Ultimate Spiderman Review
At least one of the previous two Spiderman games are likely to have found their way into the hands of thousands of British gamers but I'm sure that like me, we were all getting a bit bored of Spidey by the end of the second. If this is the case then Ultimate Spiderman will be a breath of fresh air.
You control Spiderman for the biggest portion of the game but Ultimate Spiderman brings with it the birth of a new gaming character; Venom. Those of you unfamiliar with the comic book foe, Venom is a vicious killing beast that creates mayhem with ease. Like Spiderman, Venom is a normal human being until he puts on the suit that transforms him, and disguises him.
Ultimate Spiderman is laid out differently to 1 & 2 and is in a comic book style with the clips in between missions in several white boxes like in comic books with different shots and scenes inside. There are also words representing sounds in the clips that are traditional comic book genre like 'Wham' and 'Bang'. This is an original approach to a game and is a good feature. However this means that the graphics in the game also represent a comic book. There is not as much detail into the characters and surrounding scenery. Colours are brighter and more exaggerated in the game to carry on the comic book theme which is intended but I personally favour the more detailed graphics in Spiderman 2.
In Ultimate Spiderman you still have the ability to explore a vast area of city and climb high on skyscrapers. I believe this has been one of the key factors in previous Spiderman games success and is likely to be the selling point once again. On the other hand when exploring the city you are unable to go up to pedestrians and help them with problems they have. It is only occasionally that a red dot pops up on the intricate map for you to go and fight gang members with Spiderman. Instead of helping people to advance to the next mission you have to collect secret tokens and complete races on top of skyscrapers for them to commence.
It's the story missions however where Ultimate Spiderman gets interesting. Either a red or a purple ray of light emerges from a destination when you are ready to proceed to the next mission. Land in the ray of light with Spiderman and you will dive into the mission, not unlike Spiderman 2. The red light is a Spiderman mission and purple are Venom missions. Both sets of missions are great and you usually have to chase a fellow superhero and defeat them at the end.
With Venom he is unable to swing between buildings like Spiderman but has the ability to jump huge distances at a time. It is slightly harder to get around with Venom but it is made up for by his strength and killing abilities. He is a lot stronger than Spiderman and this is proved with a few swipes of his claw or whip of his arm/tentacle to quickly rid of helpless city people. Venom's method of replenishing health is also great because he sucks humans into his body and feeds on them to boost his health. However don't try this on enemies such as Wolverine for obvious, painful results!
When you are Spiderman in the missions again you have to chase and defeat villains but there are other types of missions. The first of this type that I came across in the game was a high octane city race with the legendary Johnny Storm from Fantastic Four. This is a very challenging race but is a good contrast to normal missions.
What I thought was needed to make the game complete is access to Venom when exploring the city. It was only Spiderman in the game who could explore the city and you could only be Venom in certain missions which is very limiting and a bit of a let down.
I have always been a fan of the Spiderman games and I think that the addition of Venom in Ultimate Spiderman is a welcome one and definitely improves the game. Although the extraction of such features as helping pedestrians on the street is disappointing. The comic book theme is well worked throughout the game, even though it decreases the quality of the graphics by a considerable amount.
Overall Ultimate Spiderman is a good game and packed full of features and a giant area to explore and hundreds of secret tokens to track down and collect. I doubt this game would feel out of place in the majority of gamer's collections.
7 out of 10