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Marvel Spider-Man

aka: Spider-Man (2018)
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Official Description

Pre-order Marvel's Spider-Man and receive the following:

Spidey Suit Pack - Gain instant in-game access to three suits that alter your appearance and/or unlock new suit abilities.

5 Extra Skill Points – Get a head start on your web slinging experience by having skill points to unlock abilities from the start of the game like active finishers, web grab or faster web swinging.

Early Unlock of a Spider-Drone Gadget.

Spider-Man PS4 Custom Theme – Customize your PS4 with artwork from legendary comic book artist Adi Granov.

Be Spider-Man
After eight years behind the mask, Peter Parker is a crime-fighting master. Feel the full power of a more experienced Spider-Man with improvisational combat, dynamic acrobatics, fluid urban traversal, and environmental interactions. A rookie no longer, this is the most masterful Spider-Man you’ve ever played.

Worlds Collide
The worlds of Peter Parker and Spider-Man collide in an original action-packed story. In this new Spider-Man universe, iconic characters from Peter and Spider-Man’s lives have been reimagined, placing familiar characters in unique roles.

Marvel’s New York is Your Playground
The Big Apple comes to life as Insomniac’s most expansive and interactive world yet. Swing through vibrant neighborhoods and catch breathtaking views of iconic Marvel and Manhattan landmarks. Use the environment to defeat villains with epic takedowns in true blockbuster action.

1 player
DUALSHOCK®4

Software subject to license (us.playstation.com/softwarelicense). Online features require an account and are subject to terms of service and applicable privacy policy (playstationnetwork.com/terms-of-service & playstationnetwork.com/privacy-policy). One-time license fee for play on account’s designated primary PS4™ system and other PS4™ systems when signed in with that account.

© 2018 MARVEL
© 2018 Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC
Developed by Insomniac Games, Inc.

Source: PlayStation Store Description

Spellings

  • Marvel سبايدرمان - Arabic spelling
  • Человек-Паук - Russian spelling
  • スパイダーマン - Japanese spelling

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Credits (PlayStation 4 version)

2,252 People (2,002 developers, 250 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 90% (based on 63 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.3 out of 5 (based on 23 ratings with 1 reviews)

A Marvelous adventure only held back by a lack of creativity

The Good
* Web swinging offers a joyous adrenaline rush

  • Exciting, good-looking combat

  • An entertaining story with a blockbuster feel

  • Amazing graphics and great voice acting

    The Bad
    * Repetitive dynamic events

  • Overuse of open world tropes

  • Boring stealth missions

  • Combat can be too easy

    The Bottom Line
    If you were to create a list the most successful entertainment properties ever, then you’d have to make room for Marvel Comics and their Cinematic Universe. They have created some of the most beloved characters in pop culture while simultaneously pushing the scale and technical boundaries of Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. They made comic book culture cool among mainstream audiences. Yet for all of its success in comics and film, Marvel has never really found the same level of popularity in video games. That has recently changed with the release of Spider-Man, the newest PS4 exclusive. Already a major critical and commercial success, this is one of the year's most talked about titles, and its likely to pave the way for future Marvel games to come.

    Developed by Ratchet and Clank creators Insomniac Games, this adaptation of the web-slinging superhero takes a different approach compared to past films, and features a new story in a separate universe not tied to any comics or films. It features an older, post-grad Peter Parker, who is eight years into his career as Spider-Man. In addition to fulfilling his duties as New York’s protector, he also works as a lab assistant for Otto Octavius, a scientist who is developing bionic limb replacement technology. Despite his passion for the work and his respect for Octavius, the job pays badly, and Parker has to live paycheck-to-paycheck. He’s also getting over a breakup with his longtime girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson, who works as a photojournalist. After successfully arresting a bigwig crime boss, Spider-Man thinks his life is all in order, until new threats begin emerging from the least expected places, threatening not only Spider-Man’s life but his personal life as well. Spider-Man must work to balance saving those he loves dearly with protecting New York.

    The story overall is pretty good, if not necessarily mind-blowing. The first half of the game is fairly low stakes, but the second half is loaded with huge supervillain battles mixed with Peter’s personal drama, with lots of very emotional scenes that I didn’t really expect from this game. I actually love that the game takes its time before it gets into the “real” story, as it allows the characters more breathing room. It feels very much like a throwback to the Sam Raimi-era films, with some of the plot points being similar to Spider-Man 2 and 3 in particular.

