Can we put some RESPEK on SPIDER-MAN’s Name!!???
Over the years Spider-Man games have come and gone and while many were good and many were great; the reality is there hasn’t truly been a definitive Spider-Man game since Spider-Man 2. There hasn’t been a definitive Spider-Man experience that could go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Arkham Batman games and when it comes down to it Insomniacs take on Spider-Man is the best and is the true definitive Spider-Man experience that we deserve: Marvel’s Spider-Man nails both the gameplay and the story.
One of the things I will always praise this version of Spider-Man for is the fact that they decided to forgo the rudimentary death of Uncle Ben as they instead went with what the MCU is doing by skipping that entirely as well as introducing Spider-Man as someone who is already known. This Peter Parker is about 23 years old and has been your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man for about 8 years now and has earned the anger of all of the Sinister Six.
The opening hours of the game are very engaging and has you facing off with The Kingpin aka Wilson Fisk and from there you’re brought into seeing the most stunning digital rendition of Manhattan that you’ll ever see in a game this generation. Every aspect of the island is explorable from the dazzling neon Times Square, skyscrapers and commercial districts, and all the way to various train tracks in Harlem; there’s so much to explore and love in this game, there’s never a dull moment.
You’ll run into a gang known as the Demons that are wrecking chaos all over the city and on top of dealing with them you’ll also have to deal with the reality that Peter’s life is unfortunately spiraling out of control but thankfully with a support system consisting of Mary Jane and Aunt May he’s able to maintain a semblance of sanity between his desire to be the hero in Spider-Man but also the scientist/journalist that is Peter Parker: the dynamic of his conflict between his self and alter ego is superbly showcased in this game. Peter’s relationship with Mary Jane has been so strained that they are currently just friends with him working as a intern for a science lab while she works at the Daily Bugle. There’s a lot to unpack with the story and there are tons of moments that involve spoilers, but I wouldn’t want to take any of these moments away from anyone.
Mission structures have a decent variety and the main story missions go to cool places while the side missions are addicting. There’s a lot to do, from stopping random crimes to taking down enemy bases or even simple minigames for Peter’s research work.
Spider-Man’s web-slinging is pure bliss. The geometric complexities of Spider-Man’s web-slinging has been compressed into a single button; all the player has to do is direct the swing and release before launching the next web to maintain momentum.
Momentum is a massive part of this game and it with a little practice you’ll be swinging cross the various city’s’ in Manhattan’s skyline and acrobatically propelling Spidey from ledges for a burst of speed.
When it comes to gameplay you’ll find that the combat has a similar setup and flow to Batman Arkham Asylum in terms of overall feel and core mechanics with its bare knuckle combat and you’ll stealth feel very similar, just with a Spider-Man twist. Spider-Man’s makes combat it its own through more open-ended fights and deployment of web-based gadgets.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is a good looking game that runs smoothly on PS4, Slim, and PS4 Pro. I didn’t run into any animation or graphical hitches or issues within the framerate and for the most part it was smooth sailing. There isn’t a real dynamic day/night cycle or weather system unfortunately since that is dictated by the story. When it is night or raining, the world looks impressive.
Character designs of Spider-Man and the villains, are fantastic. Some of the villains look unique while still maintaining their iconic comic integrity. Insomniac’s version of New York is a lively recreation with all the real life landmarks you would expect plus a couple Marvel-centric ones too. While street population isn’t as dense as I would have expected it to be, I found myself spending more of my time swinging between buildings than on the ground interacting with pedestrians.
AII in all, wrapping this review up, it’s a certainty that insomniac nailed their version of Spider-Man. From the gameplay to the graphics to the story to the world, an immense amount of care is apparent and greatly appreciated. Spider-Man is one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in 2018 coming in a very strong 3rd to Sega’s Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and Yakuza Kiwami 2. Marvel’s Spider-Man captures all aspects of its craft from the gameplay to the story elements and even hints at the future of this franchise and it wraps up in a very satisfying way. Spider-Man is KASANOVA APPROVED.