Our first stop at E3 today was the Gameloft party bus, parked outside of the LA Convention Center. In addition to the highly anticipated sequel Dungeon Hunter 2, we also had our first hands-on with a new beat ‘˜em up starring our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem’s first and best asset is its beautiful graphics. As you can see in the trailer and screenshots, the game’s colors pop like hand-drawn illustrations off of a comic book cover. In the two levels we played, one set on the streets of New York and the other swinging through the city at night, we were absorbed by the detailed graphics. We think Gameloft is setting a new standard for 3D graphics on the iPhone, and can’t wait to see what they do with the iPhone 4’s new retina display (though they were unable to share any specific details at E3).
Spider-Man controlled well, too. There are buttons for jumping, punching, and web-slinging, with 18 combos to be executed by mixing up your moves. For example, Spidey might snare a punk with his web, then swing him around wildly, knocking down other punks. You can also bang up the environment, like putting a few dents in an innocent hot dog stand.
Your Spidey Sense in the game is represented by “quick-time” minigames, like sliding a spider icon from left to right to jump out of the way of an oncoming car. During fights the spider icon will sometimes appear, and with a quick tap, you’ll perform a slick dodge, jumping over a minion’s knife slash or a boss’s fireball.
The game has 12 levels, and in typical Gameloft style, they seem to have a lot of variety. When we were swinging through the city at night, gameplay consisted of a combination of touching the screen to bounce off of flying robots, and hitting the web button to grab a flagpole or building spire. It’s an on-rails, timing-based level, but it was a lot of fun.
We’re really excited to see Spider-Man treated so well on the iPhone. He looks great, controls great, and the action seems nicely varied. We saw a lot of great iPhone games today, but this may have been our favorite so far.