True believers! We finally have a truly outstanding Spider-Man game (don’t forget the hyphen) thanks to the team at Insomniac Games. A title that brings you an amazing story, spectacular web-swinging and crunching combat. My Spider-Man PS4 review was one of the most fun of 2018, and another must play game for 2018.
While it does so many things right, there are a few more bugs than the main character. But overall, this is an open-world, action adventure title you will thoroughly enjoy.
Spider-Man fans can also look forward to some of the best realisations of the characters we all love. Read on, or watch above for the full break down of Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4.
How does Spider-Man play?
When you think about Spider-Man one of the first things is always web-slinging around those giant buildings in Manhattan. That and diving off really, REALLY high buildings to see how close to the ground you can get before swinging!
While we’ve not always had the big AAA production on a Spidey game before, some have managed to get the feeling of that right in the past. Particularly the much loved Spider-Man 2 and Web of Shadows.
But now, we are up to next level web-slinging. Swinging, zipping and bounding across the city is at its very best on PS4.
Add to that a perfectly balanced, Batman Arkham inspired combat system and some stealth mechanics to mix in. This is the ultimate Spider-Man gameplay experience.
The City is Your Playground
Swinging around the city is as responsive and amazing as it’s been in a Spidey game. Using R2 to swing you can move easily through the buildings. But then you have the ability to do quick zips with X to help keep momentum in less high rise areas.
What keeps it all going is the momentum keeping detail. Focusing with L2 you can find zip points and time your press of X to bound forward in a burst of speed. Or, should you hit a building you go straight to sprinting up or around the wall.
This works out so well getting from area to area as you take on the side-missions, bases and collectables around the city (more on those later).
While fast travel is an option, I literally only used it to get the Trophy for doing so 5 times. And 5 times it stayed!
Combat is a big part of the gameplay too, and like Insomniac promised, it feels like Spider-Man in action. From the air combos, swing kicks and web takedowns inspired by the Batman Arkham series controls. It feels responsive, familiar yet not simply a clone.
As you zip between legs, time doges to web enemies in the face and unleash web gadgets at your foes, you feel like Spidey from comics, movies and TV.
Stealth also plays a big part in the game since you have the option to take-out enemies unaware. You can swing down from above and do a quick takedown. Strike from above and web up enemies to perches or just sneak up and take them down.
Spider-Man is not the only character you play here either, with MJ and Miles Morales also key to the main story you play some stealth missions as them. Personally, I quite enjoyed them but other members of the team were less keen.
They may be divisive, but it brings you closer to those characters as you progress through he story. While missions with them are similar, and mainly involve sneaking around, they never last too long.
On the whole, this game is about being Spidey and Insomniac gets the gameplay for being the web-head exactly how it should be. Traversal, action combat and the stealth all make this the ultimate gameplay experience for a Spider-Man game.
Presentation and Graphics
Now, this was something going big on social media before release since the launch puddles were smaller than the E3 puddles. This obviously meant a huge downgrade and the game was basically the PS1 standard in graphics… because… puddles!
In reality, Spider-Man PS4 is utterly stunning and one of the most graphically impressive games this year.
Both in the open world and close-up during conversations and story sequences, everything here looks so well polished. There’s also that signature attention to the details you expect in Insomniac games, plus real care has gone into making every character design look on-point.
Speaking of characters, the lead voice actor here Yuri Lowenthal is exceptional at being Spidey. His tone in his role as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man is perfect, along with his awkward moments and silly quips. Laura Bailey is also here as Mary Jane (MJ) and may well be the best MJ other than in the comics for me.
But then there are performances from William Salyers and Dr Octivious, Tara Platt as Yuri and Darin De Paul as J. Jonah Jameson are all superb. Not to mention the rest of the cast.
With stunning visuals, amazing voice cast and a soundtrack that really makes the game have a sense of an epic movie. The presentation quality is here in abundance.
As with all things comic book, we are driven on by great stories and characters. The game delivers just that, taking some bold decisions along the way as it delivers an excellent Spider-Man tale.
But it’s not just about him. Peter Parker, Mary Jane and Miles Morales all have their part to play in the story. As does seemingly peaceful businessman Martin Li, underpressure scientist Dr Otto Octavious and more classic characters like Wilson Fisk and Norman Osborne.
