(Activision for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
There was reason to worry about Spider-Man: Edge of Time: Coming just a year after the excellent Shattered Dimensions, it looked to be a rush job to fill some annual quota for the license rather than the truly special successor that talented developer Beenox seemed destined to make. It turns out there was no reason to fret, though, since this studio really has Spidey dialed in. Edge of Time tells two stories at once after a disaster forces modern-day Amazing Spider-Man and futuristic Spider-Man 2099 to work together across time, communicating through, as the game presents it, picture-in-picture. You’re thrown, back and forth, into the suits of both heroes during pivotal times in the plot, adding a stylish twist to the storytelling that’s enhanced through smart interplay between the two personalities and cute notifications about changing newspaper headlines as history is changed throughout the game. The combat is a satisfying holdover from Dimensions with a few tweaks, and blasting web shots at far-off snipers as you dart amongst a group of enemies, creating self-destructing clones of yourself as you go plays just as fun as it sounds. The game does feel like a slight step back from its predecessor, its ambition more in line with a short comic book series rather than Dimensions’ hardcover anthology, but it certainly succeeds in its downsized mission.