Here Comes The Spider-Sting!
Starting off Marvel’s Spider-Man is nothing short of a fun superhero movie opening. You have the fun soundtrack, the cool moves and as you’re watching you’re probably thinking, is it all just because it’s a cutscene? Well, no. Insomniac really put a lot of attention to detail in Spider-Man’s world. From how you web-swing across New York, to how you engage enemies to even how overall city looks. Spider-Man is a beautiful game.
However, a game is not all about beauty, it needs content. Let me tell you one thing, Spider-Man is full of content. It took me around 21-hours to get through to the credits I probably could’ve done it faster, but I found myself constantly distracted, in a good way, with other things to do in the city and with the game. From helping civilians from being mugged, clearing bases, completing researches, challenges or finding backpacks with Easter egg content, there’s plenty of things to keep you occupied in New York in between web-swinging your way to the next mission. Not all miscellaneous objectives are as repetitive as you might think. Yes, the end all be all is that the minor side objectives (not side quests) are pretty much the same thing, however how you engage them will be different every time. Side Quests are also fun to do giving you a few hours of extras in New York.
Your main story however is brilliant. Insomniac’s take on Spider-Man isn’t the regular old “let’s just use these over saturated villains”, instead they shine the spotlight on a cast of characters not all casual Spider-Man fan’s may know about, yes, we’re talking about Mister Negative. Of course, Spidey’s rouge gallery as vast as it may be, is also well known, you do encounter some other members of the Sinister Six, lore building for potential future entries with some other characters that are introduced with origin stories, whether it’s subtle or directly shown at you. Spider-Man doesn’t hold back on setting the stage for potential sequels to the game.
The game’s cast of characters isn’t everything going for it story wise. The actual story is a great one. Probably not the best Spider-Man story ever, but certainly one of the best video game Spider-Man stories presented to us, by the end I even shed a tear at how beautifully it was delivered. With DLC already announced by Insomniac it’ll be fun to see how Marvel’s Spider-Man continues to evolve it’s already greatly designed world.
Moving on to the gameplay side of the game. While I played the game, I encountered a few bugs which I could only resolve by restarting the app. One of them was swinging around New York and randomly getting stuck in between a pole and a by stander, another was an audio bug where some character’s voices weren’t being played. Which I knew was the case because Peter found himself having one sided conversations that confused me at times. No game breaking bug or anything that cannot be fixed with a stability patch or something along those lines.
The web-swinging in this game is probably –no—it IS, the best we’ve ever had in a Spider-Man game since the innovation we got with Spider-Man 2 on PS2. It feels extremely satisfying and I found myself just web-swinging to my next destination instead of just using the fast travel which yes, is available in the game as well. Swinging across New York and then utilizing the beautiful Photo Mode to capture breath taking photos of my playthrough of the game was another reason why it took me 21 hours to get through the story. The photo mode is probably also one of the better ones to utilize because of the options you have with it. From selfies, expressions and even lighting and stickers. It was the first time I found myself wanting to use a photo mode in a video game and I’m excited to see what the community comes up with in that mode.
Combat is a you’d expect it. Agile, fluid and fast paced. You have a skill tree for Spidey that will grant you more combat options as you level up and gadgets you can upgrade as well, in order to play how you prefer. Head on or stealthy. There is however an issue for me, personally at times where the camera angles puts you in a claustrophobic state because it’s too zoomed in on Spidey, while you’re jumping and fighting all over the place and in tighter spaces, in doors it can get kind of hectic at times, but the number of times you find yourself in a situation like that is rare. So, it isn’t really a game breaker in terms of how the combat plays out.
Talking graphics and audio for the game is definitely something. Fans were pointing out a puddle towards the launch of the game and how it compared to E3. Finally getting hands on with the game I must say. Spider-Man is beautiful. Not a masterpiece beautiful, but beautiful non-the less. The obvious attention to detail is apparent in cutscenes and cinematics but walking around talking to by standers is where you notice that the game isn’t a 10/10 beauty all the time. Even in some cutscenes, you can see background characters choppy and most of the time blurred out. Think of it as any anime you probably watch where all the main characters are very detailed in a scene but the side characters or just the “filler” characters seem to be copy paste renders. That’s sort of what it looks like at times. That’s not to say Insomniac’s build of New York isn’t gorgeous, because boy is it!
The audio is also an amazing integration to the game, voice acting is spot-on, and the soundtrack makes you feel like you’re in an actual Spider-Man movie. Very reminiscent of the early 2000’s Spider-Man movies with Toby Maguire. Especially in high-stakes fights and boss battles.
What is the X-factor for this game? What’s the actual hook? There’s a few actually. The ability to make you feel like you’re Spider-Man and the fact that there is no other superhero game at this level currently out. Marvel’s Spider-Man is an epic adventure meant to be played by every superhero genre fan. Although at times it can be slightly buggy, it isn’t anything at all game breaking. For a total rundown on the Spider-Man scoring check out the stats below: