E3 2010: Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions First LookBy Paul Semel - Posted Jun 08, 2010
Like the Super Bowl, the running of the bulls in Pamplona, and Springfield's Chili Cook-off, Activision Blizzard releasing a new Spider-Man game has become an annual event. And 2010 will be no different. Well, not entirely different. For while there is a new adventure for our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, it's actually like four games in one.
Called Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions -- and slated to be released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and DS this September -- the game casts you as four different versions of Spider-Man, each with their own abilities and settings. In the story, the Tablet Of Order And Chaos has been shattered into quarters, and it's up to the four Spideys from four different dimensions to put it, and the universe, back together.
Until recently, the game's developer Beenox (Guitar Hero: Smash Hits) had only revealed two of the dimensions: “Amazing,” as in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which is the regular Marvel universe; and “Noir,” which is a recent film noir/pulp-flavored series of books that also includes comics for Wolverine, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Punisher, Iron Man, and X-Men. But at an event held a few weeks before E3, Beenox revealed a third dimension for the game: “2099,” which is based on a futuristic series of Marvel comics that started in 1992 with the books The Punisher 2099, Doom 2099 (as in Dr. Doom), and Spider-Man 2099, which was written by Peter David and drawn by Rick Leonardi.
The “2099” is presented as a possible future to the regular Marvel universe, with our world turning into a dystopian/cyberpunk future like the one in the film Blade Runner. In the Spider-Man book, which was published to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the character's first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15, a geneticist named Miguel O'Hara is studying Spider-Man's powers, only to gain these powers when an experiment goes awry.
(Not surprisingly, this game isn't the first time multiple versions of Spider-Man have appeared together. In 1995, the “Amazing” Spider-Man and the 2099 edition switched places in the book Spider-Man 2099 Meets Spider-Man. Plus there was that dream I had where Donald Glover was young Spider-Man, I was The Amazing Spider-Man, Alison Brie was Spider-Woman, and…uh, where was I?)
During the event where they announced the “2099” dimension, Beenox also explained how that part of the game would be different from the others. The “Noir” parts, they said, were more about stealth, which they illustrated by sneaking around an amusement park run by the crime lord Goblin. Here, they showed Spider-Man -- in a leather vest and goggles -- sneaking up behind guys like Sam Fisher and every other stealth action hero, though they also showed him using his web shooters to pull guys into the shadows, where he promptly beat them silly. Yeah, we'd like to see Sammy do that one.
By contrast, the “Amazing” universe is all about web-based combat and fisticuffs, and is thus closer to your typical Spider-Man game. It also employs the usual red and blue Spidey outfit, with this section of the game using an appropriately comic-influenced cel-shaded look.
Lastly, the “2099” parts they showed looked like New York City from The Fifth Element, Coruscant in the Star Wars films, and, somewhat fittingly, the Gotham City of Batman Beyond. In other words, there were lots of flying cars. In these parts of the game, Spider-Man's fighting style is more about mid-air battles, and he can even slow time, though they didn't explain if this is a function of his futuristic costume or his hyper-sensitive abilities.
There was also a sequence where Spider-Man used his webs to stop himself from falling to his death, which was shown from the first-person perspective. Similar scenes have been shown before for other dimensions, but Beenox has yet to say anything about this mechanic.
Lastly, the Beenox crew announced that in the “2099” parts of the game, Spider-Man will be voiced by Dan Gilvezan, who played him in the '80s cartoon Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. In fact, all four of the voice actors playing Spider-Man in this game have done him in one form or another before. Though so far, the only other voice actor whose involvement has been announced is “Noir” Spidey, who's voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes from the mid-'90s Spider-Man cartoon.
It also hasn't been revealed what the fourth dimension in the game will be. Though there are some good ones to chose from: Marvel Zombies, the Japanese-inspired Mangaverse, Marvel Apes, the one where Alison Brie returns my phone calls…. For that revelation, we'll have to wait until E3.