NO BRAIN? NO PROBLEM!
After finishing Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, I feel confident in recommending the game to either those who like their games as brainless as possible, or to those who have yet to reach their teenage years. Not since the abysmal N3: Ninety-Nine Nights have I played such an easy and mindless beat-em-up on the Xbox 360 (or anywhere else for that matter). Don’t get me wrong, the game does some things right and is actually far more complex and interesting than N3 ever hoped to be (e.g., pairing up with major Spidey villains; upgrading abilities and character traits), but it doesn’t take long before you realize that a lot of what keeps Friend or Foe from being completely mindless is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
The ability to switch out villainous sidekicks and upgrade abilities as you progress through the game definitely puts an interesting spin on things, but at the end of the day, all you really need to do is focus on a single attack and execute it; over and over, ad nauseum. To put things in proper perspective, I should probably mention that my 4-year-old daughter absolutely loves the game and does quite well not doing much more than repeatedly pounding on the attack button.
MEH, IT’LL DO
I’d like to say that the audio-visuals are well worth checking out, but they’re nothing special. At best, we’re talking 1st generation, Playstation 2 quality here. (Not really what you want to see on your expensive “next-gen” gaming machine.)
All-in-all, the game just feels lazy; as if the developers simply banged it out as quickly as possible to cash in on the hype surrounding the Spider-Man 3 DVD release. (Not as if that could even be a possibility, right?) However, sometimes you just want a mindless game that you can “veg out” with, and if you find yourself in such a mood and have an affinity for the Spider-Man IP, then Friend or Foe is worth a rental; even if only just barely.