Hands-on review: Is Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 the best superhero game of all time?
Spider-Man 2 is often regarded by many to be the best ever Spider-Man video game of all time. It was the first to adopt New York City as an open-world playground and it arguably had the best web slinging physics of all time. While now the crown for best Spidey game ever is debatable again because Insomniac’s Spider-Man PS4 gives Spider-Man 2 a run for its money. The first thing that players will be blown away by is just how excellent and lifelike the graphics look like in this game. You truly have to play this game using a PS4 Pro with an HDR 4K television to fully appreciate how beautiful this game can be. I spent several hours just web-slinging across New York City to marvel at a place I’ve yet to visit in real life. If you are playing the game on a PS4 Pro with a 4KTV, you will also see more details in the many suits that you can unlock for Spider-Man. Small things such as the stitching in his clothing is more visible in 4K compared to a standard HD screen. However, I still tested out this game using my older standard PS4 console and the graphics still look impressive. Sure the buildings don’t look as sharp and the suits aren’t as detailed, but the character models still look eerily lifelike. I thought Horizon: Zero Dawn had realistic facial animation, but Spider-Man’s faces look even more detailed. It’s something you have to see for yourself to truly understand what I mean. As great as the graphics are in Spider-Man, the game also excels when it comes to the gameplay mechanics as well. The game offers combat similar to the Batman Arkham video games, but Insomniac Games put its own flavour to the gameplay to take full advantage of Spider-Man’s unique repertoire of super powers. For example, Spider-Man’s spider sense allows him to alert the player whenever he’s about to be hit from a punch or a bullet. He can also disarm enemies with ease using his web shooters and can stealthily attack bad guys by wall crawling in high places. The combat took me a while to get used to, but once you master fighting it becomes addictive and very satisfying. The only thing I did not like about the combat is the abundance of enemies that like to launch rocket launchers at Spider-Man! This game has tons of guys with rocket launchers and it can be frustrating to play this game on the higher difficulties. I managed to dodge the rocket launchers later on in the game, but they will annoy you a lot when you first encounter them. Outside of combat, web-slinging across New York City is arguably one of the best things you can do in the entire game. Spider-Man is able to move around the city at a fast pace and I rarely used the fast travel option because exploring the city was so much fun. I will say web-slinging in Spider-Man 2 is more realistic because you can shoot more than one web string at a time, but it’s still an enjoyable experience in the new game. To diversify the gameplay in Spider-Man, Insomniac Games also allows you to play as normal Peter Parker in some scenes. As Peter Parker, you have to solve some tricky puzzles. These puzzles aren’t too hard, although they can get difficult as you progress further in the game. That being said, you can choose the option skip the puzzles if they are really giving you a tough time… There are also some forced stealth elements added to the game where you aren’t allowed to be seen by enemies. Again, these elements of the game break the monotony of combat and add some more variation to the single player experience. Some people may not like these parts of the game, but I enjoyed the many different gameplay segments. Some gamers will be happy to know that quick time events (QTEs) are only used sparingly during action sequences and/or boss fights. QTEs don’t play a huge part of the game as they only appear to make some action scenes look more cinematic. I don’t want to spoil too many details about the story, but it’s a unique and original narrative that is sure to put a smile on any Spider-Man fan’s face. The game has many call-backs and references to the comic books and Hollywood movies and it’s cool to spot all of the easter eggs. Speaking of easter eggs, there are over 25 suits for you to collect for Spider-Man to wear. Every suit is unlockable by doing all of the side-quests that are littered around the city. I admire the fact that every suit is playable in the game itself and you’re not forced to pay for the extra suits as DLC. Aside from the main story, there are several side missions that Spider-Man can do as well. This includes taking photos around the city, beating up more criminals, saving citizens from danger and more. While it is cool to do the side missions, sadly you cannot deliver pizza like you can in the Spider-Man 2 video game… If there are any major flaws I can say about Spider-Man, it’s the fact that it does not feel like a huge innovative experience. I’ve played pretty much every Spider-Man video game released since the year 2000 and Spider-Man PS4 plays similarly to the many other games that were set in New York City too. Newcomers are more likely going to have a better time playing Spider-Man PS4 since everything will be new for you. Sure Spider-Man PS4 is much better than The Amazing Spider-Man video games, but I still have a soft spot for Spider-Man 2 which is still the innovator for Spider-Man video games. Overall, Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 continues Sony’s excellent first party lineup for 2018. While Spider-Man PS4 may not be as good as God of War, it’s still a highly enjoyable action adventure game with cinematic action sequences and fun gameplay. Spider-Man 2 is still the best Spider-Man game ever released, but Spider-Man PS4 is a close runner-up. Verdict: 8.5/10