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EGM Preview: Spider-Man: Edge of Time

Posted on June 28, 2011 AT 01:37pm

Our Spidey-sense is tingling

In last years Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, four friendly neighborhood wall-crawlers from four different dimensions worked together to save all of reality. But while his next adventure reunites the Amazing Spider-Man version with his future counterpart, Miguel “Spider-Man 2099” OHara, Beenox creative director Grard Lehiany quickly points out that the upcoming Spider-Man: Edge of Time isnt a Dimensions sequel. It’s just the latest — and possibly last — adventure for the superhero also known as Peter Parker.

“An evil scientist from 2099 goes back in time to rewrite history,” explains Lehiany, “Spider-Man 2099 was chasing him, gets stuck in that vortex, and actually sees the Amazing Spider-Man die.” Unable to travel to the past himself, Miguel devises a way to contact original-flavor Spidey via psychic link. But seeing as Peter Parkers living the sweet life in the altered timeline his killer created, hes not so inclined to follow orders when Miguel suddenly starts issuing telepathic warnings.

“They really dont get along,” says veteran Spider-Man writer (and Spider-Man 2099 co-creator) Peter David, who fleshed out Beenoxs original concept and wrote Edges script. “They have different priorities and different ways of handling situations.”

Consider combat preferences. Petey’s still the mid-range acrobat while Miguel likes to get up close and personal. But streamlining from Dimensions four Spider-Men down to Edge’s two — and dropping the first-person sequences altogether — made room for new, upgradable special abilities. Amazing gets a Shinobi-like evade that lets him dodge projectiles and dance around opponents, and Lehiany notes that he can combine this with combat moves later on. Meanwhile, 2099 picks up a Halo: Reach-ish holographic decoy thats perfect for entertaining homing missiles.

Despite those tactical differences, both Spideys control exactly the same. This is important, because you’ll constantly switch between the two: not just from level to level, but mid-level as well. Repeatedly. “You’ll play each character about 50% of the time,” notes Activision associate producer Kevin Umbricht.

It all feeds into what Lehiany calls “cause-and-effect gameplay.” The Spideys exist in different decades, but both websling through the same location: Alchemaxs massive New York Headquarters. This opens up possibilities for some good ol’ temporal hijinks. “While playing as Amazing Spider-Man, the player interacts with things that affect the 2099 timeline,” says Lehiany. “When the player is Spider-Man 2099, youve got to react, because things are going to change fast. Picture-in-picture images track whats going on with your significant other in their era.”

For example, an early sequence features Spidey 2099 taking a savage beating from a giant security robot in the future, until player-controlled Amazing Spider-Man finds that same unfinished, deactivated prototype in present-day Alchemax and rips it apart. Voilaone huge robot in 2099 turns into a squad of smaller, more manageable enemies. Control then flips over to Miguel so he can bust them up.

That said, Beenox isn’t completely rewriting its spider playbook. Those thrilling 2099 high-altitude jumps return, only faster. Half of Dimensions voice cast has also signed up for more, though the roles are juggled around a bit: Josh Keaton has switched from Ultimate Spidey to Amazing, while Christopher Daniel Barnes, Dimensions Noir Spidey, voices 2099. The identity of the main villain, however, is under wraps for now. “You’ll see not only classic characters, but some that haven’t appeared in games before,” Umbricht says. “You may see new characters from Peter David, cameos, nods to the fans, references throughout — were giving it the full Spidey treatment.”

All of which probably has continuity purists frothing over potential paradoxes and discrepancies only true devotees would notice. But for them, Peter David has a simple message. “Don’t worry,” he says. “We know. We’ve got it covered.”


PARTING SHOT: Superhero games have a tendency to phone it in, but Beenox’s considerable passion for the property shines through in many aspect of Dimesnions’ execution, getting us quite hyped for our favorite wall-crawler’s return to console gaming. what about y’all?

Source: EGM, Vol. 247

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