Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Spider-Man’s videogame we were all waiting for.
As a child with a flaming new PlayStation 1 I remember one of the first games my parents bought me was Spider-Man, oh boy and what a good game it was, the plot was interesting and the gameplay very enjoyable, you can also collect the covers of many of the “wall crawler” comics released until then, this will unlock plenty of suits with special abilities. Even though the sequel was an outstanding game as well, ever since then, I felt none of the other Spidey videogames I played was half of fun than those good old PS1 classics (with the exception of Shattered Dimensions which I still haven’t play, that’s something I hope I can change soon enough).
For a long time, I thought I was already too old for those games anymore, until that day of 2016 when the first teaser of Marvel’s Spider-Man was launch. It looked amazing, the graphics, the gameplay, the story, all of those were later explained on the E3 of 2017 just so we can receive the game a year later, in fact, this game was one of the reasons I decide to finally bought a PS4 (actually a Marvel’s Spider-Man bundle), so right now I’m going to make a review of all the aspects that make this game the best Spider-Man’s videogame ever made.
The plot: A story and a script worthy of a comic.
If you are a truly Spider-Man’s fan and you know about the characters, their stories and maybe had read some comics or even watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies, this game is for you. First things first, this is a complete new story that comes from the minds of the people at Insomniac Games with the support of Marvel Studios, thanks to that we have a game that’s more like playing a comic, the characters are incredibly well made, just to mention a few: aunt May always worried about Peter’s sake, Doctor Octavius and his desire to use his science to help the people, Mary Jane always getting herself in tough situations while trying to find evidence (she’s some sort of reporter) to stop the criminals from New York City.
But of course the most important of these characters are of course the protagonists Peter Parker a.k.a Spider-Man, controlling him we will be swinging and fighting around the city but also helping aunt May at work, making cool science with Doctor Octavius (in this universe, Peter Parker has already graduated from college and quit his job at the Daily Bugle) and having ups and downs with his recently ex-girlfriend Mary Jane. All these things make the game truly enjoyable for a Spider-Man fan because is not only about be Spider-Man, but the man behind the mask, a man who has a work, a man who has a family and beloved ones who will be treated by a new villain. Without any spoilers, I can tell you that at the end of the game everything goes full explosion mode and Spider-Man will need Peter Parker more than ever before. Also he will have to fight many of his classic enemies from the comics, no spoilers but I have to say I haven’t seen so many Spider-Man’s enemies since Spider-Man 2 for the PS1.
The Graphics: Swinging around NYC never looked that good.
Okay now I won’t talk from my point of view but common sense, the game looks absolutely amazing specially if you have a 4K TV compatible with HDR. Every shadow, every light, even the pigeons and planes reflected on the windows looks incredible. With this also comes the sounds, Insomniac took the time on those and the result was splendid, you can hear the difference from stepping on the concrete or in a window when you are climbing a building, the sound after hitting the branches of a tree, etc. This is indeed a perfect recreation from the New York City from the Marvel comics, you won’t only see important places from the real city just like the Times Square but also the Oscorp Tower, the Wakanda embassy ¡and even the Avengers Tower! Beautiful locations to take some pictures as the good old Peter Parker from the Daily Bugle.
The spectacular visuals of this game (explosions, crashes, super villain powers, etc) makes it perfect for the Share options of the PS4, screenshots and video clips of the boss fights will drop jaws on those who haven’t play the game yet (I can confirm that too).
The Gameplay: Combos, gadgets, suits and skills just like in a RPG.
There’s been a tendency in recent years where we have seen many videogames going to the RPG genre, or at least using some of it basic mechanics, such as open worlds and abilities/equipment to unlock based on a level cap.
For Peter Parker a.k.a Spider-Man is not everything about swinging and punching, he will also need every gadget he can make and every move he can learn to fight the evil and protect NYC. In Marvel’s Spider-Man, as you progress through the game you will unlock different gadgets and suits, which will give you different advantages when fighting the villains, take for example an electric spider web, a spider bot or a suit capable of overcharge the enemies weapon or ¿what about the Iron Spider suit from the MCU movies? Some of these goodies will unlock as you progress through the main story, but most of them are obtainable and improved through an in-game currency that you can earn by completing optional tasks, such as secondary mission, stopping random crimes, completing challenges and more.
Along with the gadgets and suits there is a skill tree which you can use every time you gain a level, spending points on the different categories of the skill tree will allow you to unlock new moves to fight or swinging around the city faster. After you unlock all the skills and reach level 50 (the highest level), you can still gain experience points to unlock a damage and health boost every time you fulfill your experience bar, so you can kick some criminal butts even harder.
Conclusions: Marvel’s Spider-Man is everything we’ve been waiting for, a videogame to the enjoyment of any Spider-Man fans out there. It is indeed a game almost anyone will enjoy, but those who know about the characters and the background of some comics and movies, will surely appreciate even more the awesome work Insomniac did with the characters and the story-telling. As a Spider-Man fan, I can say that watching the in-game cinematics and hearing Spidey jokes while fighting is as good as playing the game itself. As a single player game with no multiplayer features, Insomniac shows us one more time that single player games are more alive than ever, but in the process stays way behind in terms of content (which get repetitive after a few hours) and in-game duration if we compare it with some other single player games from the 2018 such as Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom.