by Justin Snyder
previewed on X360
Mixing up Spideys
After the relative success of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Activision is giving Beenox Studios another swing at the world of the web-slinger, with Spider-Man: Edge of Time. While the previous title saw the player taking up the mantle of four different Spideys across different times and universes, Edge of Time creates a direct link between the Amazing Spider-Man of the present and Spider-Man 2099.
In 2099, a scientist by the name of Walker Sloan, a rival of Miguel O'Hara, otherwise known as Spider-Man 2099, opens a time rift between 2011 and 2099. His goal is to travel back in time and use his knowledge of the future to found his own Alpha Max Corporation 90 years earlier. Once he gets there, he manipulates Anti-Venom, normally a good (or at least neutral) guy, into the game's main enemy. He then sends him to use his powers on Spider-Man and cure him of his radioactivity, making him vulnerable and leading to his death. Fans of the franchise will already know that Anti-Venom is what Eddie Brock, the original Venom, eventually becomes. Spider-Man 2099 discovers this plot and works out a way to get in contact with Amazing Spider-Man, in order to fix the path of time and thwart Sloan before the future is irreversibly changed.
Different times call for different Spideys
Time-travel always makes things a little complicated, and this is no exception, but when you overlook the paradoxes and problems, the story is an interesting one. The head writer for Edge of Time is Peter David, a prolific comic book writer, most known for his 12-year run on The Incredible Hulk, but was also one of the creators of Spider-Man 2099. David has also worked on Amazing Spider-Man and written a bit of sci-fi, so his qualifications both in the Spider-Man universe, as well as dealing with something like time-travel, are strong.
The game switches between the two timelines, and players get the chance to play as both Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099. This gave Beenox another opportunity to craft different core combat systems for each, mixing up the gameplay. Amazing Spider-Man is more of a ranged fighter, while Spider-Man 2099 is all about the melee.
2099 differs from the original Spidey in a few ways, some of which make him more suited for melee combat. He has small, curved, one inch talons on his fingers and toes. These talons are incredibly sharp and strong enough to tear through even metal armor. He also has venom glands and more pronounced canine teeth. Upon biting an enemy, he can release a toxin from his venom glands that temporarily paralyzes them. While this ability hasn't been specifically stated to be in the game, its uses in close quarters combat are obvious.