Release date: 7/7/2018
Let me start off by saying that Spider-Man is my favorite super hero but I haven’t played a Spider-Man game since Ultimate Spider-Man on Gamecube.
The game opens with young adult Peter Parker getting ready for a raid on Wilson Fisk’s office, the police finally having enough evidence to execute a search warrant on The Kingpin. Peter has been Spider-Man for 8 years by this point so you’re not playing as some snot noised rookie Spider-boy, you’re a full fledged Spider-MAN. With Spider-Man’s help the police are able to lock up Fisk, with Fisk telling Spider-Man that he was the one really protecting the city and that with him locked up all hell is going to break loose. After that Peter has to get to his job as a research assistant for a top scientist and with that the game proper begins.
Spider-Man is an open world sand box game. Aside from the main story missions the world is littered with side quests, collectibles and radio towers that open up area’s of the map. There are six types of tokens to collect that are used in crafting new suits and upgrading gear along with a leveling system that grants one (1) skill point per level that can be used to upgrade skill trees. Leveling up also increases stats like HP and damage, or granting an extra focus bar.
This game is packed with references to the comics, other super heroes, the MCU and they even take a concept from the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon while telling an original story. One thing that isn’t brought up that often is Uncle Ben’s death, it’s mentioned a few times in passing but they never go into the origin of Spider-Man and what happened.
There are also Mary Jane missions where you have to sneak around has her as she uncovers a story to write about because she’s a reporter for the Daily Bugle. The missions are slow and are supposed to be used to level out the pacing so it’s not all high action all the time but they can bring the pacing to a grinding halt to the point that there was one time that I started a mission and I really didn’t want to play it yet. There is one mission though where Mary Jane is a hostage and you have to tell Spider-Man which henchman to take out so you can get the rest of the hostages out which was pretty fun.
After activating a tower and uncovering that section of made you can scan the area and any optional side stuff with be highlighted around you, so looking for collectibles (like backpacks that Peter just left all over Manhattan when he was younger) is pretty easy. There are also land marks that you can take pictures of including Avengers Tower and The Sanctum Sanctorum showing that other heroes do exist in this world, they’re just all to busy apparently. Seriously, where was Daredevil when stuff was going down in Hell’s Kitchen? Peter said that the Avengers where on the West Coast now, so it’s understandable why they didn’t show up.
But you don’t care about all of that because there’s only one thing that matters in a Spider-Man game, the web swinging! It’s so important that people still say Spider-Man 2 the movie the game is the best Spider-Man game. So is the web swinging in this game any good? Yes, it’s fast and fluid and makes fast travel boring and only usable because it’s funny to see Spider-Man take the subway in full costume. You hold down R2 and just swing, you can use the jump button to gain speed and height, if you would hit a wall SM will just start running up it and you can launch yourself off the roof and keep your momentum up. The combat is good but I had issues with the first couple of boss fights because I keep forgetting SM can fight in 3D space using his webs to swing around the battle field instead of being stuck on the ground. Some great advice I heard for this game is to NOT treat the combat like the Batman Arkham games. Spider-Man has a dodge but no counter like Batman does so it’s better to stay moving then it is to stand your ground. Knock enemies into the air and start beating on them there, it keeps your from getting crowded and also builds focus faster. As Spider-Man fights he builds up focus which can be used to either heal you during combat or to perform a finishing move.
Unlocking suits also grants suit powers so there is a point to unlocking suits rather then just the fashion. Once unlocked suit powers can be put on any suit you’re wearing which means that I can dress up as Ben Reilly Scarlet Spider while having the Iron Spider’s arms. Since i’m talking about suits the first one you can unlock is the original suit in case you don’t like the white spider, you also have a damaged version of the original suit that got ripped up in the fight with Kingpin. Suits don’t show battle damage over time, which I like because they have time skips during the story and it’s not all contained within one night like the Arkham games so theoretically Peter would have time to stitch up his suit between missions.
I love this game but it is not perfect. While the web swinging is fun I tend to over shoot my target which is an issue when you’re being timed to do something and when just regular wall crawling it’s easy to get stuck with the camera being no help. But maybe those are just me.
All in all, if you’re a Spider-Fan I would totally recommend this game, I even recommend getting the DLC because the main campaign is so good that you’re going to want that extra bit (it’ll also get you some more challenge tokens). I even got a platinum trophy making this my second ever platinum. The DLC involves Hammerhead using Sable tech to help himself take control of the fractured Maggia. I think it works well as an epilogue showing the outcome of the story we just played through. Yes Spider-Man stopped a few villains but there are always more waiting to step into that power vacuum.
The DLC also added the much needed suits, Spider Armor MK1 and Kaine Parker Scarlet Spider. Unfortunately the DLC suits did not come with any new suit powers.
With the review coming to an end I’d like to gush about my favorite suit for a second. There are Black Cat missions in the game where she basically plays a game of cat and mouse with you. You go around finding her stake out locations and eventually find her stash house. In her stash house she leaves a suit for you, the Dark Suit. The dark suit is from Spider-Man/Deadpool where Spider-Man is angry at the person that hired Deadpool to kill Peter Parker and where’s a black and red suit with claws and black widow hourglasses on the hands when he and Deadpool to go confront Deadpools employer. The reason I love this is because also in the comics after Peter gave up the Venom Symbiote Black Cat made him a non-living version of the suit so giving him the Dark Suit pays homage to that while also keeping out the symbiote stuff.
Let me start off by saying that Spider-Man is my favorite super hero but I haven't played a Spider-Man game since Ultimate Spider-Man on Gamecube. I had a hard time getting my hands on this game because half of all the copies that shipped turned into dust. I was thinking I should play Web of Shadows to tie in with the Venom movie but I had that thought the day that the Venom movie came out. But I finally bought my copy of PS4 Spider-Man and with the first part of the DLC just getting released I'll just say that's what I was waiting for.