Imagine seeing the world through Spider-Man's eyes. Now imagine you're in the heat of one-on-one combat with Kraven. And he's really pissed. You can see the glimmer of sweat on his heaving chest and feel the tremble of his guttural growl as he whips his machete dangerously close to your face.
That's exactly the kind of intimacy between Spidey and the big bosses that producers at Activision say they tried to capture in the latest Spider-Man videogame, "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions," which will officially be released sometime in September, 2010. CBR News got a sneak peak of the new game at a recent sit-down with production representatives from Activision, who worked with developers at Beenox and Marvel Comics to create the game.
Meghan Morgan, Senior Producer at Activision, explained that "Shattered Dimensions" brings together four distinct Spider-Man universes known to comics fans, each graphically true to their comic looks to give gamers four distinct playing experiences. The plot has each Spider-Man traveling through his unique universe on a mission to recover pieces of a mystical object called the Tablet of Order and Chaos that has somehow shattered into four pieces, with each piece winding up in the hands of the big boss villains of each universe. When the pieces are together, the tablet maintains balance by keeping the four universes (or dimensions) separate from one another. Each Spidey from each universe is called upon to retrieve a piece of the tablet so that it can be put together again.
Morgan wouldn't reveal how the tablet is shattered in the first place or whether the four Spideys from the four different universes will all be congregating together at any point in the game.
Activision is also keeping tight-lipped about two of those universes, though on Wednesday they announced half of what players can expect: a familiar and classic "Amazing Spider-Man" universe and a darker, edgier "Spider-Man Noir" universe. At the request of fans, Morgan said, "Shattered Dimensions" is focused around a more level-based game tailored to an experience between Spider-Man and the bosses. But she added that the environments of each universe are big enough so the game still has an open-world feel to it.
Each universe is built around the characteristics of the big boss that Spider-Man will ultimately have to face there. For example, in the "Amazing" universe, Spidey will face Kraven and travel through a flora and fauna-filled jungle world. The graphics in this universe are more cartoonish and sometimes even "inked" like a comic book. Spider-Man is dressed in his classic garb and combat is mainly web-based. In addition to the first-person combat, Morgan hinted that there will be some other mysterious "first-person experiences that involve webs."
In the "Noir" universe, Spidey will ultimately face the machine gun-wielding Hammerhead. The graphics of this universe are true to the dark, shadowy style of the "Spider-man Noir" comics, except Spidey's trenchcoat had to be shortened into a vest to give him more mobility for gamers. Morgan said the Spidey in this universe is a bit older and brooding and the environment grittier and edgy. Instead of purely web-based combat, the Noir Spidey has the option of a stealth game play mechanic.
In order to make each universe truly unique from one another, Morgan said developers worked in separate teams to prevent overlap of ideas and design elements. In addition, the game features different voiceover actors for each unique Spidey. Christopher Daniel Barnes, who played Spider-Man in the 1990s cartoon series, is the voice of the Noir Spidey. Without revealing all of their identities, Morgan confirmed that the four Spider-Man voiceover actors all previously played the hero in one capacity or another.
Morgan talked more about "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions" when she appeared with writer Dan Slott, Beenox Creative Director Thomas Wilson and Christopher Daniel Barnes at WonderCon in San Francisco on Saturday afternoon. Be sure to check out CBR's upcoming report from the panel.