One of the most highly-anticipated video games in recent memory, Marvel’s Spider-Man, finally became available to the public last week on PlayStation 4, and it did not disappoint.
The new game puts you in the shoes and spandex suit of the famous web-slinging wall-crawler in a way no game ever has before. That’s not to say Spider-Man hasn’t been the subject of a video game before. There are certainly plenty of past titles out there. This one is just different.
This new game allows players to swing through New York City as Spidey, fighting crime, completing tasks, taking pictures and just having general spider-fun. If this game included nothing else but this free roam feature, it would still be the most fun new game in a long time.
Swinging around New York is much more fun than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be a lot of fun. To my knowledge, this is the first Spider-Man game that actually requires you to swing from something, as opposed to simply shooting a web into the air and tethering to nothing and yet still being able to swing around. It gives the game a sense of realism and allows to show off all of Spider-Man’s acrobatics throughout New York.
That being said, the game does feature more, so much more. Marvel’s Spider-Man offers a story that simultaneously includes all your favorite villains (Shocker, Doctor Octopus, Norman Osborn and a lot more) and focuses more on one that is not so well-known: Mr. Negative.
If there has been one complaint about Spider-Man in recent years, it’s that we’ve seen the same story told over and over again, what with all the reboots and reboots of reboots for the films. This story is certainly a different one.
If I can nitpick for a moment, my only minor issue with this game is how the story strays from the comics. We’re jumping in at a point where Peter Parker has a lot of experience as Spider-Man, has broken up with Mary Jane and has actually already locked up most of his major enemies, and yet Doctor Octopus hasn’t become a threat yet? Again, I’m nitpicking because everything else about this game is pretty much perfect.
The gameplay itself, aside from just aimlessly swinging around New York, is also a lot of fun. Unlike most superhero games, this one is not just a button masher. Sure you can play it like that, but good luck taking on a gang of 30 of Kingpin’s thugs by just kicking repeatedly.
The fights make a perfect use of spider-sense, challenging players to dodge every fist, bullet and crowbar thrown at them. Different enemies require different tactics, and you’ll see a wide array of them all at once so you’ll have to mix things up. In other words, you can just drop into a room of bad guys and smash. That’s a different hero’s style. Spider-Man is a bit more technical.
The game is also loaded with Easter Eggs. While swinging around New York, you may notice some familiar Marvel landmarks like Avengers Tower, Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum and more. Fan-favorite Spidey character J. Jonah Jameson is featured in a podcast that plays every now and then throughout the game as well. Even a brief nod to Spider-Man 2 makes its way in there. Of course, Stan Lee also makes an appearance.
Overall, this game is an amazing amount of fun. It’s one of those games you think you’ll sit down and play for an hour and next thing you know it’s actually been four hours. It’s very easy to lose track of time just swinging around New York City. Maybe that’s why Spider-Man has such a hard time keeping his life together. Now it all makes sense.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is available now on the PlayStation Store.