Spider-Man hasn't gotten its Arkham Asylum yet. By that, I mean I don't believe our friendly neighbourhood webslinger has been realized to the level that Batman was in Rocksteady's Arkham series. We've had some decent Spidey games, but none of them have quite reached that level.
2011's Shattered Dimensions (released on Steam in 2015) doesn't either, but it's actually a pretty good Spider-Man game. And sadly, it's the only one easily available to PC gamers right now, as many of Activision's licensed properties have been culled from Steam over the years. If I were a betting man, I'd say Shattered Dimensions won't be available forever, either.
Shattered Dimensions' story kicks off when Spider-Man B-hero Mysterio accidentally destroys an ancient tablet, sending the pieces into four different dimensions. All four of these dimensions houses a different Spider-Man—he Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099, and Spider-Man Noir—with each bringing a different art style, its own voice actor, and some unique gameplay mechanics to the table. Each section of the game is divided into four confined levels, one for each dimension. You can complete these in any order, but you'll need to complete all four before you can move on to the next set of levels.
Amazing, Ultimate, and 2099 mostly consist of character-action, brawling reminiscent of Devil May Cry, with moments of platforming and exploration peppered in between the sections of combat. Amazing Spider-Man uses his webbing to make giant weapons to smash enemies with, while Ultimate uses his tentacles to take out foes until he can charge up his Rage mode to unleash more attack power. 2099, on the other hand, is unfortunately the lowpoint for this game.
The Marvel 2099 universe was already kinda lame, but developer Beenox didn't do much to make it more interesting. It has more confined environments than Amazing and Ultimate, and they're not very exciting. It's basically a bland, generic futuristic setting with disappointing character designs. Shattered Dimensions is full of iconic Spider-Man villains, but when I met the 2099 versions of characters like Hobgoblin and Doc Ock, I could only think about how much better they would have been in one of the other dimensions. Thankfully, Amazing, Ultimate, and Noir have the charm and interesting gameplay that you want in a Spider-Man. I mean, there's something special about Spider-Man making a giant mace out of web.
While most of the game takes an action-y, Spider May Cry approach, Noir takes the game in a completely different direction, focusing on stealth. It's far-and-away the best dimension and even stars the voice of Christopher Daniel Barnes, the voice of Spider-Man from that '90s animated show—I adore that show, but I'll never forget the moment I realized Spider-Man solved all his problems with love, not his fists. And while it's not classic, Amazing Spider-Man, it does feel like it's the closest to realizing its own version of the character.
The game's stealth is reminiscent of Batman: Arkham Asylum, but the art style is what really makes it stand out. While you hide in the shadows, the world is entirely black-and-white. But as soon as you take a step into the light, colour fills in the areas around you. It's a really cool effect that I wish was used in more games. Shattered Dimensions is worth checking out for Spider-Man Noir alone.
Sadly, developer Beenox's first take on Spider-Man was its best. The Montreal-based studio followed up with the disappointing Edge of Time before taking a stab at its first open world in The Amazing Spider-Man. That unfortunately wasn't quite what you wanted, as most missions took place in closed, tight environments. And sadly, things didn't get better with the sequel.
As for the future of Spider-Man games on PC, it's unclear. Insomniac Games is making a new game, but it's being published by Sony, so it's unlikely to release anywhere but the PlayStation 4. If you are hankering for Spider-Man game on PC, Shattered Dimensions is discounted on Steam (opens in new tab) until March 21 at 10 AM PT. If you're a fan of Spider-Man, I'd definitely recommend giving it a look.
However, it's very important to note that some people have had issues when playing the game on Windows 10. Players reported that their games were not saving, but one player on the forums (opens in new tab) has said that the latest Windows 10 update should fix that. Some have also said they never experienced any save issues, but are running into problems with resolutions. You can check out a solution here (opens in new tab), but we haven't tested it for ourselves, so practice caution. It also sounds like you'd be better off playing this game with a controller, as there have been some complaints of mouse smoothing (opens in new tab).