Gamer Preview: ‘Spider-Man: Edge of Time”

I can easily say that I was a huge fan of Beenox and Activision‘s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions where you played four different versions of Spider-Man in a level based adventure. It was a nice change from most Spider-Man games that have come out in the last decade, especially when giving players the chance to play as Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Man Noir, and Symbiote Ultimate Spider-Man.

The game was good, not without a few issues, but overall I had fun playing it. But the best levels were easily Amazing (Noir was great but repetitive) and 2099 in my opinion, so I’m quite excited to hear the news that a sequel to Shattered Dimensions is coming out, and will focus on these two characters exclusively.

SuperHeroHype reports:

Activision Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Entertainment, LLC today announced Spider-Man™: Edge of Time, where Spider-Man faces one of his greatest challenges ever – saving Spider-Man. Developed by Activision-owned studio Beenox, Spider-Man: Edge of Time challenges the player to take on the roles of both classic Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 to correct a timestream gone awry and prevent a catastrophic future brought on by the early and untimely death of Peter Parker.

“The first Spider-Man entry by Beenox, Spider-Man™: Shattered Dimensions, was touted as one of the wall-crawler’s best Spider-Man games to date from both critics and fans,” said Vicharin Vadakan, Director, Global Brand Management. “Beenox is once again taking a fresh and different approach to bring a fast-paced and high-octane adventure and unexpected story to life in Spider-Man: Edge of Time.”

“At Beenox, we are constantly listening to the fans and looking for new and creative ways to innovate the gameplay experience for them,” said Dee Brown, Studio Head, Beenox.  “We want to create a totally distinct experience in Spider-Man: Edge of Time by working with Peter David on the story and creating this urgent, high-stakes experience where time is working against you and the fate of Spider-Man hangs in the balance.”

Spider-Man: Edge of Time is a focused, action-packed adventure set in two connected and evolving timelines, from the contemporary times of the Amazing Spider-Man to the corrupted future world of Spider-Man 2099, against the backdrop of a rich, tightly crafted narrative by acclaimed Marvel veteran Peter David (co-creator of the comic book series Spider-Man 2099).  The game features all-new “cause-and-effect” gameplay, where players will see how the immediate and sometimes unexpected effects of their actions as one Spider-Man changes the timeline of the other Spider-Man.  Spider-Man: Edge of Time is slated for release this fall.

Over at Newsarama they have a lot more on the storyline, including a look at the ’cause-and-effect” gameplay:

The basics of the game, set for release in fall 2011, are already known — that a villain from Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099’s timeline travels to the past and sets a string of catastrophic events in motion, including the death of Peter Parker/Spider-Man (distinguished by game producers as “Amazing Spider-Man”).

Both characters are playable at different times in the one-player game, with Spider-Man 2099 voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes (‘90s cartoon Spider-Man and Spider-Man Noir in Activision’s 2010 game Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions) and Amazing Spider-Man voiced by Josh Keaton (Spectacular Spider-Man actor and Shattered Dimension’s Ultimate Spider-Man).

“While Miguel O’Hara was chasing [the game’s villain], he gets stuck into that vortex, where he got vision, and he actually sees that Amazing Spider-Man is going to die, and a lot of people are going to suffer,” said Gerard Lehiany of Beenox, developer of Edge of Time.

Lehiany spoke of Edge of Time’s “cause-and-effect gameplay,” where events in one timeline affect the other. To illustrate this element, a section of the game was shown where Amazing Spider-Man was fighting a robot that was only a prototype in the present, while Spider-Man 2099 was locked in combat with the same robot, now fully functioning. If Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t destroy the prototype in time, the robot overpowers Spider-Man 2099 and the challenge is failed.

To depict this dual action, the game uses a picture-in-picture, where the character not being played is seen operating in the bottom right-hand corner. (Not during all the gameplay we watched, but most.)

“When the player will be playing Miguel O’Hara, he must be very reactive, because things are going to change fast,” Lehiany said. “A wall can disappear, a wall can appear, robots can come out of nowhere, because of what Amazing is actually doing in his own timeline.”

In the game, Peter Parker works for Alchemax, the sinister corporation that employed Miguel O’Hara in the Spider-Man 2099 comics. Part of the villain’s plot is to go back in time so Alchemax exists in the present.

