PREVIEWSPillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
We've all been there. Everyone remembers that mission. You and your partner are climbing up the mountains in the snow, striving to pull some slick clandestine operation about getting some intel on a bad guy, or something similar (because let's face...
While this isn't the full on Spider-Man experience that has been in the dreams of every Webhead on the block since the inception of Spider-Man 2: The Movie, this game does a lot for the Webslinger, his video game franchise and the integration of video games and comics as a medium and art form. The game itself features a slightly smaller, much less "fully realized NYC" than the previous game of the same style. It still features the GTA sandboxy play where you can do anything you want from sit and watch the sun rise to chase down baddies mugging old ladies (all I ever remember doing in a sandbox was getting it in my crack and finding surprises left by my cat.) Although the NYC and newly added Queens areas are smaller than Spider-Man 2, the size fits the new shape and tone of the story. The story is what is really the catch. Written by Brian Michael Bendis (Yeah, they guy who ruined the Avengers) Ultimate Spider-Man's story is ripped straight from the comics of the same name. This isn't your father's Spider-Man. Peter is still a Kid. Eddie Brock, soon to be Mega-Ultra Villain Venom, is just a furry little teeny too. There is no adult conflict. No jealousy and hate between Eddie and Parker. And most of all there is no Alien Symbiote. Turns out in Ultimate's world Peter's dad and Eddie's dad were both scientists who created the suit as a way to strengthen the body and cure cancer. That is the only part of the story that seems to be wafer-thin, the rest is solid Marvel hero and villian action. The broken fighting engine has been fixed from the last game and it puts a heavy importance on combos when you are fighting with Spidy and throwing stuff ala The Hulk when you are Venom. The visuals are also stunning. What we call lame old "Cell Shading" the comic book insdustry calls "art" and in this game art it is. I would say give Spider-Man 2 a rent. If you are a spidey fan give it a buy even. Don't let sorry old Joe ruin your fun. He is just mad that Venom seems to come out on top over Wolvy in one of the opening scenes. Mike-