Insomniac Games and Sony Interactive Entertainment partnered together to give the people something they haven’t had since 2004: a proper Spider-Man video game. Riddled with cynicism, I doubted their ability to do so, but I changed my tune pretty quickly once I got my hands on the Playstation 4 exclusive.
Spider-Man is a self-contained story about a seasoned Peter Parker. Having grappled with his share of supervillains, Parker is more experienced than previous incarnations. Balancing his personal life along with web-slinging has always been a problem for Parker, but taking down the Kingpin might be the difference-maker for him. With controller in hand, players can use Spidey’s entire arsenal to protect New York from the threats lying in the shadows.
Protecting New York has never been easier either — the combat in Spider-Man is a fun take on a combat style gamers have gotten to know ever since Batman: Arkham Asylum. It’s been nine years since gamers first experienced the rhythmic combat style perfected by Rocksteady Studios. Many gamers have expressed a concern that the overuse of this combat style has made it a tired pastime, but Insomniac Games has done a good job of making it feel fresh once again.
The story is well-written and feels as though it would be fit perfectly in a Marvel comic book. With it not being his first time voicing the wall-crawler, Yuri Lowenthal is phenomenal in the role of Peter Parker. Lowenthal went as far as to record every line in the game twice: one recording with a normal tone, and one with exertion. By recording the lines twice, the voice sounds authentic whether players have Parker swinging through the air or standing on a building.
The game is loaded with side quests, but they’re introduced incrementally as players handle the main storyline. As a result, side quests don’t feel so typical and monotonous.
Spider-Man games aren’t truly great until their web-swinging is put to the test, however, and this game’s web-swinging is amazing. Bounding across New York has never felt so effortless, yet involved. Players can control how Spidey rebounds off of surfaces, vaults over building tops, catapults between structures and can even build momentum from free-falling.
The game is by no means perfect. Players won’t have to look far to come across the occasional glitch during combat or travel. The jokes delivered by Spider-Man in-game aren’t all equal in their humor. Playing the game at its highest difficulty is by no means a challenge so much as it is a slight inconvenience, but that’s really all I can critique about the overall game.
There are a slew of rewards for players and plenty of easter eggs for fans to find in the big apple too. The replayability isn’t exactly anything to write home about; one playthrough is probably enough.
All in all, the game is a wonderful time. The money was spent, the game was completed and I have no regrets.
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