FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
Story image
Game review: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (PS5)
Fri, 27th Oct 2023

Before Insomniac Games came along, the last Spider-Man game to come out was The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014, released by Activision. Even though The Amazing Spider-Man game in 2012 was pretty decent, the sequel was bad. 

Activision lost the Spider-Man license after this, and Sony acquired the rights and tasked Insomniac Games to make a better game. This decision was a good one because Marvel’s Spider-Man in 2018 became arguably the best Spider-Man game of all time!

Since a sequel was still years away, Insomniac Games released a spin-off in 2020 based on the Miles Morales character. While the game was short, it was still fun, and it showcased how powerful the PS5 console was at launch. 

After five long years, 2023 is here, and we finally see the release of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Unlike the previous games, though, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is only a PS5 exclusive. If you only have a PS4 console, you’ll need to upgrade to play this new game!

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 feels quite special because both Peter Parker and Miles Morales get equal top billing. Both of them are Spider-Man, and the game’s campaign somewhat allows you to take control of each of them equally. 

The plot of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is interesting because there are multiple different stories, all happening around the same time. At the start of the game, Kraven the Hunter is the main big bad guy because he’s been kidnapping other villains and wanting to hunt them down like it’s a survival game. 

Miles Morales, on the other hand, still wants revenge on Martin Li, as this is the person responsible for his father’s untimely death in the previous game. Morales is conflicted because he’s not a killer, but he cannot forgive the man who killed his father. 

Lastly, the alien symbiote also plays a huge part in the latter part of the game. Mary Jane and Miles Morales know there’s an attitude change in Peter Parker whenever he wears the symbiote suit. After that, Venom arrives, although I won’t spoil any details about him and how he appears. 

Before I begin talking about the gameplay, let’s discuss how gorgeous the new game is. Insomniac Games manages to use the full power of the PS5 as Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is easily the best-looking Spider-Man game of all time. Not to mention, the game isn’t just recycling too many assets because a whole new section of New York has been opened up this time around. 

Thanks to the power of the PS5 console, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 features no loading screens whatsoever. Even if you fast-travel to the other side of the city, you don’t have to wait for it to load, as you can start playing instantly. It’s not like Grand Theft Auto V on older consoles, where you had to wait for a moment before you could switch to another playable character. 

In terms of gameplay, there is more than one playable character, like the 2018 video game. Most missions require you to play as either Peter Parker or Miles Morales. There are some Mary Jane missions, too, and she’s not entirely useless because she now comes armed with a stun gun. A surprise playable character is also included, although that’s a spoiler that I won’t ruin for you here. 

What I like most about the gameplay is that Peter Parker and Miles Morales play differently from one another. While they both have spider-sense and web shooters, they also have unique abilities that are specific to that one character. Miles Morales has electricity powers that can shock and damage a whole group of people. 
As for Peter Parker, as normal Spider-Man, he has the iron spider legs that people may have seen Tom Holland use in the MCU movies. Once Peter Parker gets a hold of the symbiote, his attacks get more aggressive, and he’s much more powerful than he is without the black alien suit. Playing as a symbiote suit Spider-Man is probably the best part of the entire game because he’s strong, and his new abilities are really helpful. 

Aside from their own skills, Peter and Miles also have gadgets that can help them during combat. These gadgets can shoot and stun enemies, so you can approach them to knock them out. There are even some gadgets that make use of their web shooters so you can trap bad guys all at once, too. 

It’s not just the combat system that has seen lots of improvements in this sequel, either. Traversing through New York City feels much faster and more satisfying than the previous games, too. Instead of just web-slinging, the two main Spider-Men now have web wings. The web wings help the two fly or glide across the city as if they’re like Superman! Sure, they cannot fly forever, but it feels very fun every time you turn the web wings on. 

The final good thing I want to discuss about Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is that Insomniac Games allows players to earn and try on several different Spider-Man suits. Unlike in fighting games, these new costumes aren’t hidden behind a DLC paywall. Some of the suits you can unlock include Tobey Maguire’s attire, Andrew Garfield’s amazing costumes, and the new Tom Holland suits. Miles Morales has a ton of cool suits as well! 

While I had a ton of fun playing Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, there are some issues that a few players might not like about it. One thing that might disappoint some players is that the main campaign can be completed in only around 15 hours. This is around the same length as the first one. If you want to 100% the game, this will take you a further 25 or 30 hours to complete.

Another thing that felt a bit repetitive was some of the boss fights. While the boss fights with Kraven the Hunter and Venom are epic in scope, the battles against them can feel a bit too long. Many of the bosses in this game have three or four life bars, and it can take a while to finish them. Luckily, you do have checkpoints after each life bar is depleted. I would have struggled if you had to fight them all in one go!

While the game has minor flaws, I still had a ton of fun playing Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. The gameplay is much more fun this time around, thanks to the newer abilities and skills from the symbiote suit. I also loved the story with Peter Parker and his personal connection to the person who eventually became Venom. If you loved the previous Spider-Man games, you should pick this up ASAP if you own a PS5 console. 
Verdict: 10/10