reviews

PS4 Review – Marvel’s Spider-Man

Spider-Man brings back all the classic things we enjoyed from the previous Spiderman games, while adding some classic favourites from other iconic games of our time. It deliciously brings out that Marvel-ous flavour we have been pining for in the movies, but have not received until now.

Marvel’s Spider-Man was released on 7 September 2018. It was developed by Insomniac Games and Published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It is an open world, action-adventure third-person role-playing game set in the iconic Marvel Universe.

AIR Entertainment obtained a physical copy of the game for review purposes.

If you are subscribed to AIR Entertainment’s Youtube Channel, you can catch a glimpse of AIR Entertainment’s gameplay video along with some other game videos. For your convenience, you can also watch it here below:

 


 

STORY

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A Spider-Man game would not be a true Spider-Man game without a proper story. And a proper story this game has. It is one many Spider-Man fans have been waiting for. Movies have teased at it, the comics reveled in it and now the game finally has it…

The Sinister Six…

This is Spider-Man as many know him. The story takes place where Peter is already out of school and college. Spider-Man has already had eight years swinging through New York, so all that boring origins is done away with.

Much of the beginning of the game has the same feel as the movie Spiderman 2 with Tobey Maguire. Peter works with Doctor Octavius while he slowly develops the tentacles that will make him a madman one day. And while Peter works with him, the Kingpin is on the loose, one of the first missions Spider-Man will encounter at the onset of the game.

As the story unravels further, it leads to mystery and tension. After settling down into the comfortable superhero of New York City, Spider-Man starts feeling like he is losing control of the city. With Kingpin in jail, rival gangs are now seeking to take his place, specifically one called the Inner Demons. This leads on a long story trail that finally puts the Sinister Six together and their quest to defeat Spider-Man for always meddling in their affairs.

The story unfolds at a great pace. What is really fantastic is that there is sometimes an urgency to missions. If one wanted to swing around and complete objectives first, while Aunt May is waiting for a party to start, the game will remind you that you are swinging out of the mission area. This creates a sense of realism.

The story is also very close to the Spider-Man comics. Spidey has his great sense of humour, which makes one laugh often even during combat. The game has better storytelling than any Spider-Man movie I have seen to date, including the latest Homecoming. There are times one would skip every side objective and puzzle just to find out what happens next in the story.

 


 

GAMEPLAY

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Kick, kick, hit, web, uppercut, air combo, web, superkick…. It’s all been done in every Spider-Man game we have ever played. Except that in Marvel’s Spider-Man, they have improved on the fluidity and mechanics. Reaction to button-bashing is so much quicker, and there are new moves we haven’t seen before.

Which brings the next point to the fore: many game aspects have been taken from other games that are favourites. When the spider sense tingles, you can press the counter button to avoid the danger, much like in Shadow of Mordor. And akin to the trademark developed and perfected throughout the Assassin’s Creed series, there are many stealth moves that can be done by the touch of a button. Another style set taken from Shadow of Mordor is the execution set that can be done when the Focus bar is full.

Yet, while they have taken many beloved elements from popular games, they have also improved on it. The Focus bar can also heal you, leaving you to choose between health or saving it to execute a particularly difficult enemy. A favourite that returns to the Spider-Man world are the different suits and skills that are unlocked. There are some new ones never seen before, while popular staple ones are back. It was great to see the Scarlet Spider suit in the mix, although knowing how Scarlet Spider came about, one wonders if that was a bit premature.

Leveling up consists of the usual skill tree branching found in most role-playing games these days. You have three main stems to choose from, and within them your power and skills branch off to make one a super spidey. Or Spider-Cop, as Spidey likes to refer to himself as.

Another Spider-Man comeback are the small crime sprees around the city that one can assist with, as well as landmarks Spider-Man can take photos of. Each district of New York City has a set number of objectives, such as a number of crime sprees, backpacks and landmarks to be found. One can so easily lose time opening up these areas, like in Assassin’s Creed, instead of focusing on the main mission: unless the main mission is urgent.

A rather surprising aspect to the game are the puzzles. It is reminiscent of some hidden object game puzzles, where you either turn circuit conduits to run power through lines, or make the images appear the same as the one above it via a combination of images. Children, and probably most adults, will love this brain-teasing addition to the game.

Overall, the game mechanics are fantastic, and swinging through the city is really amazing. There are no great failures in the game-play or movements. One could swing through the city freely all day and utterly enjoy it.

 


 

SOUND AND GRAPHICS

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This is the best Spider-Man graphics ever. They are even better than the movies. The city is large, and there are so many sights to see. One moment you are swinging with a helicopter overhead and the next a flock of birds are flying passed you.

Evert character and citizen of New York city is spectacularly detailed. And on a 4K ultra HD television, even more so. Colours and curves are crisp and leave nothing wanting for the eyes. Many of the scenes are so visually real, one could almost swear it was really taking place. With these type of graphics, I would rather they focus making Spider-Man movies with game engines than with real people.

The voice acting is just as great and every sound surrounds one with a sense that one is really in the sleepless city of New York. Waves in the water, helicopter overhead, birds flapping by… every sound is so realistic. Much of the musical score is reminiscent of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies, specifically when swinging through the city. Which also adds to the ambiance and atmosphere to the game.

 


 

FINAL VERDICT

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Spider-Man brings back all the classic things enjoyed from the previous Spiderman games, while adding some classic favourites from other iconic games of our time. It deliciously brings out that Marvel-ous flavour we have been pining for in the movies, but have not received until now.

Every Spider-Man fan and their family will absolutely love this game. It has something for everyone and brings with it that excitement, laughter and love we always enjoy with our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.

Disclaimer: AIR Entertainment bought a physical copy for reviewing purposes. This review is the author’s own opinion and not influenced by the developer in any way, as per our reviewing Code of Ethics.

 

SHAUN M JOOSTE

Author, Poet, Screenwriter, Gamewriter, Journalist,
….and Elemental Mage Supreme in his spare time

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