In 'Spider-Man: Edge of Time' we see the web of Spider-Man tangled in a time paradox when a dystopian future changes the past. Once again you will command multiple Spider-Men in this beat em' up, race against time.
Corporate greed is the catalyst for this Spider-Man adventure as Beenox returns to give us another adventure with multiple Spider-Men. Coined "Quantum Causality," you will flip flop through a half-baked plot to save the future and ironically your life. This unnecessarily overcomplicated narrative had the chance blossom into something interesting and worthy of Spider-Man lore, but it's repetitive gameplay and "been-there-before" production does nothing to help excel the time traveling prose. While 'Shattered Dimensions' was a breathe of fresh air and pulled off three Spidies in one game, 'Edge of Time' doesn't connect all the pieces to make the action worth battling through.
A paradox blundered
Being clever and thinking you're being cleaver are two different things. 'Edge of Time' definitely thinks its clever, but in this case clever isn't always good. Utilizing the interwoven plot, Spider-Man's progression falls victim to several moments of ill design. For example, in one of the initial sections Spider-Man is dismantling a giant incomplete robot to save Miguel from the same robot in the future. However, instead of the robot being dismantled in real-time in Miguel's (Spider-Man 2099) time-line, the giant fear-inducing robot changes into generic robot enemies. Furthermore, you then have to deal with the forced dialogue between the two arachnid men as one Spider-Man asks the other, “Did they change into robot kittens?” really, really! 'Edge of Time' really knows how to blunder over itself while trying to force some amateur comedy down your throat. Sure Spider-man has a sense of humour, but do we really need a laundry list of jokes every two seconds. Although more importantly we should ask, do we really need a time travelling to make Spider-Man interesting? I don't think so.
What a spder does best...
Getting into the gameplay, Spidey will do what he does best; beat people up and zip around the city. The counterpoints between both characters are slight variations with one super-power each that sets them apart. Current Spider-man can move at an ultra-fast speed and 2099 can temporary clone a decoy. That's about it, aside from the normal swing/jump/punch/kick/web attacks. Nothing new to see here, on the beat em' up front. Like you might suspect because not much variety is presented things can get repetitive. This is true, and even with the help of the time-twist plot line, beat enemies, snagging keys feels a little corny after the first dozen times.
Fighting is the primary occupation within 'Edge of Time,' but you will also do your fair share of wall-crawling. This mainly includes swing through moving obstacles or navigating through tricky scenery from every angel. Again, there is nothing new here, but at least the controls are rock solid so you won't be struggling with unnecessary frustration. Even though 'Edge of Time' is mechanically sound, Spidey seems to be getting left behind as other games (Batman: Arkham City, Infamous) are learning to do "Spider-Man-esq" movement within their configurations a little better. This is a little sad, when Spider-Man should be unregulated and free to roam his world. After-all, Spider-Man is the master of open-world jumping... isn't he?
To help keep you motivated upgrades that become attainable when you collect orbs that are scatted around the world or relinquished when an enemy is defeated. You can also upgrade each character, or upgrade them together in a few “shared” selections. Further progression can be earned by completing “Web Challenges” that unlock as you advance. These are most commonly; beat up X number of enemies in X amount of time. This is also where you will unlock the fan favourite, new costumes.
Spidey, where are all your friends?
One area where 'Edge of Time' fails to capitalize on the Marvel universe without too many cameos from other villains/heroes. The Marvel universe is a library of inspiration and the darkly lit industrial structures that populate this universe feels lazy in design. The execution ensues with a below average effort in most regards. A few of the enemy designs are mildly interesting, but as a whole product, this one is forgettable. How many generators do I have to destroy before we can do something fun?
'Spider-Man: Edge of Time' needs to create its own quantum causality to remedy itself from beat em' up boredom. The action, objectives and dual-leading Spider-Men fail to create anything inspiring. Sadly, Edge of Time falls into "instantly forgettable" category as the holiday season presses on. While that's not all bad, we expected more. So if you're looking for a good Spider-Man game, it's time to rewind. Check out last years' 'Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.'
Similar Games: SM: Web of Shadows (7.4) | SM: Shattered Dimensions (8.5) | Ultimate Spider-Man (9.0)