Everyone’s favorite web-slinging superhero is back at it again in Spider-Man: Edge of Time. It seems like only yesterday that I was watching spiderman cartoons on tv before having to head out to school, but alas that was over thirty years ago. Needless to say, Spidey hasn’t aged but rather improved in both film, comics and video games. But does his latest outing build off of last year’s Shattered Dimensions adventure or is Spidey the latest victim of yearly sequels rushed out the door to suck up sales on its brand name rather than quality game design?
Last year Beenox released Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions with mixed fanfare. The premise was interesting: A tablet keeping all universes whole was shattered during a battle between Spider-Man and Mysterio, and the pieces then had to be recovered by the Spider-Men from each of their unique universes, including Noir, Ultimate, Amazing and 2099. Each universe had a distinct art style and gameplay mechanics. Some aspects of the game were solid but there was also room for improvement. Fast forward one year and Beenox has returned with Spider-Man: Edge of Time.
Sports franchise games are released on a yearly basis from the same development teams, but can the same business model be applied to a superhero game? Iterative gameplay enhancements are expected in a sports title, but in a story driven superhero game, is one year of development enough to release a good game? Edge of Time reduces some of the potential development downfalls by removing two of the extra characters from Shattered Dimension, but there are some choices made by Beenox that make the game feel like it was clearly rushed for an annual release.