By Jef "JeffAlpha" P. on September 4, 2018
Dear Insomniac Games and Sony Interactive Entertainment,
If history has shown us anything it's that it's quite hard to make decent videogame and movie adaptations, especially when the protagonist has a huge fan base. We, the people, demand depictions that do our heroes justice. We, the people, expect to see all our favorite characters, signature moves and decent type casting or good voice acting. Too often have we been let down...
Personally, I've been a big Spider-man fan since back when he wasn't just amazing by himself but had ''amazing friends''. So when this latest Marvel's Spider-Man game was announced I got anxious. I kept thinking to myself: "Have a little faith, they can do this, it's going to work!", while at the same time being cautious. I imagined how hard It must be to make a videogame character move as nimble as our favorite arachnid superhero, not to mention all the intricate webslinging mechanics. Fortunately, now having sampled the product, I am relieved to say that you guys pretty much nailed it. It turned out to be, not only, a worthy tribute to an iconic superhero but also a really fun videogame!
Marvel's Spider-Man is set 8 years into Spidey's crime fighting career. So this is no insecure clumsy guy in a mask, no sir this is a full-fledged superhero moving and fighting with conviction. What makes the game so relatable to Spider-Man fans is that Peter Parker's struggle to balance daily life with being a superhero is ever present in the game. Stuff like trying to keep a day job and visiting aunt May add to the Spider-Man experience. Of course a Spider-Man game wouldn't be complete without a bunch of fan-favorite villains, some of which you might have already seen in trailers.
In all honesty, I am aware of this thing called puddle-gate. I can be really brief about this though, I think the game looks great. It looks like I would expect a game to look on the PS4. I played it at 60hz on a 1080p screen and everything ran smooth. I encountered one minor glitch, just one. The sound effects are pretty cool too. While swinging from building to building you can hear the wind and the signature superhero tune playing in the background. Swing low and you can hear Spidey brushing trough treetops. The city is filled with noises like news helicopters ,subway trains and, of course, gunshots.
Let's discuss one of the most, if not THE most, important aspect when it comes to the game's mechanics. Moving like only a Spider-Man can. And it's all there. The wallrunning, the freerunning, the freefalling, the jumps and the flips. And then there's that stuff he does with the webs, swinging from buildings, trees and lampposts. It never gets old. And during the game you get better at it, stringing moves together seamlessly. Knowing how to move also plays a major part in combat. Jumps and attacks can be combined so after a while you see yourself countering like a pro, hurling objects at enemies, disarming them and jumping from one to the next. The game also does a great job at keeping itself from becoming too repetitive. The main story is broken up by side missions and collectables, some of which involve simple puzzles.
Another great feature, although common to most games nowadays, is the option to upgrade suits, gadgets and abilities. Prefer a Spiderdrone over webshooters? No problem, just go out fight some crime, take some pictures, solve a few puzzles and you get rewarded with a variety of tokens, which can be used to tweak and upgrade your favorite loadout. Learning new moves and abilities is not just for show. Enemies have different strengths and weaknesses and having to think about how to engage them keeps things fresh. When I say engage I don't necessarily mean head on. From time to time the game offers decent options for a stealthy approach. I won't go into the boss-battles right now, but suffice to say that they are a LOT of fun. I played the game on the amazing (i.e. medium) difficulty setting, which isn't too challenging, but I still managed to get overpowered a few times.
I really feel like this game lived up to my expectations, which means a lot since I set the bar pretty high. When it comes to entertainment you always have to ask yourself, is it worth your time and money? In this case I believe it is. From what I understand there is some DLC still to come and the Day 1 patch will feature, among other things, an additional difficulty setting. Marvel's Spider-Man is set to be released on September 7, 2018 exclusively on PlayStation 4.