The saddest part about Spider-Man: Web of Shadows is that the only people willing to endure such a sloppy port are hard-core Spider-Man fans - the same group to whom the plot will make the least sense. At least the developer got one essential component right: web swinging is the most enjoyable aspect of the game, even if you’re swinging in an extremely bland open-world version of New York City.
You swing about busting thugs, the Kingpin’s generic techno-troopers, and the occasional supervillain until an alien symbiote takeover has you battling legions of zombie-type things. Combat gets repetitive quickly (credit terrible mission designs that have you using the same move 20 times in a row), though once you’ve unlocked the skill tree things liven up a bit. You can also switch from Spidey’s standard red and blue suit to the black one at the push of a button, which gives you access to an alternate set of moves. Combat animations are an exception to the game’s not-so-hot graphics - Spidey moves exactly as he should.
At key points in the story you’re given the option to take a good or evil route; the decision actually does have some impact on the story, even if the evil path seems wildly out of character for Spider-Man. (Speaking of, what’s with this horribly miscast voice actor?) Those moments are often preceded by interactive scripted events that seem to ignore your key presses half the time, and if you fail at any point, you’re forced to start the whole interminable sequence from the beginning, including unskippable cutscenes.
Other lows include an appallingly clumsy menu system (that’s no picnic on a gamepad either), devastating framerate slowdowns any time fire or water (from broken fire hydrants) are on the screen, as well as mission and graphics glitches that appear throughout, making Web of Shadows difficult to recommend to even the true believers.
PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.
PCG Final Verdict: 48% (tolerable)
Nov 19, 2008