    The main mechanic of any Spider-Man game is of course the web swinging. Insomniac knows that’s what you’re here for, so its no surprise that its the very first thing you get to do upon starting a new game. When swinging, you press and hold the R2 button to throw out a web and release it to gain momentum from the swing. You can gain even more momentum by jumping at the end of a swing. Lower swings will give Spider-Man lateral speed, while long, high swings will allow him to gain height. Pressing the jump button while not swinging allows Spider-Man to do a web-zip for some extra forward momentum. You can also press the L2 and R2 buttons to zip to any object, then press the X button on landing to retain your momentum and keep moving forward over rooftops. You can also run up or along buildings, and can corner them by holding circle. It does take a bit of time to get used to, but once you get the hang of it it becomes supremely satisfying. Many objects such as stoplights and water towers have contextual animations where Spider-Man swings swings off with the flourish of a circus acrobat, as if he’s more than happy to show off. You start to map out objects to zip and jump from and get a feel for how much or little height you need to keep moving forward. Later on, you also unlock the ability to perform tricks in the air, which really makes you feel like a pro acrobat. Combined with a score that feels ripped straight from the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, and swinging becomes an exhilarating, joyful experience.

    Combat is flashy but still tactical. You can punch enemies or press triangle to web over to them. You can also launch enemies into the air for further punches. You also have the option to throw objects and even webbed up enemies around the environment. Enemies can be disarmed, knocked off buildings, or webbed into walls. It’s also possible to use the environment in your attacks, such as pulling down shelves on top of enemies. There are several web-based gadgets which you can unlock over the course of the game, these include standard web shooters, trip mines, and drones, all of which allow for crowd control and quick enemy takedowns. Spider-Man can dodge enemies at the last second when his Spider-Sense activates. An unlockable skill slows down time when this happens, allowing you to plan your next move.

    Attacking enemies fills up the Focus bar. When a section is completely filled out, you can perform a one hit finisher on any enemy. You can also use it to heal Spider-Man. This works even if a meter is partially filled, though you don’t get nearly as much heal than if a section is filled.

    It’s also possible to use stealth attacks in some situations. You can shoot webs to distract enemies then web them up from on high or sneak up to them and knock them out from the back. Enemies don’t seem to pay much attention to when their comrades get webbed up, unless they are in close proximity with each other. You can use Spider-Man’s lenses to see if an enemy is “safe” to take out before doing so. Bases cannot be perfectly stealthed, however - even if you clear out the first wave of enemies, you’ll have to fight the rest of them in full combat, which is very annoying.

    My only real complaint is that combat is kind of easy. There is one cheap late-game enemy type whose attacks seem to trigger randomly and can’t be dodged all that well but for the most part things aren’t too bad. On the hardest difficulty, I was dying a lot at first, but once I unlocked the various moves and gadgets and got the hang of specific combos it became a lot easier. Even the bosses, while an amazing spectacle, don’t always provide the best challenge. I didn’t mind the somewhat relaxed difficulty- this is a game that wants to make you feel empowered like a superhero, and in that regard it succeeds providing good looking combat that engages beyond simple button-mashing. Perhaps a bit more challenge during the main campaign wouldn’t have hurt, however.

    All combat and traversal related abilities are unlocked by a skill tree. You can also upgrade gadgets and unlock suits, each of which gives a different power. Don’t worry about having to use a power you like with a suit you don’t because you can mix and match suit powers with suits. Some of these suit powers include faster Focus regeneration, blasting enemies away, and electric punches which stun enemies. You can also craft and install suit mods which enhance Spider-Man’s abilities, though these didn’t seem to play a huge role in the long run.

    Where Spider-Man falters a bit is the repetitive and somewhat cliched nature of its open world. Its a map filled with markers that have different activities. You have backpacks to collect, landmarks to snap photos of, timed challenges, side missions, and tons and tons of bases for each faction to take out, each with multiple waves of enemies to battle. The repetition is enough to give anyone Ubisoft flashbacks. I realize this is the language of video games in 2018, but I think we badly need to find more organic ways to evolve this kind of structure. It’s far from bad, but its nothing you haven’t seen before and is more tedious than it needs to be. Smartly, however, the world size is actually fairly small, only covering the main section of New York, and because getting around is so fun it does make the busywork feel exciting.

