With great power comes great responsibility. But along with the burden of protecting the innocent from those who prey upon them, the power that comes with being Spider-Man would surely bring a great deal of fun. To swing through the air as you hunted evildoers would be liberating and exhilarating, and using your webs to restrain and subdue criminals would be immensely satisfying. Unfortunately, while its flair for the dramatic keeps it aloft, Edge of Time doesn't capture the joy that should come with such fantastic abilities. Instead, it serves up an experience that often feels as narrow and limited as the air ducts through which you spend much of your time crawling.
6338723NoneWhen you toy with time, bad things are sure to happen.
You play as both The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker, hero of present-day New York, and as Miguel O'Hara, Spider-Man of the year 2099. When Walker Sloan, a scientist at megacorporation Alchemax, hops back through time to the 1970s and founds Alchemax long before it's supposed to exist, the consequences are immediate and dramatic. Present-day New York instantly transforms into a bleak-looking place, and Peter Parker goes from intrepid Daily Bugle photographer to Alchemax employee. O'Hara and Parker join forces across time to undo the damage with their superpowers and brisk repartee. Their banter is one of the better things about Edge of Time; Parker's so-bad-they're-good wisecracks and O'Hara's more serious demeanor make for an interesting contrast, and energetic voice acting helps to make their interactions believable, even when nothing else about the story is.
Unfortunately, although their personalities may contrast, playing as the two Spider-Men feels very similar. As both Parker and O'Hara, you unleash combos by rapidly pressing one button, launch enemies into the air with another, and fire web shots with a third. There's some fun to be had in clobbering the thugs, robots, and mutants that try to put a stop to the Spideys, and using their super-speed abilities to attack enemies while those enemies continue to attack where you were standing an instant earlier is empowering. But although you unlock new moves and power up existing ones throughout the course of the game, the combat doesn't evolve in any meaningful way. It never requires much skill, so defeating your enemies doesn't remain rewarding. It also doesn't look great. Spider-Man should look stylish as he's putting the hurt on the bad guys, but Edge of Time goes overboard with the flashy effects. Color lines follow O'Hara's attacks, for instance, and Parker's hyper-sense ability creates a trail of ghostly impressions of him. In the heat of battle, these dazzling distractions sometimes overshadow the action they're intended to emphasize.
Spider-Man 2099 likes to keep things flashy. Very, very flashy.