Marvel’s Spider-Man Review – Written by Jose Vega
Purchased game for the review.
Spider-Man has had his fair share of video games over the years. Some were good, others not so much. After the disappointment of Amazing Spider-Man 2, Activision decided to call it quits leaving Marvel to find a company who could give the webhead justice. E3 2016 revealed a new Spider-Man game but it wouldn’t be under Activision’s helm. It would be Insomniac, a company responsible for the Ratchet & Clank series. After 2 years and a lot of waiting and anticipation, Insomniac’s Spider-Man arrives as a PS4 console exclusive. Did Insomniac do him justice where Activision could not?
Let’s start with the gameplay. Why gameplay? Because the instant you start playing, you know that Insomniac nails being Spider-Man to a T. Getting around is outright fun though it can take a while to get used to it. Once you do, it becomes second nature and it makes being Spider-Man so awesome. It can get addicting and it’s proven a fact. In fact, it’s so good that it surpasses how Spidey goes about in Spider-Man 2 back in 2004. Not only that but the combat is great and simply seamless. Sure it has some similarities to the Arkham series but that is where it ends. The difference is that Spidey has access to a variety of moves at his disposal. He still has punches and kicks but Spidey also has gadgets that can help against tough enemies. They can range from simple web shooting to using gadgets such as Web Bombs, Electric Webs and even the Suspension Matrix. Spidey also has access to different suits that unlock various focus power-ups. By clicking L3 & R3, he can use a power that can help turn the tide. Plus he can have up to 3 suit mods that can provide unique advantages. Spidey isn’t invincible however so constantly moving takes priority. Perfect dodges can help avoid attacks while stunning enemies and focus attacks can help deliver the smackdown.
As mentioned earlier, he has access to a variety of gear such as suits, gadgets and suit mods. Many of these are obtained by exchanging tokens and you get tokens by completing side activities throughout New York. They can range from shutting down enemy bases to stopping crimes that happen in the city, finding backpacks scattered around the city and even taking part in challenges that test your mettle and skill. There is a lot to do in this game that it can take you a very long time. Not only that but there’s an experience system in play where you gain experience. You get it by completing either challenges or missions throughout the game. Leveling up will give you skill points that you can use to acquire skills for Spidey and they come in 3 categories: Innovator, Defender, and Webslinger. Not to mention a boost in health and melee damage. In turn, it makes Spidey stronger and it’s all the more worth it in the long run.
As for length, the game is split into three acts. Overall it takes you about 15 or so hours to complete but for those who wish to 100% the entire game, it’s extended by 10 hours. Is it worth it? Absolutely! The game has a good amount of length with a lot to do. But you aren’t just limited to being as Spider-Man. There are sections of the game where you get to play as other characters such as Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Their sections are a bit different like Peter going to meet with other characters or Mary Jane having stealth. Though there are a few of them, they can sometimes slow the game down, especially on the stealth sections where it’s all trial and error. The AI can be exploited if you are skilled enough but I wish those sections can be improved upon. It’s my only negative that I have with the game thus far.
Story-wise, the game focuses on an older Peter Parker. No origin story this time as it has been seven years since he donned the garb. He’s a college student working for Otto Octavius as an intern though his relationship with Mary Jane ended pretty bad. After defeating Kingpin, Spidey has to contend with a new threat in the form of the Demons. But the Demons are just one of many threats that will push Spidey to his limits & it eventually leads into a battle to save New York from someone who desires nothing more than revenge.
This game’s story is well done and it gets you hooked to boot. Since it’s not a movie-licensed game, Insomniac Games decide to make a story that lets the game stand on its own. It works. It really does as it has many twists and turns that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. Not only that but the voice acting is top notch. Yuri Lowenthal is great as Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He captured it well and you can feel his emotion in his performance. In fact, all the voice actors did a good job capturing the feel for many of the characters. It’s top notch.
As for the game’s presentation, it is stellar. Insomniac Games did a phenomenal job capturing the feel of Spider-Man all while making it stand out from previous games. It looks great and plays great but if you were expecting it to run at 60fps, prepare to be disappointed. The game looks great at 1080p but it’s locked at 30fps on both PS4 and PS4 Pro. Insomniac did state their reasons why but even so, it shouldn’t stop anyone from playing and enjoying the game. Music is great and really captures the feel of Spider-Man. Insomniac has high production values with the game and it only wonders how they’ll top it in the possible sequel. The game will have upcoming DLC in the form of additional stories and challenges. Thankfully they are better than most other DLC that has already been seen in other games.
For all the positives this game has, there are a few faults. Stuff like the faulty AI in the stealth sections have been mentioned but there are others. The side stuff such as combat and challenges can get repetitive. Sure completing them are needed to make Spidey better but having to do them repeatedly can be a bit of a slog. The game also has a fair share of glitches. They aren’t bad and have since been patched out but from what I’ve seen, they can be quite scary to look at. Fortunately, it shouldn’t dissuade you from enjoying this game. No way.
Insomniac took a gamble to make a Spider-Man game that can stand out. It paid off in major spades. A great story with solid voice acting, addicting gameplay with tons of content, high production values and a presentation that puts previous Spidey games such as Activision’s games to shame. A few negatives here and there shouldn’t dissuade the experience and the best thing about it is that Insomniac is the one behind this. Marvel made the right decision and this game is definitely a game of the year material. Spider-Man is worth your money and if you have a PS4 but you haven’t bought this game, what are you waiting for?! Get it! Now! You won’t regret it!
I give Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 a solid 9 out of 10. It earns my personal seal of approval and it’s worth your money.