Spider-man is back in this child-friendly adventure.
Spider-Man: Friend or Foe throws you into the shoes... or leggings of Spider-Man in this far-fetched adventure.
Spider-Man must set out to rescue villains such as Venom and Doc Ock who have been hypnotised by a mysterious mastermind who is using shards from a meteor crash to brainwash an array of Spider-Man's greatest enemies. While you journey through each level, you will encounter enemies called Phantoms who vary in size from the small minions to huge, bulking beasts. These enemies are just a barrier to the occasional boss fight, ranging from Green Goblin to Sandman. Every villain you defeat will reluctantly join you as an ally which makes the game so intriguingly enjoyable to play.
As you play each level, you will choose out of your conquered villains who you want to help you fight through the level as a side-kick. Each villain has individual attributes and moves but you will soon find that they all have similar fighting styles. The AI of your side-kicks is also pretty good. Occasionally they may fall of a cliff face but they will hold their own in a fight and be quite useful when distracting a group of Phantoms while you sort out the large one's. While your side-kick offers some help in fighting Phantoms, in the boss fights you are entirely on your own.
The game's level structure is nothing spectacular, unfortunately. You will arrive at a foreign location like Nepal, where you'll fight Phantoms coded to appear in obviously planned out locations, then face a boss at the end. All levels are incredibly linear where the only differences are the environmental changes of each place. Phantoms will become stronger as you progress through the story and their appearance will change between each location offering some variety to each level.
The game also has some extras to find throughout each level. Each level has DNA Helixes and Keystones to find. DNA helixes offer unlockables and must be collected to obtain the achievements, the Keystones can be used to open a locked door where you fight more Phantoms that will also contribute to getting the achievements, and also unlock further unlockable things. While these unlockable games offer some variety,you will probably find them pretty boring. They are not difficult to find, and you will most likely stumble across them in-game but it does offer a small distraction to the main game.
Contrary to other Spider-Man games, Friend or Foe offers very little in terms of scaling walls and web swinging - you will most likely be on your feet most of the time using your fists, instead of performing the usual high octane stunts. Dying in the game is pretty flawed, too, the only penalty that is received is a small reduction of your tech tokens, which you find from beating enemies or destroying crates. These tokens can be used to upgrade Spider-Man's abilities and your side-kicks'.
The game can be easily wrapped up in around six hours. While the game is short, the combat in the game is pretty fun. A single button can be pressed in quick succession to allow Spider-Man to perform devastating combos with his fists. However, it is Spider-Man's web-based abilities that are the most interesting. His webs allow him to latch on to enemies from afar then spin them round and throw them into other enemies, bury them into the ground, or throw them against cliffs. Eventually, you will be granted the abilities to shoot projectile webs at enemies and wrap enemies in webbing to render them immobile as you progress through the game.
The sound quality in Friend or Foe is also great, particularly the voice acting which does a great job at emphasising the game's playful humour. The graphics in the game is also pretty good. The cartoonish character design is great to look at and each character is made their own by their excellent design and voice work. The developers have also completely cut out any gore or blood for obvious reasons - it's aimed at kids. While this may cut down on the excitement of the game, it makes it safe for children to play it knowing they will not be seeing that kind of thing.
What is most disappointing about the game is its lack of online multiplayer. The game does allow two player co-op during missions so a friend can jump in at a press of a button. While this is a good feature to have, the lack of a solid mulitplayer experience really cuts down on the game's replay value.
If you are looking for a lengthy challenge, your time and money would be better spent elsewhere, but if you are looking for a suitable game for your children or younger siblings, then Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is a suitable alternative if you can get it in at bargain bin price.