Despite the simplicity of its combat, Edge of Time stays interesting as a result of its storytelling. As the Spideys communicate across time, you often see what one Spider-Man is doing in the corner of the screen as you control the other. Thanks to some sort of hastily explained wormholelike phenomenon linking their timelines, the actions of one Spider-Man can have an immediate effect on the surroundings of the other. For instance, if O'Hara is overwhelmed by mutants in the future, Parker can save him by destroying the failed experiments lab in the present. That's the magic--er, science of temporal causality. You must frequently race against time to save your fellow Spider-Man, and the picture-in-picture presentation generates a good deal of tension; the image of Peter Parker being slowly crushed to death by closing walls makes for a strong motivation to hurry up and rescue him. But this concept of temporal causality also feels like a missed opportunity. You might wish you could tinker with the timeline yourself and do things in one time to see how those actions affect the other, but you never have the freedom to do so. Everything that happens is determined by the rigid confines of the story, and you're powerless to affect that course of events. In a game that's all about how time can be shifted, this feels oddly limiting.
Like the story, the environments are also restrictive. Of course you can webswing, and it's exciting to speed through the air as you hustle from one location to another while the pressure is on. And a number of sections in which you must maneuver O'Hara to avoid hurtling into obstacles as he free-falls are dramatic demonstrations of his superhero skills. But the narrow corridors and other confined spaces in which you spend much of your time mean that you rarely have the liberating opportunity to swing any which way. It's disappointing to be cast as these webheads only to find yourself unable to enjoy the sense of freedom that their signature ability should allow for. You can almost always zip right to a highlighted perch with the press of a button, and you make frequent use of this ability to get around, but Edge of Time doesn't fully take advantage of Spider-Man's most defining power. In addition to being restrictive, the locations in which the game takes place are mostly dull industrial hallways and metallic chambers, with little visual variety.
Hurry, Spider-Man! Future Spider-Man needs your help right now in the present, which is his past!
Edge of Time has other frustrations as well, including a poorly designed battle in which you must fight the same boss three times in a row, and you must repeat the entire process from the beginning if you're defeated. And start to finish, the game is only about six hours long. A harder difficulty mode, challenges to complete, alternate suits to unlock, and other bonuses give dedicated wallcrawlers plenty to do, but the combat is too simple and the movement too limited to make these undertakings appealing. Spider-Man fans may find putting up with the game's flaws worthwhile just to enjoy its story, but most players will find that Edge of Time doesn't make your spider sense tingle quite enough.