Spider-Man: Web of Shadows

WebBox

I’ve never taken Spider-man as a misogynist. My friendly neighborhood crimebuster was always too much of a social outcast to even begin to think of girls as anything other than a mysterious, scary proposition.

But this is a new millennium. Bowtied, vest-wearing dorks don’t meekly sulk about in a depressed haze. Now, they prefer to sit in front of their computers and blog about their unending pain. Sometimes they visit 4chan and criticize models for their large foreheads or toe-like fingers. Sometimes they slick their hair across their face in an emo swath of pain.

Maybe this is the reason that the Peter Parker from Spider-man: Web of Shadows is kind of a dick.

To be fair, it’s not like players go through the game donkey-punching Mary Jane Watson. There’s actually a fair number of missions that don’t involve women at all. Most of them involve punching men. Plotwise, Spider-Man is tasked with saving the city after his black-suited nemesis, Venom, starts infecting all of New York. At critical junctions, players can either choose a heroic path or go all eeeeevil. Obviously, the game sets you up to either save the city or overrun it with more symbiotes. But on the occasion that a girl pops into the game, the narrative loses its capes and heroes pretense.

Aside from saving the city, the heart of the game concerns itself with which hot chick you choose to go after. A morally upright Parker will never falter in his devotion to Mary Jane—who, by the by, spends most of the game as a damsel in distress before picking up a shotgun and gaining a bit of agency. The self-interested Parker will hop fences and join Black Cat – in this incarnation, a sultry, slutty, spider-stalking temptress – in perpetrating crimes across the city. As far as moral choices go, it’s pretty cut and dry. Stay morally upright, or get caught up in a … web of lies.

It’s somewhat odd that the whole of the game boils down to one principal choice: Do you cheat or stay faithful? I’m not sure if this is a reflection on Parker’s state of mind as affected by his evil suit, a statement on how small betrayals can lead to big trouble, or one of those easy “wimmin, ain’t they always controlling your life and stuff” –like excuses.

The rest of the game is pretty fun, except for a few time-grinding quests where you’re hunting for a specific baddie or playing “follow the villain” across The Bronx. Somehow, though, balancing the fate of the world against choosing a girlfriend comes off as a bit simplistic. Maybe I’d be more comfortable with the subplot if Mary Jane had been given more screen time, or if Black Cat had been fleshed out to be more than a spandex-chasing psycho.

It’s a decent rental or bargain-bin find. Just keep in mind that this Web of Shadows is more like a web of shallow(ly written characters).

Comments

I'm surprised you made it far enough in the game to even comment on this subject. I couldn't last past a few hours of the horrifying voice acting.

Oh, you want to turn off the voices? SORRY! There are no subtitles either. ;_;

You kind of get used to Whiny Parker... or turn the volume down. But then the Black Widow comes in and it turns into Spider-Man and Natasha (from Rocky & Bullwinkle).

Also, balancing/bugtesting likely went out the window 87% of the way into the game. The last 2 hours are pretty rife with glitches.

I got this game in my Black Friday bundle. Fiddled around with it for about an hour, thought it was fun and haven't played it since. I don't exactly look to Spiderman for engaging narrative in any of the franchise's incarnations. To me, it's always been about swinging from a web and punching bad guys around. With expectations as realistic as these, I think I'll find the rest of the game enjoyable once I actually get around to it.

I really enjoyed this game, and didn't understand all the hate it got. It was a bit buggy, and certainly wasn't a triple A title - but it was the best Spidey since Spiderman 2. I thought the story was actually pretty cool and pretty fun.

Another thumbs up from me on this game. Emphasis on the "game." Skip the cutscenes.

It's a Spiderman game. The plot should be that I am Spiderman.

I still haven't seen the third movie.

wordsmythe wrote:

I still haven't seen the third movie.

Never do. It was terrible.

SallyNasty wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

I still haven't seen the third movie.

Never do. It was terrible.

Yep, it soured the whole series, and Sam Raimi, for me.

If you go into it knowing it'll suck, it'll suck. But it might not sour you on everything else, like, ever.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

If you go into it knowing it'll suck, it'll suck. But it might not sour you on everything else, like, ever.

I had really wanted to like it - I loved the first 2, and am a long time Sam Raimi fan. Much like MrD - the movie was so bad it soured Sam Raimi for me as well.

I still do like the first 2 movies, especially the 2nd. Man I loved that video game, too.

I may recover, but right now the words Spiderman and Sam Raimi summon up a vision of Emo Tobey.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

I may recover, but right now the words Spiderman and Sam Raimi summon up a vision of Emo Tobey.

I kept expecting it to be a joke during that whole dance scene.