All of the big players above make their mark on this story.
Peter is living his double life as usual but so are many others in this story. Soon as one criminal is stopped more follow in their wake and the city becomes under control of Spider-Man’s greatest villains.
Truly, this story is so well told and exactly what fans of Marvel comics, both old and new, would want to see.
Mr Negative comes into this as a more recent day villain and really is a powerful character. But then there are the classic baddies too, coming together to make for some of the best confrontations in a Spider-Man story. Particularly the events around the conclusion of the game are particularly hard hitting by the time you get there.
With great suit powers, comes great action
While the story is the main feature, this is an open-world action adventure. There’s plenty to do outside of the main missions and lots of things to collect, the big motivator above them all is getting the next Spidey suit.
Suits unlock by levelling up Spider-Man with XP earned from missions and defeating enemies. Doing this lets you choose from perks from three skill trees focusing different combat abilities and traversal upgrades.
When you get to higher levels you unlock more health, web-swing speed and damage. But mainly, you’ll be excited about the new suits that appear on your list. While you need to use tokens to unlock them and their associated power, they will soon be yours to try on in the open word.
Each of the exceptionally well captured Spidey suits also unlocks an associated power. However, the fantastic decision was made to separate this from the suit once it’s been unlocked. Meaning you can wear whatever suit you like with whatever power you like.
With gadgets like impact webs, tripwires and little spider-bots to unlock and upgrade there is a lot to unlock through the game. Fortunately, it’s pretty fun to do.
“Spider-Cop” Fun and More Bugs Than Just Spidey
Out in the city of Manhattan, there are lots of things you need to do to help the city at various stages of the game. Early on you are helping restore some police towers to unlock the crime coverage. A nice plot around traditional tower activations that does help you get into web-swinging around.
Later there are bases to take over from various criminal factions, including The Kingpin’s goons and Mr Negative’s Demons. These let you take on waves of enemies trying to earn tokens for doing so, even more, if you complete the optional objectives.
There are photographs to take, backpacks to collect and research stations to solve. There are even pidgeons to capture and Black-Cat’s vantage points to find.
Side-Missions are also out there featuring some other villains from Spider-Man lore, all of which delivered in the same quality as the main story. And really did laugh a bit too much at the whole Spider-Cop routine between Spidey and Yuri.
My two main issues with Spidey come up here, however, and it’s the pesky open-world bugs. Enemies getting stuck in things can maybe be accepted as inevitable, but the game crashed a few times during my 30 hour adventure to platinum.
The other is that, while everything to do outside of the story is nicely designed and fun. There is nothing out there you won’t have seen in other games of this kind. Capturing bases, random crimes and collecting are fun, but nothing new.
That won’t stop you enjoying this amazing city, however, in spite of those small issues (with patches dropping all the time) Spider-Man has a hugely addictive quality.
There was no way I wasn’t going to get everything to 100%, it simply drove me to do it with the exceptionally fun gameplay.
Should You Play Spider-Man?
Spider-Man is exactly the game I wanted from Insomniac Games when I heard they were making this. It’s stunning, delivers on a spectacular story and gets that web-swinging through the city absolutely perfect.
Fans of this legendary character will be happy as will newcomers. A few bugs need to be worked out but the main bug is an outstanding interpretation of the wall-crawler.
As a console exclusive, the main target is to be worth the outlay of not just the game in some cases but the machine as well. If God of War (my review) wasn’t enough to do so this year, Spider-Man should really be putting that credit card balance on the line. It’s a must play experience.
Gamers who will suit this game…
Fans of Spider-Man should be purchasing this on another tab now as you read this. So should fans of sandbox games like InFamous, Batman Arkham games and Insomniac’s previous outstanding title, Sunset Overdrive.
Round up table
|The Good||The Bad||The Bugs|
|Spectacular Story and Characters||Open world missions could be more innovative||Game Crashes|
|Wonderful web-slinging||Open-world glitches|
|Perfect Presentation, Sound and acting|
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About This Spider-Man Review
Game Reviewed: Marvel’s Spider-Man standard edition.
Review Format: PS4-Pro
PEGI Rating: 16