The web slinger is back, and in top form. Our full thoughts, inside.
Preview by Ken Horowitz (Email)
September 13th 2005
The Basics: Spider-Man is back with an all-new round of action set in the Ultimate universe. Taking place after Venom's disappearance in issue #39 of the comic book, the game has you taking on the role of Spidey's biggest foe, in addition to the hero himself. Venom is alive and well, eager to get revenge. In an exciting gameplay twist, players get to decide whether or not he succeeds. Depending on your selection as the hero or villian will ultimately shape the events in story as told through the new, innovative 3D Comic Inking Technology. The game actually unfolds as though it were a comic book, continuing the comic's famous story arc and giving you full control over how things turn out.
Featuring a story by the Spider-Man creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, Ultimate builds on the already expansive world seen in previous games (Queens is now included), adding the largest ensemble of characters and villains ever featured in a Spider-Man title.
What do we think? Hoo boy! Can this game really play as good as it looks? If it does, fans and newcomers alike can look forward to the best Spidey game of all time -- and that's saying a lot. Gaming has traditionally treated the "web-head" better than most heroes, including some excellent outings on the last generation of consoles, and a few stellar releases on the current crop. The incredible, cartoony graphics are a perfect fit, and being to play as Venom is just what this franchise needed. Being the hero is nice and all, but I like to put on the black hat every so often. Plus, this sort of "light & dark" gameplay packs on some welcome replay value, giving players incentive to explore new possibilities beyond a single run-through.
The cool thing about the dual storyline is that it's not just the same old thing with different dialogue. Both Venom and Spider-Man have different styles of play (Venom relies more on brute force as opposed to Spidey's grace and acrobatics), and although the two aren't radically different, you won't get the feeling that you've done it all before. Moreover, the comic book panels that move the story along bring both of them to life in spectacular fashion. Let me tell you, if you think the screen shots look nice, you simply need to see this baby in motion.
Official Ultimate Spder-man website
Spider-man: Unmasked is also in development for the Xbox, GameCube, Nintendo DS, GBA and the PC.