The thrill of zipping through the skies, running across rooftops and defeating criminal scum has never felt as good as in the new “Spider-Man” game that has recently been released to PlayStation owners everywhere.
Spider-Man games have for sure had their ups and downs, but this one really places itself at the top of the food chain when it comes to any other game featuring your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
The biggest thing that makes or breaks a Spidey game is the web swinging as that’s what you will spend most of your time in New York doing. Insomniac really nails the biggest issues in open world games, making a traversal system that’s fluent and fun.
The swinging is very momentum based and allows you to pull off some impressive long jumps if you time a swing just right. Another plus is that the webs actually attach to buildings around you rather than the skybox, a problem in previous entries, so your immersion can stay intact and so you aren’t able to just swing around in the ocean for no reason. This really allows you to traverse New York at high speeds and look stylish while zipping over towards a group of thugs robbing a jewelry store.
Just as traversing the city really makes you feel as though you are Spider-Man, the combat does an amazing job of this as well. Just as you swing from a building you can either perch upon a lamp post and survey the area or zip straight into combat and begin crushing criminals. The combat is comparable to that of the Batman Arkham games but much more agile and dodge-based.
Spider-Man is much more fragile than Batman, you can’t really take too many hits before it’s game over, so to stay alive you’re going to want to rely on your Spidey sense and make use of the dodge button frequently.
There is also an emphasis on aerial combat, as Spider-Man can launch enemies into the air and not have to worry about being stuck between a bunch of thugs. The combat is really smooth and Spider-Man, more often than not, does exactly what you dictate. The fast movement and the ability to beat up around 50 guys at the same time really has its ways of making you feel like a superhero.
Being Spider-Man is the main focus of the game, and he is great to control, but what’s a good Spider-Man without a good Peter Parker? Pete has a good amount of spotlight here with his segments outside of the suit being short and sweet. These sections never feel drawn out or too long, as the main point of the game is being Spider-Man, but I enjoyed every time Peter was being himself. Peter is very well portrayed in the game as your usual pun-loving scientist, and even MJ is portrayed fairly frequently in the story line not only as a main character but as Peter’s partner.
Peter and MJ have an unsteady relationship in the game, which keeps you invested in their problems. It really makes them feel human and they even get along here and there and cooperate in some forced stealth sections that don’t make you want to rip out your hair. These sections are usually started because MJ wants a scoop on one of Peter’s infamous enemies and she sneaks into an overly dangerous situation. These sections don’t differ significantly from each other besides adding a few gadgets here and there and during one point where you can direct Spider-Man to grab people and string them up like ceiling lights.
Overall, this game is a huge success and finally capitalizes on the full potential a Spider-Man game has. The story is captivating, although it would have been much better if all of the promotional material didn’t spoil the twist that Mr. Li was Mister Negative. The gameplay is finally what everyone would expect from a Spider-Man game with the quick, momentous movement and agile, brutal combat. Insomniac has really made even more of a name for themselves with this phenomenal entry in the Spider-Man universe and I expect great things from the DLC’s that are to come.