E3 2011: Spider-Man: Edge of Time
QUICKTAKE: Spider-Man: Edge of Time is a time-straddling adventure starring two playable versions of the titular web-slinger: present day, 'Amazing' Spidey, and his future iteration, Spider-Man 2099. It's an action-adventure game with a strong focus on melee combat, with a story written by Spider-Man veteran Peter David. Players will jump back and forth between present day and future timelines, but the timelines are connected, and changes affected by present-day Spider-Man will immediately reflect themselves in Spider-Man 2099's world.
At E3 2011, I had a chance to see the game in a hands-off live demo, which seemed to play similarly to one of the hero's recent adventures, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions--including play that switched between present-day and 2099.
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THE DEMO: The crux of the E3 demo had present-day Spider-Man battling evil-doers in a giant building spanning several city-blocks, where the game's evil mastermind--Walker Sloan--is hatching a plot to do away with the heroic web-slinger, once and for all.
Picture-in-picture cinematics link both versions of Spider-Man, who were able to converse about the moment-to-moment action. The link between both Spideys was more than just cosmetic, however. After an explosion destroyed a series of "raditation regulating" machines in present-day, future-Spidey immediately found himself in a radioactive predicament. Present-day Spider-Man then had to run a gauntlet of laser grids, explosions and debris, with the explosive fireball in hot-pursuit, and put a stop to the radioactive leak--thus saving Spider-Man 2099.
The demo also included a battle between present-day Spider-Man and Eddie Brock's new alter-ego Anti-Venom. Anti-Venom has the power to heal, which when applied to Spider-Man, strips him of his abilities. The boss-fight was multi-staged, and requires Spider-Man to adjust his tactics based on abilities that haven't been sapped by Anti-Venom.
Some Spider-Man 2099 gameplay was shown as well. While similar to present-day Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099's attacks are much more brutal, matching the character's darker tone.
DETAILS: Spider-Man: Edge of Time takes place in a gigantic building spanning several city blocks, owned by the game's evil mastermind, named Walker Sloan. Based on the demo, many of the areas inside are big enough to allow for some web-slinging fun, and I was told that there would be a whole host of different environments to explore. The game is also linear in nature, so you shouldn't expect to be swinging through Manhattan with reckless abandon. The fact that the game will also feature no in-game loading times is also a nice bonus.
Edge of Time will also include numerous villains from the Spider-Man canon, but will also feature brand new adversaries (which are being kept under-wraps, at the moment). Ability upgrades can also be purchased with accrued experience (represented by glowing orbs in the world).
I left the demo curious to see more. What little of the story was discussed seemed intriguing, and fairly dark in tone. I was initially a bit disappointed to hear that the game would be taking place inside a huge building, but after seeing some of the environments and set-pieces, it seems as though both Spidermen will have ample opportunities to swing around. With a combat system that seems fast-paced and fluid at first glance, Spider-Man fans might want to keep an eye on Edge of Time.
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Spider-Man: Edge of Time