Name: Marvel’s Spider-Man
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Acquired: A self bought copy of this game
It was with big anticipation but also great fear, when waiting for this title after the E3 reveal trailer. The games we have gotten previously with our Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man, have been met with mixed reception. Except one, Spider-Man 2 released in 2004 was praised, for its gameplay, swinging mechanic and story. Every game that came out after was always compared to that game. So do Marvel’s Spider-Man have what it takes, to take the throne as the best Spider-Man game.
Taking place eight years after Peter Parker became Spider-Man, a well established hero in New York. Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin is controlling the city behind the scenes, even though everybody knows. Spider-Man is New York’s trusted enforcer, with the help from Yuri Watanabe NYPD’s captain. Peter is working with Dr. Otto Octavius as an intern, researching artificial limb technology. Mary Jane “MJ” Watson works at the Daily Bugle as a journalist after breaking up with Peter. Having not seen each other in months, they accidently meet when Spider-Man is investigating a break-in and MJ is searching for information to use against Kingpin. They finally have enough on Kingpin to arrest him, but it completely changes the power balance in NY. A new group is showing up called The Demons, who are making a lot of chaos. Spider-Man will have to use all the help he can get from his allies to uncover who is behind everything and why. As the story progress new threats shows up making the situation even worse, and Peter is struggling living as Peter and Spider-Man. Never truly finding balance as any of them, and keeps disappointing those close to him.
The story wasn’t something mind blowing or new, but it is told really great. Not focusing on a another origin story was a smart choice from Insomniac. It made everything feel fresher, not playing through another interpretation of the same story we all have seen before. We know how he became Spider-Man, and what happened after and the game is filling us in on important plot points that happened before the game started. That makes it so much better to play for us fans of the franchise. If you have never seen, read or played anything Spider-Man related before that is no problem either because of all the information this game contains.
Much of the story focuses on Peter Parker, earlier games often told the story when the suit and mask is on. But they have focused much more on how Peter feels and what he is struggling with. There were moments that was easy to relate too, Peter’s normal life that is. Like how a text he sends to MJ easily could be misunderstood, and starts a fight for no other reason then that there is very much tension between them and insecurity. Or how two people try to reconcile when they are at two drastically different points in their lives, and what they want for the future. These moments are our everyday struggle that happens with all of us, and it’s really nice to see that even superheroes has to struggle with the same. This made the story more personal and deeper, diving more into what drives Peter to do all this, and at what cost. It was a really interesting ride, from start to finish.
Insomniac Games wanted the game to run smooth and fluent, and that came with a cost. It’s not only locked at 30fps on PlayStation 4, but also the PlayStation 4 Pro. As unforgiven many may see this as, I say that it’s no problem at all. Because it looks so great, even though it is running in 30fps. Characters look beautiful with much attention to details. Environments really shine. With streets full of life and a huge city that looks awesome; it’s just beautiful. When swinging in high speeds, you will be surprised of how beautiful it looks. It might “just” be 30fps but with how smooth the game plays, never did framerate issues occur so I have no complains about that topic. Thinkin’ about how big this game is, it’s a big achievement on what they have accomplished.
They have done a great with the casting, and the voice actors have done a remarkable job. Yuri Lowenthal in particular being a man in his late 40’s voicing Peter Parker. He was really convincing as Spider-Man. He has the charisma to pull it off, but also how he brought Peter’s emotions in his voice. In general the overall sounds of the game is just brilliant, if you are really listening. Like how the sound of Spider-Man running on windows up a building, is making that sound your shoes makes when running in your school gym. The music is composed to sound like those epic soundtracks, that we are used to hear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies. It really settles the mood, when preparing yourself for an epic fight.
So is the gameplay any good you ask? Well HELL FU%&ing yeah I shall answer. Many compare this game with the Batman: Arkham series, and in many ways they are right. But again is that a bad thing? When I played the Batman games, I really wished someone would make a Marvel game like Rocksteady did. And in some way Insomniac did that, and I’m not complaining. But after playing Spider-Man for hours, I must say that I had stopped comparing hours ago. Since yeah, there are some similarities but the things that’s different really changes the game. Spider-Man is way more agile, uses momentum and web’s to take down enemies. The swinging mechanic works beautifully, and it’s really satisfying to swing around NY. It’s really fluent and easy to use, but hard to master. If you really want to navigate, you will have to do more than just swinging around. You will have to wall-run, jump and use your web to pull yourself forward. You will have to mix all these to truly perfect your movement, and it’s so awesome to use. There is a fast-travel option available but except for the small video with Spider-Man, sitting in the train in costume with others during the loading. But with how great the swinging are, it wasn’t used much.
