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Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

Hands-On with Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

Marvel.com takes you on a fabulous tour through the Noir, 2099 and Ultimate universes of Spidey's latest video game

Amazing Spider-Man in the ''Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions'' video game

By Kenny Mahoney

On a swelteringly hot afternoon in New York City, we joined our friends at Activision to get some crucial hands-on time with the upcoming "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions" video game. Guided by Associate Producer Kevin Umbricht, we spent the afternoon dimension-hopping through Spidey's Noir, 2099 and Ultimate universes to bring you our first-hand impressions!


We begin our spider-adventure in the dark, gritty underworld of the Noir dimension. Umbricht remarks how this dimension is absolutely "drenched in style," and we can't agree more. The black, white and sepia tones in the level we played excellently establish the pulp-era, film noir aesthetic introduced by the SPIDER-MAN NOIR comics and the old school noir films that influenced them. Combined with the bits of color accenting the environment, the deep black shadows and scattered bright lights help create the perfect Noir landscape.

In this particular level, Spider-Man (voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes from "Spider-Man: The Animated Series") finds himself in a trainyard, rescuing hostages from long-time Spidey villain Hammerhead, who is seeing his first incarnation in the Noir universe in "Shattered Dimensions."  Umbricht advises us to use some seriously stealthy moves in order to save the day, and to stick to the shadows by moving swiftly and using surprise attacks.

Spider-Man Noir in the ''Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions'' video game
As we stealthily approach the first group of baddies, Umbricht explains how to perform a special attack that will silently take out a foe. Sure enough, with the press of a button Spidey uses his web to pull the enemy towards him, delivering a swift one-two punch, all without alerting the other guard on duty. To eliminate the next guard, we quickly web-zip to the top of a nearby water tower to rinse and repeat, but this time Spidey snags the thug and strings him up in a web cocoon, leaving him hanging precariously off the side of the tower. Umbricht tells us that these types of attacks are contextual, meaning that Spider-Man performs a different move depending on where he is in the environment, such as in the air or clinging to a wall.

We also use our Spider-Sense to help point out anything important, like bad guys, hostages and extraction points. Spider-Sense is especially helpful when hiding in the shadows, as it can be tough to spot crucial clues in this dark and foreboding landscape.

For the adventurous gamer, you're certainly welcome to take on enemies head-on, but don't come crying to us when you get turned into Spidey-swiss cheese once the trigger-happy thugs turn their guns on you!  Umbricht explains that taking on one guard hand-to-hand is doable, but if more of them find you (and they will), you're in deep trouble!  If you do decide to go in fists blazing, make sure you occasionally retreat to the shadows to recover some health, as Spidey's life-bar regenerates quicker under the cover of darkness.

Everything from the look and feel of the level, to the music and dialogue, really "puts you in a different time," says Umbricht.  But for now, we leave the dilapidated streets of the Noir dimension and turn our gaze both skyward and to a far-flung future.


Spider-Man 2099 (voiced by Dan Gilvezan from "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends") inhabits a "living, breathing city" Kevin says, describing the sleek, ultra-futuristic New York skyline. The massive buildings and flying cars are truly a sight to behold, and we couldn't wait to "dive" in. Fortunately, our 2099 demo kicks off with Spidey diving headfirst off a building, chasing Hobgoblin in a pulse-pounding vertical freefall sequence.

While plummeting towards the ground at unbelievable speeds in a mad dash to catch Hobby, gamers must also dodge past and weave through various obstacles such as pipes and future cab drivers (who are dangerous enough in their modern incarnation). A thrilling, white-knuckle experience, the Hobgoblin chase showcases just how different and exciting each "Shattered Dimension" universe can be.

Spider-Man 2099 in the ''Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions'' video game
After catching up with Hobgoblin, the action shifts gears back to the web and fisticuffs-based combat. Shortly after landing a few blows on the Hobgoblin, the Public Eye--the city's corrupt police force--swoops in to apprehend Spidey. Thankfully, Spider-Man's arsenal of attacks prevents him from going down without a fight! Umbricht quickly points out that Spider-Man 2099's moves allow us to close the gap between distant foes.  When engaging far away enemies, Spidey quickly dashes over to them and starts pounding with his razor-sharp claws and acrobatic moves, rapidly zipping between each attacker and dodging incoming strikes. We also activate a special Spidey ability that lets us slow down time to dish out some rapid-fire hits! The combat feels fluid and precise, and totally fits of our future Wallcrawler.

