When I saw that this game had only 13 levels, the initial worries started to hit me. How long is this game? Is it just the kind of game where you fight a boss in a level and thats it? Is it a top score beating game? When I booted up the first level though, all of these worries were immediatly gone when I saw that there were in fact 13 levels that took me about 30-45 minutes each to beat. The gameplay was great, fast-paced action oriented in three of the spiderman worlds, while Spiderman Noir focuses more on a stealth approach where you can pick off your enemies one by one.
When I started up the tutorial mission I was also blind-sided by the voice of Stan Lee. He narrates the cutscenes, but he doesn't do more than that. It would have been nice for this game to have introduced a new villain, possibly voiced by Stan Lee, but we stick with established Spiderman Villian Mysterio for the main bad guy here. We also have 12 other villains from the alternate Spiderman dimensions.
The missions are split through the four universes of Amazing Spiderman, Ultimate Spiderman, Spiderman 2099, and Spiderman Noir. As mentioned, Spiderman Noir is the only universe with a different style of gameplay and that only applies half the time. Spiderman 2099 has the power to slow down time for strategic combat and to avoid projectiles, and Ultimate Spiderman has the power of rage which increases attack power for a short time and make it so he does not get pushed back. It seems that Amazing Spiderman only has the power of being the first character we meet.
The gameplay is great in both the stealth and action parts, the graphics are very cartoonish and have a good sense of comic book art. What lets this game down is the repetitiveness of this otherwise very good game. While in certain levels the base enemies are reflective of the villian we are fighting in the chapter, in what must be half of the levels we are subject to the same three tiers of henchmen: Small, Medium, Large. Its like ordering a coffee.
Another thing that can let this game down is the ability to get swarmed quite easily from the enemies on screen. You can easily lose track of where you are aiming as well as where your Spiderman is at the time. There is a lockon, but it simply doesn't work as well as the developer thinks it does. You could be getting your face punched in by a guy in front of you, while your Spiderman is locked onto a guy across the room.
On a final note, my least favourite world was the Amazing Spiderman world. I know its the original, but the game didn't really sell it to me that well. On the complete opposite hand however Spiderman Noir really did present itself best with the very dark outlook on everything, including the reimagining of the Vulture as a canibal. The Vulture was my favourite character from the 1990s Spiderman cartoon and this just seems like a great fit for him. The bottom line of this is that I really want to read Spiderman Noir. Maybe i'm looking through the goggles of nostalgia this time, but it was quite a good cartoon.
Overall, Spiderman Noir suceeds in many ways, but fails in quite a few as well. I really cant give this game anything other than a 7/10. Worth getting for comic fans, as well as fans of open level beat 'em ups.