Nerdbot Game Review: Spider-Man
Spider-Man is one of (if not THE) biggest games of the year! Insomniac Games has been advertising the PlayStation 4 exclusive for a long time. Finally, Spider-Man has been released!
Fans of the Marvel character have been waiting for a major Spider-Man game to recapture the glory of the Spider-Man 2 (SM2) game that was released in 2004 for various platforms including PlayStation 2. SM 2 was the first video game to allow players to experience web slinging through New York like never before. Fans were unexpectedly blown away by the out of nowhere hit and the bar was raised. Many wondered if Insomniac’s game would be able to live up to the standard set by SM2. It has.
Spider-Man for PS4 is everything SM2 was and more! The same mechanics are present and have been polished to elevate the experience even higher! As the game starts, the beginning levels act as a tutorial to expose the player to the various options available to them as the wall crawler. Zip-Webbing to different locations takes some getting used to but combat is fluid with controls similar to other games (Batman, Assassins Creed, Etc.). These beginning levels are inside of a building and the graphics are at times well done and at others about average. Once the story progresses to outside, the game begins to shine!
From the first rooftop, the view of New York is sparkling with clarity. The graphics of the city are undeniably top notch! Buildings are realistic down to the fire escapes. Trees and plants have individual leaves. Water surfaces look natural. Every aspect of the outside is exquisite. The parts that could have used a little more attention were the character models. Scenes with Peter out of his suit are well done, but they do not have the same amazing detail that the city does. It is apparent that the main focus was on the city itself in terms of graphics. It was the right decision but the differences are noticeable.
Swinging through the city gives the player an experience that only Spider-Man can provide. Insomniac Games knew that this was the big draw to the game and doubled down on it graphically and mechanically. Navigating around obstacles is easy and have various options (Swinging, Zipping, Running, and Jumping). Webs have to attach to an object in order to swing, which provides a sense of realism to the fantasy. The game does provide some leeway in favor of fun over geometry at times, but does not do so in any inexcusable ways.
Web-Swinging is a major factor in this game. Quests are scattered throughout the city. While there is a “Fast Travel” feature, it’s usually faster (and more enjoyable) to get there without it.
This game stays true to what makes Spider-Man’s fighting style unique. Although he is a Super-Hero, he is not as powerful as a Hulk or Thor. The focus is on Spider-Man’s agility. Dodging is the keystone element to any battle he engages in. From low level thugs to overpowered villains. Combat is fluid and enjoyable. The player feels empowered with Spider-Man’s but still vulnerable enough to require skill.
Insomniac has always stated that the Spider-Man game would not be tied to any of the Spider-Man movies. They have instead created a unique (and somewhat lengthy) telling of the well-known hero. Peter Parker is older than most stories about the hero. He has graduated college and began working in a lab as an assistant. Science plays a strong role in the story and provides some mini-game style sub-quests for the player to engage in. Still struggling financially, he juggles his personal life with his secret Spider-Man life. There are plenty of twists and turns in the story and even knowledgeable fans will have a hard time predicting all of the plot points. The writing is well done and is a fresh look at the life of the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Spider-Man is an amazing game. Difficulty setting are adjustable for players of various skill levels to enjoy. The story can be a little violent at times but is still suitable for most Spider-Fans to participate. With plenty of objectives, this game has over 20 hours’ worth of content. Characters are inclusive, with different ethnicities and genders portrayed with character depth and growth. This game focus’ on what makes Spider-Man the greatest hero, he’s always trying to help no matter what.
We give Spider-Man 5/5 stars