Spiderman makes a return to our consoles in a new adventure called The Web of Shadows which not only features everyone’s favourite web-slinger but also the evil Eddie Brock, aka Venom, and another comic book favourite, Wolverine!!

So that sounds quite exciting – seeing Spiderman battle Venom with Wolverine at his side and the freedom of New York is at your sticky fingertips just waiting for you to start swinging from sky scraper to sky scraper.

And thats pretty much it. The idea of playing such a game is way better than actually playing it. From the moment Spiderman Web of Shadows starts up you are thrown into a story which makes no sense and isn’t explained very well. You are immediately in control of Spiderman (not a bad thing) and pitted against the simbiotics (also not explained) who are apparently enemy drones.

After this relatively short introduction to the who environment, a cut scene appears and things go from bad to worse. The voice acting of the characters is appalling. As fairly big fans of Spiderman we understand that Peter Parker is supposed to be a goofy and weedy but this is something else – the voice of our spideriffic hero is literally pathetic. And then MJ starts talking and again its so far from what we’ve come to expect that its actually disappointing. Granted this isn’t a film tie-in so getting Toby Mcguire and Kirsten Dunst would probably be confusing but come on…!

But overcoming the voice acting, you soon get to start slinging webs and swinging all over the city at speed and dizzy heights. Its always a great feeling to be able to do this and works fairly well. Combat is also not too bad – a variety of combo moves are available but aren’t too complex and the madatory web-weapons are also on offer.

So where’s Wolverine? Well he appears a bit later on in the story but first you’ve got to help a massive guy named Cage to take on the local gangs who are terrorising the citizens and the Police forces. You’ll be gradually introduced into a few mini missions of finding a few targets or eliminating a few gang members and then going back to Cage to get his approval and then proceed a bit further in finding the source of the city’s mayhem.Spiderman Web of Shadows game review PlayEject

When Wolverine does appear its a bit of anti climax. By the time you’ve reached this point in the game you’ll have probably gotten a bit bored of the samey missions and the free roaming will have gotten a bit pointless. Even the Venom-induced Wolverine is pretty lame after the intial appearance.

The level up system is quite good – for almost every deed or action you perform you can earn xp which can be spent at any time on upgrading your Red suit, Black Suit or alliance with certain characters. Its the usual level ups so expect new combo’s or the strength of your web-shot to be unlocked. Its not saving the game but it is a nice addition to make you want to help fight a random crime rather than ignore all the side missions.

The major let down with Web of Shadows is the really, really bad camera angle. We found that mid-fight we might lose sight altogether of the gangs we were taking on, meaning we would lose our combo chain or get injured. Or when we made a great swing and lept onto a building to start climbing up and found ourselves crawling sideways because the camera decided to shift, affecting the controls at the same time. Very frustrating and adds to what is an already mediocre game.

Overall, this could have been released on an earlier console and everyone would have loved it. However its not on a PS2 or the original Xbox and we’ve all come to expect a bit more from our games. Shame on you, Activision for making a game that is an obvious cash-in and not giving fans a more enjoyable Web Slinging experience.

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