Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s most beloved characters. Trying to capture the character in his full glory in a video game has been hard, with many games coming out trying to match the success of Spider-Man 2 from 2004 and that of the Batman Arkham series. In 2016, E3 was set ablaze with the reveal trailer for Marvel’s Spider-Man being developed by Insomniac Games (aka Ratchet & Clank and more recently Sunset Overdrive) and published by Sony. Could Insomniac live up to the hype?
What You Need to Know
Although this is a new entry, this isn’t an origin story. The game picks up with Pete being 23 years old and a much more experienced Spider-man. This entry is also confirmed to become canon as the new Spidergeddon comic will pick up directly after the events of the game.
Before I dive in to the gameplay, I’m going to do some housekeeping.
Have you ever played Spider-Man 2? If so skip down to”This might sound dumb…”.
If not, do not skip any thing. You have some learning to do.
So you never played Spider-Man 2? Yikes you missed a classic (I’m only teasing you by the way). NYC is your playground as you do whatever a spider can. Let’s get into it.
The game starts off with a bit of a bang, but also serves as a tutorial. You web swing with R2 (which is immensely satisfying). Hold down L2, and Spidey goes into a focus mode which you Web Zip with. Press X while swinging and he’ll do a short web zip. The traversal mechanics are very satisfying.
You eventually will end up fighting bad guys. Combat is almost a carbon copy of the Batman Arkham series, which is kind of a bummer, but it’s still so good. You press square to kick/punch bad guys, triangle is your web button so you can pull enemies towards you or zip to them and start a combo. Circle is your counter button, and eventually you’ll get the ability to do a perfect counter which webs your enemy when you dodge, buying you time to focus on another dude and it’s pretty cool. You do have fishing moves which is powered by focus. When your focus is full, press triangle and square to do a sick finishing combo. All these cool abilities are unlocked through a skill tree system.
This might sound dumb, but the good thing about this being based off the comic version of our hero is that Spidey has a full array of creative gadgets at his disposal. Impact web is a shotgun web shot that will immediately dispose off an enemy by launching him into a wall. Use the tripwire for stealthy encounters, or use the web bomb to web a group of dudes together. The other ones are interesting, but the three I described are my favorite. You can also change suits with each suit having a unique ability such as spider drone that shoots electricity. There’s gotta be almost 30 suits including more with the DLC.
You’ll spend time swinging around fighting crime, but there are a ton of side missions and activities. Enemy warehouses are just giant fight clubs, there are landmarks to be photographed (Marvel favorites are included), and backpacks with memorabilia in them and much more. It’s a lot peeps.
There are segments where you will play as Pete, MJ, and/or Miles, which aren’t as cool and involve stealth or some really corny PS2 style puzzles, but are fun nonetheless. There’s also a dank photo mode, which people have created some incredible art with. I mean it’s left me speechless.
Like I said about God of War, I’m going to try and be as unbiased as possible. All I can say is I knew this was going to be good, and the overall reaction to the game has been nothing but positive. Insomniac delivered (which we pretty much knew they would)!
I honestly really like what they did with this game. I think Yuri Lowenthal (Sasuke Uchiha in Naruto and Prince in Prince of Persia) did an excellent job voicing Spider-Man, corny jokes and all. The amount of fan service is incredible and matched only by the Arkham series. Being Spider-Man is awesome, and the extra activities don’t feel like a drag, they actually are fun. No spoilers, but the later part of the game is way better than what I could’ve possibly imagined.
I do have some minor grievances. Stealth is so easy it’s a tad embarrassing, and I really wish they put some more effort into it. It’s really noticeable when you’re playing as MJ or Miles, except MJ has a cool stealth section in the middle of the game that made me happy. Combat is good, but it feels kind of repetitive after awhile. I hate that I’m comparing it to Batman, but I felt like I’d get lost in combat in those games whereas in Spider-Man I’ll shy away from it at times because it feels repetitive as heck.
There also is the questionable DLC model. For those of you who don’t know, DLC came out a month after release and quite honestly pissed off fans of the game especially since I think it was announced either right before launch or right after launch. I don’t know why Insomniac chose that path, but not cool dudes.
Minor grievances aside, I hope this game helps pioneer a movement of good games based off of comic book characters or fictional characters in general. When the Arkham series came out, it showed gamers how good these types of games could be if done right. There are rumors of a new Harry Potter game that could be really good. It’s hard to convey what I mean, but basically, I’m just hoping for some good games.
The G.O.T.Y award is gonna have to be split 3 ways partners. What do you think about Spider-Man? Is it everything you could hope for or is it missing something?