When fighting you will have to use different tactics, not all enemies can be defeated with just punching and kicking. You have to use your web and gadgets, but also agility and momentum to surprise your enemies. So when fighting multiple enemies you will have to mix your attacks, dodging, webbing and use the environments to take them down. Grenades, rockets and objects around you can be used to throw at enemies. There is also a big variation of gadgets, things that you can catch, blow, electrify and stun. If using all this you can pull off a 100x combo+++ easily, but you must use offence as much as defence. Since they will attack you with guns, rocket launchers, shields, grenades and super powers. “Spider-Senses” will be your best friend, since it warns you if something bad is about to happen. If you mix it all with kicking some ass and evade like a boss, you have no idea how awesome it will look and feel if done right. You have a focus meter that fills up when fighting, and you use that to get finishing moves that instantly KO bad guys. Or you can sacrifice some of it, to refill your health when running low. One more bonus affects battles, and that’s the suits. Because you don’t have only one suit through the game. There over 20 suits to collect and upgrade, all with a special ability that you can use when a meter is full. Some mods can change a fight drastically, or it can be useful in certain situations like sneaking or defence. This was a really smart move from the developers, since doing side quests or collecting stuff to get new suits really benefited us. It gave us a big reason to change costume in certain situation, something I usually only changed because of how I wanted to look, but now because it could help me big time.
During the playthrough you will not only control Spider-Man, but also parts as Peter. When playing as Peter working in the lab, his tasks is to solve puzzles. These puzzles comes in the form of finding unknown substances and working with electricity. There is a ton of them to complete. Some of it shows up during the story but you can also do more of them in your free time to unlock research points to use to upgrade gadgets and suits. It’s a nice break at times, and can be really challenging when you try to complete them all.
There are two more characters that you will take control over occasionally, these two rely on sneaking due to a of lack of superpowers. They change the feel of the game and give you a completely different experience. As Spider-Man, enemies never feel scary since you have the powers and knowledge to take them down. When playing as a person without any powers, certain huge villains is hunting you down it becomes a completely different thing. It felt scary as hell and really changed the view of how powerful a villain actually is. The gameplay is as solid and fun as it could be, it might be a bit difficult and overwhelming when starting, but after some hours it is truly a blast to play and I can’t find a moment i didn’t like or was truly annoyed.
Spider-Man controls like a dream, and won’t give you much headache. It’s fast, precise and easy to keep track on. Spider-Man is really fluent and reacts immediately to your commands, how to use different fighting moves, is done by pressing the different buttons in combination or holding them in. The web and gadgets are used with R1/R2, Attack with Square and Triangle dodging with Circle. Even when faced against multiple enemies, I still managed to keep control of what I did and when. I’m just amazed with everything that was going on, and still there weren’t many moments where something I didn’t want to happen happened. It might just be luck most of the time, but it works There are some moments that contains Quick Time Events (QTE), but if you don’t like it you can actually turn it off. There wasn’t a lot of it, so I never felt a need to turn it off since when them occurred it felt fitting.
There is a tone of stuff to do, even after playing through the main story. In fact, it can feel a bit overwhelming at the beginning. Your map will be filled up with side missions, challenges and collectibles. What they have a accomplished to do is not only how useful but also how fun many of these can be. You unlock tokens to use for upgrades and buying new suits and gadgets, some of the collectibles is part of side missions. So there is many more well known characters that you can meet/talk to that’s responsible for some of the collectibles/challenges. There are many different types of side missions as well, some short and quick to complete, but also some that will take some time, but with the bonus of some more story. It might feel a bit repetitive at times, but the time and effort is really rewarding in the end.
Replay Value 9
Marvel’s Spider-Man is truly astonishing and was a blast to play. Great story with awesome gameplay. It gave me everything that I expected and more, really giving Spider-Man justice. Insomniac really did something great and gave us the game we have waited for. So if you have been looking for a good Spider-Man game, here it is…if you own a PS4. It might not only be one of the best superhero games but also one of the best games made this year. With great powers, comes great responsibility. And Insomniac Games has really used their power in the right way. Showing once again that superhero games can give us the one of the best experiences, when done right. And as fan of comics, Spider-Man in particular I’m really relieved and even more impressed with the result. So I will give this game, one of my highest recommendations to all PlayStation 4 owners.
User Review( votes)
- Great Story
- Superb Voice Acting
- Awesome Gameplay
- Beautiful Graphics
- A lot of activities
- Some Repetitive Side Missions
- No graphic options on PS4 Pro