It's really no surprise that Activision will be releasing a second Spider-Man game in time for Christmas. The third film may not have been received as well critically (nor the game) but this didn't stop both the movie and the game from performing very well commercially. Spider-Man: Friend or Foe teams Spidey up with previous villains such as the Green Goblin, The Sandman, Venom and Doc Ock. We took the demo level for a spin and came away feeling that there is still quite a bit to improve on to make Friend or Foe an enjoyable Spider-Man game.
Friend or Foe is rather different to the movie game adaptation released only a few months ago. Rather than take control of the arachnid and choose your missions whilst swinging around a free roaming city, it seems Friend or Foe follows a more linear approach. The demo level takes place in downtown Tokyo (which is obviously a far cry from New York) and you can choose to team up with either Venom or the Green Goblin. We chose to team up with Green Goblin and after a short FMV we were thrown into the wet high rises of Toyko; all without an umbrella. The first thing you'll notice about Friend or Foe is the fact you don't have to play solely as Spider-Man - by simply holding down the Y button you can change characters on the fly. The game also supports co-op play as well, so you can play through missions with a friend.
In terms of gameplay, Friend or Foe feels very similar to another movie to game adaptation, TMNT. The game is an action beat 'em up but Spider-Man has a much larger arsenal of moves than the turtles did. Of course all of the web moves can be executed, but you can also kick and punch enemies if you prefer the old non technological way. It also seems that as you progress through the game you'll be able to improve the power or the level of your moves as well. The second character isn't just an aid in defeating enemies but can also be used to defeat some of the tougher enemies.
A lot of the time during the demo we were forced into a small area of the level where you need to defeat every enemy before a bridge will be drawn or you will be allowed to progress, which can become frustrating quickly. It ends up making each level feel very restrictive. The game also has a fixed perspective camera and several times during the demo we found ourselves cursing because an enemy was just out of sight and needed to be defeated to progress.
Whilst the demo for Spider-Man: Friend or Foe was relatively short we did get an idea of where the game was headed. It doesn't seem like Friend or Foe is going to start a revolution, but as long as we're not repeatedly defeating wave after wave of the same enemies, Friend or Foe may be an enjoyable game. We'll know in just a few short months time.