Friend Or Foe, Good or Bad?

Recently, Activision held its annual Activate Asia event, this time up in the temperate loveliness of Cairns, Queensland. Activate is like a mini-E3, except there’s more sun and water, and less fanboys. Well, no fanboys.

Among the many games the publisher displayed (which we’ll talk about soon), was Spider-Man: Friend or Foe. Now, I’m a big fan of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, so despite the bad rap our US counterparts dished out on the demo, I was optimistic.
In addition to the demo level of Tokyo, we got to see some Spidey action in Nepal and some foreboding, alien caverns. Activision’s Jamie Bafus fired up the Versus mode, which she explained can only be played in co-op. Venom faced off against Goblin on Tokyo’s rooftops.

The hulking black parasite didn’t fare well, however, and was tossed – almost too easily – over the edge and to his death. Sadly, this happened a few times.

I think Friend or Foe‘s biggest problem is going to be differentiating itself from the competent co-op gameplay in Ultimate Alliance. Bafus said that Friend or Foe has more “family friendly combat”, but I didn’t exactly find Raven’s effort that violent. There’s certainly a learning curve when you consider the skill point system, but the auto-spending mode is there if you find it daunting.

What Friend or Foe does has over Ultimate Alliance is a plentiful supply of playable villains, but at this stage, it’s not enough to win me over.

Activision provided a release date of October 10 for the 360, Wii, PS2, Nintendo DS and PC versions, while PSP owners will have to wait until the 17th.


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