    Even worse is the repetition in terms of dynamic events you encounter out in the world, specifically crimes. It feels like there are only a handful of very similar action sequences which play out, with only the enemy factions being changed. As an example, there are many times where you have to stop a car, and the way it happens plays out nearly exactly the same every time : webbing to the car, taking out some goons with quicktime events, then mashing the square button to slow down the car and sometimes fighting additional gang members after that. It gets really boring after a while, and the game wants you to stop crimes of diffferent enemy types in all of the city’s regions, which is again, more busywork. If the goal was to make you realize that a hero’s work is never done, then Insomniac succeeded, but it doesn’t make for the most consistently entertaining or surprising video game.

    I also need to mention the weird inclusion of playable Mary Jane and Miles Morales stealth missions. These are the most boring and painfully scripted stealth missions I can recall in recent memory. With the exception of a tense encounter with a supervillain and a scene where Mary Jane works in tandem with Spider-Man, these missions were just dull to play. Other than give a new perspective on the story, I’m not sure what they add to the overall package. Anyone buying a Spider-Man game wants to be playing as the titular character, after all.

    Audio wise, Spider-Man is a top notch game. Much of the cast offers pitch-perfect performances, and Peter Parker/Spider-Man's actor is every bit as awkward and sarcastic as you would expect. I love the way the wind rushes past and cars trail off into the distance as you swing low on the streets. The music evokes the feeling of the earlier Spider-Man films with a dramatic orchestral soundtrack, though the game does make room for some rock music as well.
    

    As you might expect for a PS4 exclusive title, Spider-Man is a showpiece game. While I wouldn’t necessarily say its the best-looking game on the PS4, its certainly up there. The textures, particularly on Spider-Man’s suits look absolutely amazing, you can clearly see every inch of their material. Swinging down low on the streets as trees and cars pass by in a blur provides an exhilarating rush. New York itself is impressively alive and realized. You get a sense of it being a living, breathing place when you stop to look at the streets. Unlike the Arkham games, which feature mostly empty streets , Spider-Man’s streets are densely crowded with cars and people, and its even possible to interact with citizens to an extent. You’ll hear a wide range of reactions from citizens if you stoop down to street level, from cheering to frustration. Some areas such as Times Square, look absolutely stunning at night. There are plenty of great setpiece moments, including a helicopter chase and a stealthy climb up a massive skyscraper that look spectacular. There were a couple of boss fights with minor framerate issues, but for the most part the game is very solid in terms of performance. Cutscenes look great as well, with excellent facial animation and motion capture that evokes the feeling of watching a Hollywood blockbuster. The game does “cheat” a little bit in its implementation of baked lighting rather than a true day-night cycle. Some missions require specific times of day and weather conditions to happen in, so the game will load up the city in the necessary state, then after the mission is complete, go back to what it was before. This is a very jarring way of doing things, especially when you take time off from Spider-Man’s dark night of the soul to accomplish a frivolous task in the daytime and I’d be curious as to the technical reasons why Insomniac did this, rather than implement a real-time day to night cycle.

    This is an amazingly polished video game and one that many Spider-Man fans will be glad to play. It nails the web-swinging and combat, while providing a solid, if overstuffed Spider-Man story to boot. That being said, its hard not to feel like there were some missed opportunities to evolve the open-world action genre here. Instead, it falls back on the same old tropes I feel like I’ve seen a hundred times before, and is at times quite repetitive. Spider-Man could have used a radioactive dose of originality, but its still offers a fun time in the end.

PlayStation 4 · by krisko6 (813) · 2018

Trivia

Awards

  • The Game Awards
    • 2017 – Most Anticipated Game – Nominated
    • 2018 – Game of the Year – Nominated
    • 2018 – Best Game Direction – Nominated
    • 2018 – Best Narrative – Nominated
    • 2018 – Best Score/Music – Nominated
    • 2018 – Best Audio Design – Nominated
    • 2018 – Best Performance: Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Parker – Nominated
    • 2018 – Best Action/Adventure Game – Nominated
  • TechRaptor
    • 2018 – Best Writing – Nominated
    • 2018 – Game of the Year – 3rd place

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Game added by Rik Hideto.

Additional contributors: Havoc Crow (formerly JudgeDeadd), Kam1Kaz3NL77, firefang9212.

Game added September 7th, 2018. Last modified July 14th, 2023.