The game’s action in both timelines takes place within the massive Alchemax headquarters, which Lehiany describes as “almost a city in a building;” poised to include research facilities, hydroponic jungles and more. One sequence demonstrated saw Spider-Man 2099 rapidly dodging frequent obstacles while traveling through a narrow passageway.

Both of the main characters will receive upgrades in power sets from Shattered Dimensions, with Amazing Spider-Man getting beefed up evading abilities which can be linked with attacks, and Spider-Man 2099 being able to project decoys of himself on the fly during combat.

Lehiany said that Spider-Man 2099 has a “much more closed-combat style” because of the talons on his costume, while Amazing Spider-Man will use more distance attacks.

“Each time that there is a challenge that is proposed, we want to make sure that only Spider-Man could do it,” Lehiany said. “And if you have a feeling that some other superhero can, we just won’t do it. We want to make sure we have that Spider-Man DNA in the challenges.”

“The whole idea of the game came up while we were still working onShattered Dimensions,” Lehiany said. “We started to think of having time travel, with communication between two Spider-Mans. We needed to find two Spider-Mans who could be in the same timeline and working together.”

The writer for the game is Peter David, co-creator of Spider-Man 2099. He worked with the Beenox team on the game’s story at their studio in Quebec for six days, which Lehiany called an “awesome experience.”

Personality-wise, Lehiany said that there are differences between the characters that David fleshed out — including the fact that O’Hara can sometimes be selfish, while Parker is not.

“We wanted to build a real relationship, a real friendship within the game,” Lehiany said.

Beyond the extensive use of Spider-Man 2099 himself, Activision indicates that comic book fans will be well taken care of in terms of familiar characters and winks to continuity.

“You’ll see classic characters, some that haven’t appeared in video games before,” Kevin Umbricht said, adding that David has created some original 2099 characters for the game. “Tons of nods to the fans, references throughout… the full Spidey treatment.”

With the game just announced less than a week ago, there’s still a lot that Activision isn’t willing to talk about — like the identity of the main villain, and which classic Spidey characters players will encounter in the game. Similar to the roll-out of the main characters for Shattered Dimensions last year, it’s reasonable to expect more information at least by E3 in early June.

This pretty much sounds like the crossover most fans have been waiting a long time for. And the fact that it’s written by Peter David, the man who created Spidey 2099, is a big selling point. The picture in picture style to show the different reactions of your gameplay is very cool.

Not sold yet? Check out the trailer that was released at Wondercon, with a description of the level that was shown from SuperHeroHype:

As you can see in the trailer, the storyline involves a villain traveling back from 2099 and altering history to the point that O’Hara reaches out through time to his only hope: the Spider-Man of 2011. In the new timeline, though, Peter is cursed by the Parker luck and happens to be doing quite well for himself, working a cushy job at a high-tech company called Alchemax. When he’s told that this isn’t the timeline it’s supposed to be, Peter isn’t completely sold on trusting Miguel.

The level showcased for press falls at the start of the game and has Peter working his way up the enormously tall Alchemax skyscraper while Miguel works his way down. A picture-in-picture in the bottom corner allows for both timeframes to be seen at once and changing elements in the past as Peter will actually affect things when you’re playing in the future as Miguel.

Looks pretty badass. I can’t wait for more details, and I think I might go replay Shattered Dimensions now.

Did you enjoy Shattered Dimensions as much as I did? Who do you think the main 2099 villain is going to be? Who do you want to see get the 2099 treatment?

Sound off in the comments section below!

5 thoughts on “Gamer Preview: ‘Spider-Man: Edge of Time””

  1. Definitely liked Shattered Dimensions, and cannot wait to get my hands on this. I need more Miguel O’Hara in my life.

    Small issue with the original article you quoted: the talons aren’t part of Spidey 2099’s costume, they’re part of HIM, of his powers Which makeshim that much more cool, IMO.

    Miguel also doesn’t have a Spider-Sense in the comics. They fudged things to give him one in Dimensions, but I think it would be more interesting if he had to go without this time around.

    Like

  2. Nice catch about the talons, Justin. I also took note of that and have to agree that was definitely one of the coolest parts of the original series, very savage and different from the general idea of Spidey, especially when he got angry and they would pop out uncontrollably. Wow I love Spidey 2099

    Like

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