Review: 2018's Spider-Man for PS4
With the recent release of Spider-Man by Insomniac Games, the Spider-Man hype is at an all-time high. There are so many great Spider-Man games, but let’s be honest – everyone has their personal favorite. Here’s the scoop on why Insomniac’s Spider-Man is my new fave. Believe the hype!
Not every Spider-Man game has been met with this level of both excitement and expectation. Spider-Man games each have their own spin on the characters and the story of the wall-crawler. Some good, some bad. Ultimately, some seem to stick the landing better than others. The one that always comes to mind is Spider-Man 2. The web-swinging just felt so natural. Mind you, this game came out over 14 years ago.
PS4’s Spider-Man gets so many things right in terms of both atmosphere and tone. You actually feel like Spider-Man swinging through the city. You hear civilians cheer you on as you stop a getaway car. They even high-five you as you pass them on the street. It’s such a simple and small detail but it immerses you in its world and makes the city feel alive.
Same Spider, new tricks.
With the inclusion of so many suits and a plethora of gadgets, there are tons of ways to take down enemies. Most other Spider-Man games focus on basic web combos, but not Insomniac’s. Their Spider-Man allows you to pick and choose which powers you want from each suit after you unlock it. This means that you are never stuck with a suit you’re not into just for its special ability.
Special abilities aren’t the only the Spiddy has up his sleeve! There’s also a full-fledged skill tree with a multitude of options to choose from to best fit your play style (with the promise of more suits on the way in future DLC). I’m more than excited to see what they come up with and what suits from the comics get included later on.
Even though Spider-Man is a superhero, he’s not invulnerable. Enemies swarm you like you are a piñata filled with candy. You have to be quick on your feet. Luckily, Spider-Man is a fast and nimble hero and you can feel it with every dodge and swing. Every combo feels smooth and fast. Mix this with acrobatics and web-shooting and you have a formula for success. The only minor complaint I have is if you chain aerial combos, you tend to float in the air for a tad too long. But it’s such a small detail that can be easily overlooked.
Playing as Peter has never been more compelling. The parts where you get to play as Peter make you really connect with him on a new level not seen in other Spider-Man games. It feels like a true representation of a Spider-Man story. You get to see personal problems, like Peter struggle with bills and navigate his relationship with MJ. This gave the game a lot of great character building moments. It was every bit as interesting to watch on screen as the big jaw-dropping moments. Having a game that focuses on personal problems as well as big-city problems was a welcome change for once. It made it feel true to the comics.
I won’t go too deep into the story so it won’t be spoiled for anyone. I will say the story if a fresh take on the web-slinger. The story takes place 8 years after he gets his powers – a welcomed change. We all know what happens to uncle Ben so I’m glad they decided to move past that to a more seasoned Spidey. The story is great overall and it kept me engaged the entire time. The changes they made to MJ and a few other characters made me happy as well. Making her a reporter for the Daily Bugle made her much more pivotal to the overall story.
There are plenty of side activities to do in Spider-Man and everything has a purpose. Want to stop crime? Great – you’ll get crime tokens to help craft suits. Want to take pictures of landmarks? Awesome! There are so many cool places to swing by in this game. (FYI, the photo mode is amazing and taking pictures also helps you crafts new suits as well.) There are so many sights to see and things to do in this game. It’s really just spectacular!
Overall, Insomniac Games’ take on the wall-crawler is a fresh and fun experience. Peter Paker enjoys being Spider-Man and so did I.