It's in the game's final act, though--when New York is once again the symbiote-infested, SHIELD-occupied city glimpsed in the game's introduction--that the missions become outstanding. Pockets of humans need to be rescued from buildings and rooftops throughout the city, and there's a real sense of desperation as you accompany SHIELD APCs and hovercraft and fight to protect the civilians from oncoming swarms of symbiotes that you can see approaching even through walls, thanks to your handy spider sense. It's a shame, though, that the enjoyment you may have found in all this conceptually cool action is severely lessened by the constant wrist-waggling you'll be doing.
Visually, the game is disappointing. The bland, monochromatic city is severely lacking in detail and activity, and while character models look pretty good, you'll often see people clip into buildings and other objects. And as previously mentioned, the frame rate frequently drops severely, making Spider-Man's otherwise graceful moves a lot less impressive. Many of the cutscenes were rendered using another version of the game and have a grainy look to them that lessens their impact a bit. The sound is decent, with some strong performances from the voice cast. Spider-Man delivers his so-bad-they're-funny (sometimes) one-liners with great geeky charm, while also giving a sense of the inner conflict he's experiencing in his struggle with the black suit. The music is sweeping and cinematic, but the best accompaniment to Spidey's swinging is the whistling of the wind you hear when there's no music at all. The sound also has its technical issues, though; music and dialogue will frequently cut out for a moment, and dialogue during cutscenes occasionally gets out of sync with the action. And oddly, all the civilians you pass on the street are as silent as mimes as they make a big show of cheering for you or scrambling from you in terror.
Fans of the wallcrawler may find that it's worth putting up with the considerable flaws and frustrations in Web of Shadows just to experience its original story and the occasionally thrilling action. But if you don't feel a particular attachment to the character, it's not worth it. In a way, the game's better aspects only serve to make its flaws all the more disappointing. This really should have been an exciting, high-flying adventure, but the awkward controls keep this Spider-Man from doing whatever a spider can.
Editor's Note: This review previously contained incorrect information about the ability to call upon an ally for support. This feature is absent from the Wii version. GameSpot regrets the error.