Once the Public Eye had been seriously blackened, Hobgoblin shows up yet again. But wait, we thought we already handled this goon? Umbricht tells us that through every Dimension, the player faces bosses multiple times, each requiring a different spin on how to take them down. This time, Hobgoblin lobs pumpkin grenades at us that we catch with our web and throw back at him.

Once we land a few well-placed grenade returns, our time with Miguel O'Hara and the rest of the 2099 dimension comes to an end. Fear not, true believers, things get crazy when we head into the last leg of our trip, the Ultimate universe!


Ultimate Spider-Man in the ''Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions'' video game
Ending on a high note (they're all high notes with SMSD, mind you), Umbricht sends us into the furious and fast-paced, action-packed  Ultimate dimension. This world features a beautifully cel-shaded art style, similar to the look of a modern comic book. All of the colors and textures really pop here, with bright and vibrant colors accentuating the environment.

Umbricht points out the dimension's "over the top action" and we quickly see just how over the top things get! Donning the black symbiote suit, Ultimate Spider-Man (voiced by Josh Keaton from "Spectacular Spider-Man") has the power to morph and extend portions of his suit to attack, allowing you to deliver powerful strikes to enemies both near and far.

Our time with Ultimate Spidey has him hot on the heels of Carnage, one of the villains terrorizing this dimension. Completely surrounded by enemies, we use the game's deep combo-driven combat to take them down. Umbricht explains that developer Beenox "used the acclaimed combat system from 'Spider-Man: Web of Shadows'" and evolved it to fit into "Shattered Dimensions." The Spider-Man at our fingertips has all of the game's unlockable and upgradeable combos at his disposal, showcasing the truly massive array of abilities on hand!

Ultimate Spider-Man is also equipped with "rage mode," a special ability that amplifies the damage he deals until the rage meter runs out. It's a good thing, then, that the rage meter refills with the more damage he does, ensuring that Spidey has more than enough rage to really take care of business!

Ultimate Spider-Man in the ''Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions'' video game
After we whittle down some small-time baddies, it's time to take the fight to Carnage, face to face. Quite literally, in fact, as this boss fight--along with several others in "Shattered Dimensions"--incorporates first-person elements to bring the player up close and personal with your foe's ugly mug! In this sequence, we use the left and right analog sticks to throw punches at Carnage's face and to avoid any incoming swings. Umbricht tells us that during these moments, there will sometimes be back-and-forth dialogue between Spider-Man and the villain.  Unfortunately, Carnage isn't much of a talker, but Umbricht promises some very interesting conversations between Spidey and Deadpool--another Ultimate villain in SMSD.

Alas, our fight with Carnage is short-lived, as Umbricht and the rest of the "Shattered Dimensions" team wants to make sure there are still plenty of surprises to be had upon the game's release. Not to worry though, there're a ton of unlockables to earn, challenges to complete, enemies to defeat and other awesome stuff to get your hands on when "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions" hits store shelves on September 7!  In the meantime, stay glued to Marvel.com for more on "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions" and all of your favorite Marvel games!


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I had completely forgotten about this one aspect of the game since it was first mentioned, until I read this review. I cannot say that I'm physched about this at all. "First person elements"? Dudes... what were they thinking? Now, I realize I shouldn't knock it before trying it, but I can't see this part being any good. Has anyone every played an FPOV fisticuffs game before? The ones I've played have not succeeded in that area at all. Forgive me for being pessimistic here, but I can't see Activision being succussful in this area either. But otherwise, this game looks and sounds incredible! I can't wait to snag myself a copy.

Simbiote101 member

Just please, please tell me that the extra Costumes (I'm talking about Iron and Cosmic Spidey) are gonna be DLC! I can't pre-order!!!


Can't wait to unlock those costumes.


sounds very engaging. try to keep spoiler's to a minimum though. nobody wants to go into the game knowing how to beat any of the bosses the first time.