It’s been 4 years since we last saw the web slinging hero on our consoles after The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which, let’s just say, wasn’t the game that Spidey deserved, given that the movie the game was based on, was actually quite good. However, Spider-Man is back in the limelight, thanks to Insomniac (The same studio behind such games as the original Spyro trilogy and the Ratchet and Clank series) forming a partnership with Marvel, determined to give the web slinger the game he deserves. The big question is however, did they do him justice?
Well, this review comes from someone who isn’t’ that much of a comic book fan. When this game was being hyped up, I have to admit, that I had no intention on picking the game up. Sure, it looked really good from the trailers and the previews, but nothing about that really grabbed my attention. Then the game launched, and I managed to catch some gameplay from a good friend who was streaming the game online. After watching him for about 20 minutes, I was hooked, and I decided then that I wanted try it for myself.
It’s not very often that a game captivates me just as much as this game did, but as soon as I started to play, it just felt right. It’s hard to convey what I mean by that, but let me try and explain.
The first thing is that the game just feels fun to play. Spider-Man is a joy to control, both swinging around the city and in combat. It’s clear that a lot of time had gone into making the web swinging feel perfect, and it shows. Never have I had so much fun, just swinging around the city, taking in everything and listening to the things Peter comes out with or the occasional ramblings of J.J Jameson, constantly painting Spidey as a criminal.
And that’s not going into all of the other things there are to do in this game. The city map is full of things to collect, take pictures, side missions and a lot more as the game opens up through the story and there is incentive to go and do all of things on the side too, as these give you tokens that allow you to work through upgrading your web gear and buying more suits, which in turn give you more perks and abilities to use while in combat.
Combat takes a few cues from the Batman Arkham series of games, but manages to make it feel all its own. Each punch and kick emits a satisfying crunch when connecting, and when an enemy is coming in to take a swing back at you, Spidey emits a blue aura around him, giving you just enough time to dodge out of the way and counter them. You also have a wealth of gadgets at your disposal, which really helps make each fight a pleasure, and allows you to tune your suits, gear and abilities to exactly whatever suits your playstyle. Each fight becomes a challenge to see just how long you can hold a combo for, which in turn powers up your suit to heal yourself or trigger a takedown move on an enemy. Deciding which of these to do in any given situation adds a nice depth to the combat.
Who knew the PS4 could make a game look this good! The game looks stunning and if you have a PS4 Pro, playing this game at 4K is something else, and to top it all off, the game almost never drops frames, even during some of the more intense cut-scenes and gameplay moments. All of the cut-scenes are rendered in game, and look the part.
Voice work is also a stand-out. Not only do all of the cast sound exactly as you would expect, but Spidey sounds different depending on what you are doing during some of the conversations. If you are perched on a building while talking, he sounds clear and concise. If you’re on the move while talking however, Spidey sounds out of breath.
It’s clear that a lot of time and love has gone into this game, and it shows in spades. Insomniac have knocked it out of the park with the Spider-Man licence and given him the game he deserves.
It’s not without its flaws however. I did encounter a few bugs and glitches while playing and at one point, I did manage to soft-lock the game after a mission failed to advance to the next section, but this was easily fixed with a reload of the game.
With DLC for the game coming soon and word of a possible sequel (The door was left wide open at the end of the game), there has never been a better time to give Spider-Man a swing…
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Review written by Daryl Brock, Sweethaven Retail Team Member.