E3: Spider-Man: Edge of Time Preview

SuperHeroHype recently got a chance to preview the upcoming game from Beenox Studios, Spider-Man: Edge of Time, in San Francisco. (They were the studio behind Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.) We're sure you've heard about this one. In the recently released trailer, the Amazing Spider-Man dies! Yes, you read that right. We also got a chance to chat with Dennis Bernardo-associate producer at Activision about the game, getting Peter David on board as a writer and what we can expect in terms of game play.

Here's the deal. A time rift has been opened between 2011 and 2099 by a scientist named Walker Sloan. (The first Marvel character created by Peter David in fifteen years.) He's sent Anti-Venom to “cure” the Amazing Spider-Man of his radioactivity, leading to his death. Sloan, a rival of Miguel O'Hara (Spider-Man 2099) has gone back in time to start the Alpha Max corporation 100 years before it was actually formed. This creates an alternate time line where Peter Parker, though still Spider-Man, is not the Peter Parker we know and love. He's working for Alpha Max when he's contacted by O'Hara, who explains that this is the wrong time line and will result in his death. They have to work together to change it all back.

The big bad here is Anti-Venom who is a newer version of Eddie Brock/Venom. He's an anti-hero who's powers can cure people. In the comics, he cures addicts and the like, but here, he can “cure” Spider-Man by draining the radioactivity out of his blood. This, of course, makes him just as murderable as the rest of us.

You get to play as both Amazing and 2099, and you communicate back in forth with a picture in picture display. Bernardo explained, “The picture in picture is really to tell the story of these two Spider-Men working together. There is this catastrophic event that happens, the death of Spider-Man. It changes the world in the past where Amazing Spider-Man is, and it changes the world where 2099 is. So they have to work together to reverse that. Spider-Man 2099 devises this way to communicate with the Amazing Spider-Man and tells him he's living in the wrong world. And Amazing Spider-Man doesn't believe him.”

There are two core combat systems, with Amazing as a ranged fighter and 2099 up close and personal. “So Spider-Man 2099 has this futuristic suit,” Bernardo said. “He's also got claws at the end of his hands. He's more of a close range fighter…he doesn't have spider sense like the Amazing Spider-Man does. He has what's called “accelerated vision” where he can perceive things faster than a normal human can. There is this mode called “accelerated decoy” where you can turn on this accelerated vision and drop a ghost of yourself. So it seems like he's in two places at once. On the Amazing Spider-Man side, he's got spider sense. We extend that a little bit with an ability called “hyper sense.” He can move faster and dodge things faster than an normal human can do.”

They didn't want to over-complicate the time travel aspect, according to Bernardo. He explained, “Because of the gateways, these two time lines are effectively linked. Anything you do in one time line affects the other. You have to get over that sense of, well, if you do something in the year 2011, how come nobody fixes it by the time it's 2099? We try to get around that because they're linked with these two gateways.'

Getting the story right was important to Bernardo and having Spider-Man scribe Peter David as a writer was important to everyone involved. “He was the creator of 2099, he knows that world really well,” Bernardo said. “He's written a bunch of Marvel comic book as well as Amazing Spider-Man, so he was really at the top of our list. He's written a lot of scifi stuff as well, so he really understood how to write this time travel story in the world of Spider-Man. If you heard any of the dialogue in the game, it's this great back and forth. Their characters really come across through his writing. He knows the personality of these characters. Amazing Spider-Man is a little bit younger. He's been a hero longer. Whereas Miguel O'Hara, Spider-Man 2099 is a little bit older. They both think they have that experience and they know more than the other. They kind of butt heads.”

From what we saw, the graphics look pretty fantastic. The fighting style is similar to Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions but updated. And with Peter David on board, you know the story is going to be great. We were also told that there will be some cameos from the Marvel universe that will be revealed, so stay tuned.

Check out the trailer and screenshots from the game by clicking here.