Spider-Man battles heaps of symbiotes as he walks the thin line between his red and black suit in Treyarch's first stab at the series on Wii.
Treyarch, the studio behind the Wii version of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, has been working closely with Shaba Games, developers of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions to improve Spidey's video game reputation while creating a Wii experience that matches that of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions. Pairing influence from the God of War and Devil May Cry series with their extreme sports experience, they have revamped Spider-Man's combat system to be more in tune with his graceful movement and web-swinging abilities.
The most basic addition to the game's core combat, the ability to switch between Spidey's two different personas on the fly, lends some flair to the game's premise. Red-suit Spider-Man is an acrobatic hero who gracefully prances around his enemies and tries to subdue them instead of kill them. On the other hand, his black-suited counterpart is more destructive and powerful because he doesn't hold back his raging emotions. For example, black-suited Spider-Man can pick up a car and throw it at an enemy while his red-and-blue foil cannot.
At the center of both suits' combat mechanics is the web flick. A new move in the game, it allows players to launch the hero up into the air and then, with a flick of the Wii Remote, send out strands of web at enemies while launching Spider-Man closer to his foes. With timing windows and the ability to chain combos, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows' controls are more like a fighter than an open city adventure.
Helping this combat remain focused is another new addition to the Spider-Man games, a Zelda-like lock-on camera that offers a more cinematic view of the game. Along with the lock-on camera, Spider-Man's spider-sense highlights enemies on the screen making them easier to spot while navigating New York City's busy streets. Combat's final shot in the arm is the addition of the skill tree system. This system allows players to boost the webbed hero in whatever categories they choose with Hero Points found throughout the city.
Furthering the new additions to the series, Web of Shadows will feature an original story by comic writer Brian Reid, who has also worked on past Spider-Man games. When Venom-like symbiotes start showing up around the city, Spider-Man allows himself to step back into his black-suit so he can fight over the hordes. Eventually, pedestrians start being taken over by symbiotes as well and Spider-Man arrives at some moral dilemmas as he gets in trouble with S.H.I.E.L.D., the Marvel Universe's superhuman law enforcement agency.
The story is divided into three acts that show New York City change as the game wears on. The city begins safe in Act I and winds up being a symbiote-infested quarantine zone by Act III. The game will feature appearances by popular Marvel heroes like Wolverine, Luke Cage, Black Cat, Moon Knight, and many more superheroes that have yet to be announced. These heroes help Spider-Man along the way by fighting alongside him against the symbiotes.
To combat the heroes are various villains such as Venom, the Vulture, the Kingpin, and a Symbiote Wolverine. While the famous clawed mutant is the only hero confirmed to be taken over by a symbiote, the developers teased that there will be more.
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows is currently scheduled for an October 21, 2008 release and promises to breath new life into the ol' webhead series while offering an experience on par with its Hi-Def counterparts.