Title: Marvel’s Spider-Man
Format: PS4 Exclusive
Release Date: 7th September, 2018
Developer: Insomniac Games
Review by John
It was a little over two years ago that Sony announced that Insomniac Games (the team behind, amongst others, Spyro The Dragon and Ratchet & Clank) were developing a new game based on one of Marvel’s most popular characters.
After a series of delays, it’s fair to say that expectations were high. Luckily, Insomniac deliver in spades.
The main crux of the game will be familiar to those who have played the Batman Arkham games, as Spider-Man swings around a beautifully realised New York City. The main focus is on the game’s story mode, with markers cropping up to guide you towards the next chapter. But around all of this is a living, breathing city to explore.
There are numerous side missions and crimes to solve, along with various challenges, all of which contribute towards levelling up and improving your hero, with a good number of upgrades, weapons and suits to unlock and buy. It takes very little time to get to grips with the controls and, before too long, you’ll find yourself simply swinging around the city just for the sheer enjoyment of it.
It’s difficult to go into too much detail about the story without spoilers, but the game starts with you taking on Wilson Fisk (aka The Kingpin). Once he is behind bars, a power struggle starts between various factions of the criminal underworld, which leads to Spider-Man uncovering a plot which could lead to the end of the city as we know it.
It’s a fairly lengthy campaign, which introduces many familiar foes and allies from the Spider-Man universe. With plenty of twists and turns, it keeps you engrossed throughout and plays through to a logical conclusion.
Occasionally within story mode, you take control of either Mary Jane Watson or Miles Morales for segments that are based more on stealth than combat, but for the main part you take control of the webbed wonder himself. Similar to the Arkham games, you can approach combat in one of two ways – try to stay out of sight, taking out enemies stealthily, one by one, or just wade straight in and start punching.
Once you get used to the combat system, it soon becomes second nature, and you take great pleasure in finding new ways to take down your foes. There is something satisfying about leaping into the air mid-fight,grabbing a nearby object with your webs, then launching it towards your attackers. It takes some getting used to, but before long you find yourself doing it without even thinking.
Boss fights are pitched just right, and very rarely does the game feel unfair – there was only one segment (during the third act) that caused me frustration, but that was possibly down to the way I was playing at the time, rather than any issues with the game.
Once the story is complete, there is no end of other things to carry on with around the city, and, if you’re determined to play through to 100% completion then there are many fun filled hours ahead of you.While at times some of the missions and challenges do provoke a feeling of deja-vu (most of the crimes tend to follow a similar pattern) the game is so much fun to play that you rarely become jaded. It perfectly captures the spirit of the Spider-Man comics, and there are plenty of little in-jokes based on the wider Marvel universe.
In summary, Spider-Man is a game that more than delivers what it promised. Beautiful graphics, addictive game play and hours of fun. With DLC on the horizon, it’s a game that you will find yourself returning to long after completing it. After all, who doesn’t want to be Spider-Man? And this is a game that lets you do exactly that.