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Marvel's Spider-Man Game Review

September 04, 2018

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Marvel's Spider-Man Game Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Sep 04, 2018
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

The next big PlayStation exclusive is swinging onto the scene. Check out Kidzworlds PS4 video game review of Marvels Spider-Man!

By: Max Cannon

Spider-Man has had a long legacy in video games. Gamers loved the N64/PS1 game, and web swinging in Spider-Man 2 and Ultimate Spider-Man set a high bar for the hero's potential in gaming. So when Sony announced during E3 2016 that the well-respected developer Insomniac Games (the team behind games like Sunset Overdrive and Spyro the Dragon) was hard at work on Marvel's Spider-Man, expectations were high. It's satisfying to confirm that much of the game hits those highs we hoped for but there are a few bumps worth pointing out.

Avengers Tower stands tall in the game's take on New York City.Avengers Tower stands tall in the game's take on New York City.
 

A Stellar Story

PlayStation and Insomniac have been very cautious around spoilers for the new game, as we will be in our coverage, and that's welcome because the game is full of surprises right from the start following Spider-Man's defeat of the Wilson Fisk, The Kingpin. Things start out manageable for our hero but quickly become overwhelming as the city descends further and further into chaos. The beating heart of the story centers around the game's memorable and beloved characters. Peter's struggle to keep everyone happy, even the destructive friends in his life, will keep players engaged whether he's stopping a robbery or struggling to pay his rent. 

Memorable land marks cover the world next to the fictional Marvel buildings.Memorable land marks cover the world next to the fictional Marvel buildings.
 

Of course, we're all familiar with Spider-Man and Insomniac's take on the Marvel hero seems to merge every sort of Spider-Man we've seen before. There's a little bit of comic book, a smidge of Sam Raimi, and a vibe reminiscent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are subtle details to give a little lore to what makes up this world, as this Spider-Man has been saving the city for 8 years, and it's much more effective than tying it exclusively to the main plot. And collecting the various Spidey suits gives constant rewards to look forward to. 

Marvel's Spider-Man - E3 2016 Trailer PS4

The story missions offer up a lot of variety in both locations and ways to play. You'll be sneakily picking off enemies one-by-one Batman: Arkham style, running through crazy setpieces, and swinging after fearsome bosses all in the course of one mission. Visuals are dazzling and you'll see some impressive animations, though there are some things missing from the earliest gameplay reveals including that memorable coffee shop scene from that first reveal trailer that you'll see above. Still what we do have here looks gorgeous in action and the screenshots I've shared here from my playthrough stand out as some of the best looking visuals on the PlayStation 4 Pro I played on. It's also worth highlighting the game's awesome dynamic score, with some clear inspiration from the Danny Elfman Spider-Man soundtrack, which kicks off when you start your swing from the first building and begins to wrap up when you land.

Fisk is just the start of Spider-Man's problems. Fisk is just the start of Spider-Man's problems.
 

Swinging Around the City

The stuff outside of the main story can often feel like a lot of busy work, collecting backpacks from around the city, stopping a checklist of crimes, or collecting flying pigeons for a side mission all packaged around the game's swinging, which is luckily very, very good. Holding down R2 in the air will throw out a web to swing from and holding R2 on the ground or walls will put Spider-Man into a parkouring sprint. Holding down the left stick to put Spider-Man into a dive from a skyscraper and throwing a web last second feels thrilling throughout the whole game, which is fortunate because so much of the game centers around swinging. In fact, if the swinging didn't feel as good as it does then I'd say the side content would feel mediocre by comparison seeing as it feels like standard stuff for open world games. 

Marvel's Spider-Man sets a high bar for open world visuals.Marvel's Spider-Man sets a high bar for open world visuals.
 

When you're not swinging around you'll spend your time dealing with the crime around New York City. Combat is bound to draw comparisons to the Batman games and rightfully so as the punch/dodge combo system feels directly inspired especially when you include the use of the game's gadgets. However, it all feels very on brand with what we should expect from a game starring Spider-Man. And when you're sneaking up from the rafters to stealthily take down some crooks it feels a little loose and noticeably less tight than Batman's games.

Taking down a crowd of criminals feels like a lighter version of Batman's Arkham games.Taking down a crowd of criminals feels like a lighter version of Batman's Arkham games.

Finally, there are a few bugs that really dragged things down. The first time the final enemy of 6 waves was stuck under the ground it was mildly annoying but when it happened twice more I'd wasted about 45 minutes. On top of this, I'd wound up trapped inside a building during a few tailing missions that wound up with my target getting away. It wasn't enough to detract from the experience in a major way but it's worth mentioning.

Swinging through the city maintains its appeal even if the side content doesn't always.Swinging through the city maintains its appeal even if the side content doesn't always.
 

Final Thoughts

Marvel's Spider-Man boasts a memorable story that does justice to a classic character. The setpieces are awesome, the story regularly put a smile on my face, and the swinging is satisfying, but everything outside of the main story suffers from feeling a little by-the-numbers and repetitive, yet when you're swinging through the city you may not even care.

Pros

  • Web Swinging
  • Excellent Story
  • Visuals

Cons

  • Repetitive Side Missions
  • A Few Bugs

Marvel's Spider-Man Game Rating:4

Marvel's Spider-Man Box ArtMarvel's Spider-Man Box Art

Available on Spetember 7th for PlayStation 4

Have Your Say!

Are you picking up Marvel's Spider-Man? What are your favorite super hero games? Share your thoughts below!