It seems Spiderman’s luck in the world of video games is slowly but surely changing. After the rather enjoyable Shattered Dimensions for consoles, the web crawler’s latest iOS game titled Ultimate Spiderman: Total Mayhem is an enjoyable game that’ll appeal to everyone, Spiderman fan or not.
Plot isn’t one of the game’s stronger points, but then again expecting something deep and meaningful from a Spiderman game is rather stupid. All you need to know is that there are bad dudes all over New York and you have to stop them by any means necessary. To do so, Spiderman can kick and punch the crap out of his enemies, pulling off some sick combos in the process. Unlike most games where you have separate buttons for light and heavy attacks, Spiderman pulls off an insane amount of punches and kicks with the attack button alone. And thanks to his Spidey senses, dodging incoming attacks is never really an issue. As and when you’re about to get hit, a lightning icon will display on screen. Press it in time and Spiderman will not only avoid an incoming attack but counter it stylishly.
You will become my shoe
Next to the attack key lies the web key which, allows him to unleash some web-based ranged attacks and once you get the hang on the controls, you can mix web attacks with good ol’ fashioned punches and kicks to unleash some serious pain. Executing successful combos builds up your Web Power Guage which when maxed out can be used to unleash a devastating, unblockable web attack. Defeating enemies releases red orbs which can then be used to upgrade Spidey’s abilities. Besides fallen foes, red orbs are strewn all over the city and this does encourage exploration to a certain extent. Every level also houses a few hidden comics which when discovered unlock conventional stuff like concept art, photo galleries and so on. In addition to this, you can even rescue certain damsels and dudes in distress to earn more orbs. Besides all the ass-kicking, Spiderman will also have to indulge in a healthy amount of platforming. These are well paced segments that manage to provide a slight change of pace from combat where players will have to jump, swing, shimmy, and climb.
One of the more subtle perks
At the end of every round you’ll be graded on the basis of your performance taking into consideration usual parameters like the highest combo you pulled off or the amount of damage you absorbed. Once unlocked, levels can be replayed to better your score. Even the bosses you defeat throughout the course of the game will be available for you to run through again. This of course will only matter to the perfectionists who get sleepless nights with anything less than a gold medal.
Visually, the game is crisp and runs at a smooth framerate. It looks bright and colorful and running this game on the new touch is sight for sore eyes. The only issue I had with the game was that the Attack, Web and Jump keys were a bit too close to each other. And quite often I found myself jumping when I wanted to attack or dodge. It’s not a deal breaker per se but it really sucks that both Apple and Gameloft don’t take people with fat fingers into consideration.
I've always loved playing with sand
Other than this minor issue, Total Mayhem was an utter blast fusing a very intuitive and responsive combat system with some good old-fashioned platforming. Give it a shot even if you’re not into comic book heroes as it yet another awesome accomplishment from Gameloft.