Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is an ambitious superhero game that is much, much better than its stupid, stupid subtitle.
The plot: A bad guy breaks into a museum to steal the most literal tablet in the universe. It's called the Tablet of Order and Chaos. You will be relieved to know the Tablet of Order and Chaos controls order and chaos.
This invites the question: Why in the world is the most important, magical, time-space tablet in the universe just lying around on display in a museum? I don't have the answer to that super obvious logic hole.
Anyway, the Tablet of Order and Chaos gets broken into bits accidentally. Then those bits travel supernaturally to four different dimensions. You portray four different Spider-Men in those dimensions trying to track down those tablet bits.
So you portray: A) the iconic Amazing Spider-Man, the guy you know from the movies; B) a stealthy Noir Spider-Man who exists in a gorgeous, black-and-white, 1930s-esque era, inspired by Dark City and Sin City; C) a futuristic "2099" Spider-Man who punches sci-fi jerks in a metropolis that looks very much like Metropolis-meets-Speed Racer; and D) Ultimate Spider-Man, who is the weirdest Spider-Man, a very cartoon-y dude with slappy-dappy rubber arms.
In other words, this game is like four short Spider-Man games rolled into one. This is all very impressive, especially the art direction (wow, this game looks incredible) and (most importantly) the game play.
For the most part, you do whatever a Spider-Man does. You punch, kick, soar in the air aloft on webs, and zip from place to place rapidly on webby ziplines.
The settings (jungles, cities and carnival atmospheres) are fascinating and well-balanced for battles between you and all the evil bosses and their suicidal, loyal underlings.
Some annoying things don't quite work. It's frustrating to try to crawl up walls and across ceilings. That's something for a game based on a guy who is a wall-crawling "spider."
The camera point-of-view will fail you on occasion, leaving you staring at a ceiling or the ground at the wrong time. Also, I hate the Sandman levels, as I hated Sandman in the game and movie of Spider-Man 3. Enough with Sandman! He's made of sand; I get it; sand is dull.
But those are glorified nitpicks in what is otherwise the most fun Spider-Man since Spider-Man 2. It's also maybe the funniest Spider-Man game ever, thanks to voiceover actors nailing unabashedly cheesy jokes.
At one point, villain Electro keeps shocking Spidey with electricity while taunting him, so Spidey says with Daily Show-esque snark: "Have you ever considered therapy? Or in your case...SHOCK therapy."
Ha, that's a groaner. But Spidey does enjoy spinning lines.