Developer: Insomniac Games
Release Date: 09/07/2018
Available Exclusively On
The superhero craze may be tiresome in Hollywood, but in the video game industry, I feel it is just beginning and is taking a long time to pick up. There are good superhero games such as Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, X-Men Legends II: Rise of the Apocolypse, and the granddaddy of modern superhero greatness, Batman: Arkham Asylum series. Marvel has really dropped the ball lately with the just awful movie-to-game adaptation with DC taking lead with the Batman and Injustice series. Insomniac Games is an interesting studio to develop a superhero game as this is completely outside of their track record. With games like Resistance, Spyro, and Ratchet & Clank, you would be a little skeptical to think they could produce such an amazing title.
Spider-Man 2 was the best Spider-Man game to date as it featured the first big open-world for a superhero game and did it right. You really felt like Spider-Man and there was so much to do and see in that game. Insomniac’s Spider-Man goes above and beyond just a big open world but features a rich story, amazing characters, and fantastic action sequences. I personally love the way the game opens up. It feels like a Spider-Man movie or comic depending on where you come from. Also, understand, this isn’t a story about how Peter Parker became Spider-Man, but has already been so for several years now and could technically take place after the first three Sam Raimi movies due to a few references to those. Peter is late for work and is rushing around his run-down apartment to get ready. He jumps out the window as Spider-Man and you take over swinging around the city with epic orchestral music playing in the background. It gave me goosebumps and made me smile and I was amazed. It’s a perfect way to open a game.
Swinging around Manhattan is exhilarating at best as this is one of the richest most detailed open worlds ever created. The game just oozes details from birds flying off of poles when Spidey swings by to citizens looking up at him when he swings low to the ground. The streets are bustling, the city feels alive and packed, and it feels just like a Spider-Man comic came to life. The story allows you to play as Pete and Spider-Man, but like Pete, you are doing puzzles in Doc Ock’s research lab and doing some small investigation missions here and there. The puzzles are actually pretty fun as they remind me of the hacking puzzles in BioShock and the matching puzzles are rather fun too. Completing these extra ones unlocks XP and tokens to unlock suits.
Once you finally start fighting in the game it is very reminiscent of Batman: Arkham’s combat system, but a little less stiff and with more flair. Spidey can web people from far away, had various gadgets and suit powers and mods, has a finisher move, can heal, stun, toss objects around, and an entire array of moves. It’s fairly deep yet simple to learn and I liked it quite a bit. It’s extremely responsive, looks great, and feels just like how Spider-Man would fight. Stealth combat is also really fun as you can swing around and web people up, distract guards, and sneak up behind enemies. There are even challenge missions focused on stealth and regular combat.
Some story missions have QTE’s and I am happy to report they are not abused. It’s to make the game feel cinematic and exciting rather than be a cop-out for a lack of content. Some of these are thrown into random crime missions that pop up around the city, but they are wisely used thankfully. Speaking of crime missions, there are plenty of side missions and things to do outside of the lengthy story missions. You can find backpacks, complete research challenges, eliminate enemy bases, and tons of other side stuff. It’s a wide variety and the rewards are well worth their completion.
I have to say that the story is just so good and the characters are awesome. If you saw the movies or read the comics you kind of know who is going to be an enemy of Spidey’s and who isn’t, but the way the entire story unfolds is amazing and there are some sharp plot twists towards the end that were unexpected. There are a good amount of villains in the game and the ending cleverly states who is going to be in the next game if you’re a big enough Spider-Man fan. I never got bored with this game and swinging around the city never got old. The game looks absolutely amazing and is probably one of the best-looking games ever made. I highly recommend only playing this on the PS4 Pro as it’s well worth the purchase. The animations are phenomenal and the voice acting is well done.
Overall, Marvel’s Spider-Man is one of the best comic book games ever made, period. It nails every single thing you would want in a Spider-Man game. I felt just like the hero and the story kept me hooked with plenty of things to do in the city that didn’t feel boring or tiresome. I would say the game relied a little too much on combat at times and it felt a little abused, but there’s not much wrong with this game. Maybe a few more villains, but are more wishes than issues with the game.