Spiderman has returned with Friend or Foe, an action-adventure brawler from Next Level Games. Instead of seeing our favourite web crawler fighting his usual arch foes, Spiderman is instead teaming up with them to defeat an enemy larger than any have taken on before.
The big twist in Friend or Foe as previously mentioned is Spiderman teaming up with his enemies. A secret mastermind is using shards from a meteor to brainwash villains like the Green Goblin to fight for him alongside his holographic phantoms. Spiderman must travel across the globe, recover the shards, and free the brainwashed villains, changing their loyalties. When playing, the story doesn’t seem as farfetched as it really as and the novelty of teaming up with the likes of Doc Ock doesn’t wear too thin.
You get the option to play either as Spiderman or one of his many sidekicks, and can switch between them with a swift flick of the nunchuk. Spiderman has quite a wide variety of moves and this expands as the game progresses, unfortunately all of his sidekicks have only two unique moves doing little to set them apart from each other.
The game follows a fairly linear pattern. You travel to an exotic location where you’ll encounter one of 3 varieties of phantoms. After beating the phantoms there’s a boss fight, which are all more or less the same and require the same basic strategy for a victory.
Friend or Foe has no set level of difficulty, which is a shame, because saying this game is easy wouldn’t do it justice. For starters it’s impossible to die! You just respawn where you died, the only consequence being you lose some upgrade tokens which actually make no difference seeing as you come right back even if you do lose.
The graphics are a huge let down unless PS1 graphics are appealing to you. Jagged edges, a dodgy frame rate and fuzziness all severely undermine the game. The sound is far better than the graphics, utilizing a wide variety of voice acting talent. The voices of Spiderman and the Green Goblin are similar to those in the movies.
The release time of Friend or Foe is pretty ideal; it coincides with the DVD release of Spiderman 3 and with only a matter of weeks away till Christmas, should have no problem selling. The game in itself is pretty poor; easy AI, awful graphics, the list goes on. The only redeeming factor is the terrific voice acting but this doesn’t make the game. If there’s a young Spidey fan in your house or beating a five hour game will help with your self esteem issues then Friend or Foe isn’t a bad purchase, but otherwise you aren’t missing much avoiding this.