Marvel's Spider-Man - PlayStation 4 Pro Review

Those wishing for the perfect Spider-Man game, Insomniac Games has granted your wish with Marvel's Spider-Man.

By Grayshadow, Posted 09 Sep 2018

Marvel's Spider-Man rarely has a disappointing moment. Right from the beginning a combination of high-speed action and outstanding writing creates a harmonious adventure that combines action, story-telling, and graphics for a near-perfect experience. The optional objectives can be a bit repetitive but Marvel's Spider-Man is a superhero game that rivals the excellency of the Batman: Arkham games.

Marvel's Spider-Man,PlayStation 4,PS4,Insomniac Games,

This isn't an origin tale, Marvel's Spider-Man begins where the novel, A Hostile Takeover, left off. Spider-Man leading the charge against the Kingpin but things only escalate from there. With new enemies and challenges that will test Spider-Man's physical and mental fortitude beyond anything he has faced before. Insomniac Games has taken a great deal of time to ensure that every character not only represents their iconic persona but with their own twist. 

The story follows a common theme of revenge, power, and responsibility. Some villains are given more time than others but all of them serve a purpose. None of them are here for no reason and help build the core story and the world around you. Mr. Negative takes center stage as the most notorious villain you'll encounter and he does a fantastic job of portraying not only a deadly threat to the city but a sympathetic person overwhelmed by his inner darkness.

The adventure is long, taking around 15 hours for the core campaign and 30 hours to earn a platinum trophy. To prevent anything from getting stale Insomanic introduces a steady stream of unique environments, notorious criminals from the Spider-Man universe, and new information key to the story. Right to the final credits Insomniac delivers a campaign that worthy of carrying Spider-Man's name.

Marvel's Spider-Man,PlayStation 4,PS4,Insomniac Games,

Sound design, voice-acting, and the soundtrack are icing on this beautiful Spider-Man cake. Every character, the motion of Spider-Man moving through the environment, and the soundtrack that plays gives this world life. When you head down into the streets you can see squirrels and pigeons around as people look on in excitement as Spider-Man walks down the street. You can see how much dedication went into ensuring that everything was designed to perfection. However, a major issue the game faces is the voice calls.

Throughout the adventure, Spider-Man receives and can intercept calls from various characters throughout the world. Some are optional, like J.J. Jameson's Just the Facts, but others are critical to the story. The issue is that these calls can be interrupted when diving into a mission or if a crime is happening, cutting the call. You'll have to then wait until Spider-Man recalls the person or if J.J.'s talk show starts again. An option to allow the player to listen when the game is paused would resolve this problem, allowing the player to pause the action and listen.

What Marvel's Spider-Man truly excels at its the gameplay. Insomniac Games have captured the agility and speed Spider-Man is known for. Swinging throughout NY is one of the most fun in the entire game thanks to a simple yet visually outstanding acrobatic system. The whole system revolves around momentum and keeping up the speed with leaps, swings, and walling running. The controls are simple with the developers giving Spider-Man enough control that the player won't have to input every command. You'll still need to be aware of where to run and when to swing but the automatic system helps running through tight spots and display commands for that extra boost. Once you come to grips with the controls using the fast travel system, although plentiful and useful, will become something you'll unknowingly avoid.

Marvel's Spider-Man,PlayStation 4,PS4,Insomniac Games,

The open world of New York City is teeming with optional objectives to complete but most of them focus on busy work. This includes capturing bases, fixing radio towers, stopping crime, and so on. They're not are all unlocked from the start and slowly become available as the campaign continues since some of them are story related. What Insomniac has astonishingly accomplished is making all this busy work fun. Not only is getting to the objective a thrill but gameplay overshadows the tedium of completing the same objective. Best of all you're constantly earning experience and specific tokens to unlock new suits, gadgets, skills, and modifiers to increase Spider-Man's already overwhelming array of talents.

Skills are separated into 3 categories that include Innovator, Defender, and Webslinger. If you complete all the side missions you'll unlock all the skills by the end of the campaign. Gadgets themselves are story related and unlock as you progress and suits serve as mostly cosmetic changes. Each of them unlocks a new suit power but you can mix one suit's power with another if you prefer a specific costume. Suits can be further upgraded with different modifiers to enhance many different abilities for that custom fit.

Combat complements Spider-Man's speed and ability above his strength. In fact, the developers, with the exception of cutscenes and specific moments, have toned down Spider-Man's strength while in combat. Enemies, especially in the end game, can require up to 10+ hits to take down whereas Spider-Man can be defeated with a few hits. Enemies come in your standard variety of small grunts, heavies, and many other types depending on their faction. Each one requires specific tactics to take down and if done with flare Spider-Man can earn focus to heal or perform one-hit finishing moves. The suits themselves come with their own charge for 1-time use abilities such as increased focus, speed, strength, or any other modifier the player prefers.

Marvel's Spider-Man,PlayStation 4,PS4,Insomniac Games,

Much of Spider-Man's abilities and talents are customizable to a large degree. Players can choose to invest into speed, strength, or defense depending on their play style. What is strange is that Insomniac hasn't included a test arena but you get a demo of the ability in action.

Spider-Man does have the ability to take out enemies stealthfully, and sometimes it's mandatory. Once spotted Spider-Man cannot return to the shadows but the stealth is very forgiving. Spider-Man can scan the area for hostiles, which also marks them if they're vulnerable for stealth takedowns or if taking them out will alert the other enemies. Those familiar with other stealth games like Dishonored and Metal Gear can easily exploit the cone-of-vision to chain together web-takedowns with some practice but don't expect an elaborate stealth-based system here.

Spider-Man won't be the only playable character in this adventure. You do take control of Peter Parker and other characters. The others don't have Spider-Man's speed or strength and must rely on stealth. These sequences are far between and rely on standard stealth mechanics, memorize the walking pattern and use sound to distract enemies. It's not stellar but providing insight into how these character's actions and how they accomplished what they did.

Marvel's Spider-Man,PlayStation 4,PS4,Insomniac Games,

The boss battles in Marvel's Spider-Man are truly spectacular. Each one uses their iconic move sets and some simply go above and beyond for out of this world fights. There wasn't a single boss fight that didn't provide something unique or jawdropping.

Insomniac Games has done nothing less than a magnificent job with Marvel's Spider-Man. The stealth option is exploitative and the optional objectives can become repetitive but these are small issues for an adventure that soars higher than Spider-Man can jump. The boss battle, gripping tale, or just swinging through New York City was such a joy that any minor issue was swallowed whole. Those wishing for the perfect Spider-Man game, Insomniac Games has granted your wish with Marvel's Spider-Man.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PS4
Publisher(s): Sony
Developer(s): Insomniac Games
Genres: Action-Adventure
Themes: Marvel
Release Date: 2018-09-07

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