great!


Repetitive missions
Everything is browny coloured
Hit the floor and the controls do too
Sound is instantly forgettable

© Copyright 2024 - Independent Nintendo Coverage Back to the Top