New Spider-Man game trails hope of revitalized series

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The Independent Tech

A new Spider-Man game is on the cards and hopes are that it will resurrect the webbed wonder's fortune on modern consoles. A trailer and images from the upcoming Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions have been teased ahead of a round table discussion on the game at San Francisco's Wonder-Con expo on April 3.

Giant games publisher Activision handed development duties for Shattered Dimensions to subsidiary studio Beenox, whose history has been in converting console video games to work on PCs, and last year was behind Guitar Hero: Smash Hits.

Recent video games using the Spider-Man license have not fared too well, with 2007's Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and 2008's Spider-Man: Web of Shadows by and large disappointing reviewers, especially after finding Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 and Ultimate Spider-Man so enjoyable earlier in the decade.

However, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is a new take on the Spider-Man fiction, promising the chance to get to grips with four different versions of ol' webhead that appear as playable characters.

One of those is Amazing Spider-Man, the most historic and well known form that the character has taken, wearing his recognizable red and blue bodysuit, with black spider emblems on either side of the torso.

The second, as revealed in the trailer and screenshots released on March 31, is Spider-Man Noir, part of the Marvel Noir universe, a much more recent re-boot which takes place in the depression-era 1930s.

Clad in green fatigues, a brown figure hugging top, and black leathers, his identity-concealing head-wear is much more like an ominous gas mask than Amazing Spider-Man's tight and bright apparel.

The trailer shows Amazing Spider-Man in motion, using his webs in both jungle and city scenes, swinging around and taking on henchmen. By contrast, Spider-Man Noir has a much stealthier approach, sneaking about warehouses and dark city streets to apprehend his foes.

Two more Spider-Man characters are yet to be revealed, with many potential candidates amongst Marvel's roster of webslingers who have not yet made the transition across to video games.

Spider-Man 2099 is part of the futuristic Marvel 2099 series, Spider-Man 1602 is from the Neil Gaiman-penned Elizabethan era Marvel 1602 miniseries, and in the Marvel Zombies miniseries, Spidey, along with other heroes and villains from the Marvel stable, become part of the living dead thanks to an alien virus, eventually sacrificing themselves for the greater good.

As for the wallcrawler's nemeses, Kraven the Hunter is known to play counterpart to Spider-Man in the Amazing dimension, albeit in a jungle environment rather than through the New York city streets.

Classic bad guy Hammerhead is also seen in the Spider-Man Noir section of Shattered Dimensions' trailer, and though not considered part of the Noir canon, Beenox and Activision felt that he would fit in with its underworld tones.

Further details are expected to be revealed nearer the Electronic Entertainment Expo (June 15-17) and Comic-Con (July 22-25).

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