Marvel’s Spider-man review
Marvel’s Spider-Man is a brand new game that is the latest exclusive title to be released on the PS4. The game was developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The game is based on the popular Marvel character, Spider-Man who first appeared as a character in a comic book in 1962, but has since then appeared in a variety of mediums such as television, film, radio and video games.
When first hearing about Marvel’s Spider-Man a year or so ago, I was initially interested in what a Spider-Man game on the PS4 could be like to play. I’d always liked the old Spider-Man games on the PS2, but ever since then there hasn’t really been a great Spider-Man game released at all. Mostly in the superhero genre, gaming has been dominated by the Rocksteady Batman games, however these too have gone away lately. So there was quite a gap in the market for a big superhero game and it seems that the team at Insomniac Games took up the challenge and decided to to make Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Before playing the game, I had taken into account the massive amounts of hype surrounding this game. Being an exclusive title for the PS4 meant that quite a lot of care and attention went into hyping up the product before its September release and sometimes it’s hard for these expectations to be satisfied once you have the game in your home and running on your TV screen. But I’m happy to say, that after spending countless hours with Marvel’s Spider-Man, that the game is actually quite excellent. I don’t want to be one to add to the hype train at all, but I’m going to anyway and I can tell you now that it’s a safe buy right now and many gamers should be pleased to have this title in their collection.
One of the toughest things to do with a new gaming franchise is establishing the world around the character you will play. This means not only having to slowly develop the central character, but also the characters around them on their journey. The story of Marvel’s Spider-Man takes place at a time when Peter Parker’s career as Spider-Man has been going on already for a few years. We jump into his life at a time when he’s facing a new threat from some villains known as the “Demons’, which he must investigate.
As the story did not have to be bogged down with origin story elements, the game picked things up quite fast and gets into the action fairly quickly, which is something great. But what was even better I thought for getting to know this version of Spider-Man was that all over the city there are countless collectables you can pick up and collect. After getting a collectablie, Spider-Man will comment about something from his past a little and in a way as you play the game, you feel like you are getting to know the character you are playing and that helps to make the character well rounded and something with some depth and history.
Interestingly you don’t always play as just Spider-Man alone in the game as occasionally you do some missions as some of the side characters, including Miles and Mary Jane. Gameplay is more limited for these characters as they don’t have powers like Spider-Man but these gameplay moments were a good change of pace compared to Spider-Man’s fast paced action scenes. I was quite happy with the development of the side characters. The Peter Parker and Mary-Jane relationship well handled and portrayed, with the relationship between the two reminding me quite a bit of what it was like back in the Raimi films and I loved that.
Other characters, such as the multiple villains were well done, each having their own back story and detailed motivations for what they were doing with their lives detailed throughout the storyline. There is a lot of potential in the future for these characters from this first game to be further developed in the future should there be a sequel made in a few years time.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is an open world adventure game, which is also third person. You can explore Spider-Man’s home city, fly in between buildings by grappling them with your web and choose which missions (side or main) that you might prefer at any particular time. When looking at the superhero genre and particularly at Rocksteady’s Batman games which were also open world, Marvel’s Spider-Man gives us a city which felt much more alive. The main difference between the Batman games and this one is that when you go down to the ground, there’s civilians down there living their lives, driving cars and commenting on Spider-man being around. In contrast to the Rocksteady Batman games, that open world environment was completely empty every single time in those titles and had nothing but enemies for you to fight, there was nothing in Gotham city for Batman to do other than fight villains. Marvel’s Spider-Man offers a very alive and real world to explore.
In Marvel’s Spider-Man the open world has a variety of events which trigger as you explore the city with Spider-man, in these events he will need to do superhero work such as stopping gunmen in car chases, rescuing people from car accidents, stopping gun activity or violence on the streets and much more. These mini activities worked well in between the main storyline to mix things up and liven up the massive open world that Spider-man lives in. While nice, I did come across many of the same types of events during my 20 hours with this game, I do still appreciate that they were there though.
As you go through the game, Spider-man will unlock new skills and there is an upgrade tree for you to go through and select different skills to learn as you go. There are also different types of Spider-man suits you will unlock, with some providing different abilities when worn. Gadgets that Spider-man uses can also be unlocked and upgraded as you go through the game. There’s not too much difficulty to any of the upgrade systems, it’s fairly straightforward. By going through the game and sticking to mainly just the main quests should give you enough xp to have more than the majority of upgrades unlocked.
Where I thought the game had only a few issues was with the puzzles. The puzzles in the game have you matching circuits and balancing voltages. It’s nice at first and it ties in well to Spider-man’s science background. But I found that when going through the game that there were just too many of these and while they were of different levels of difficulty, I reached a point where I just didn’t want to do them anymore and wished I could skip it. When playing through the game, I encountered only the very rarest of glitches like a villain getting stuck inside a truck (only happened once in my 20 or so hours) or myself somehow getting stuck inside a building and having to restart that (only happened once in my playthrough). But overall the game is solid and near perfect in many ways.
Marve’s Spider-Man also has quite a nice soundtrack. There are many themes throughout the game which you would know if you’ve been a Spider-man fan for a long time. There’s also a few new themes which were made just for the game and overall the sounds within the game were well done and brought the world to life. If you have Spotify, you can check out the soundtrack for the game below.
Overall I have very little to complain about when it comes to Marvel’s Spider-Man. In fact I am very happy to recommend the game to anyone out there who is a Spider-man fan or just a gaming enthusiast in general. The game is of decent length (20 hours or so depending on how much you do, possibly more), has characters which are well developed with strong motivations behind them and a strong gameplay experience which is enjoyable and rewarding. With this first title in this gaming franchise, everything was excellent and I can’t wait to complete my second playthrough with this game or for a future sequel.