The 2018 hit video game developed by Insomniac and published by overlord Sony
The game starts out with a beautiful cutscene in Peter’s apartment filled with minor details that you may not have noticed at first glance the way the camera is panning across screen. But most importantly the cutscene showed us, we the player the type of Spider-man we will be playing as this time around:
Yes you guessed it a college graduate struggling to keep his finances together like the majority of us, because he was sold a dream that ultimately for the most part does not exist anymore. This hit so close to home that I almost cut the game off and gave up before the adventure even started. You may ask yourself why would you almost do that over something so remedial in an opening cutscene, well let me tell you. It is because I play video games as a form of escapism, and to my dismay I must state how dare this game reminds me of real-world issues such as the ridiculous wealth disparity distribution that is only getting worse in our modern-day society.
Next Peter jumps out of the window and boom they dropped you into the city doing the one activity that is hands down the most important aspect of a Spider-man video game, which is the feel of web slinging. This singular mechanic of the game is 100% the most important for experiencing the feel of the correct type of immersion as the webslinger. If I could paint a mental picture of the feeling that this gave me, I could only describe as a form of holy enlightenment with the halo 3 main menu theme playing. As you are webbing sling across the city you fight some bad guys along the way to give you a taste of the combat, which in my opinion is just more of the same from the batman arkham series. However this combat system has a feeling that is more natural because Spider-man is a superhuman and not some goth billionaire that magnetizes to nearby enemies but I digress. Along the way you are introduced to some other aspects of the core gameplay loop such as very light puzzles and towers (sigh), and met a few of the main characters such as Fisk, Dr. Oct, Mary Jane, Aunt May, and others.
Now lets talk about the core loop of gameplay you will be experiencing during your foray as Spiderman, this section is probably going to be a major factor in determining in whether you are going to enjoy the majority of the game. The core loop involves Combat, towers, collectables, photo spots, small crimes, hide outs, research spots, and side missions.
First lets talk about the combat, this system is very simple in the beginning but much deeper when delved into, again if you have played the batman series it’s pretty much the same but customized for the web head. The combat has multiple aspects to it that you can utilize to fit the scenario or play style, this includes stealth which takes a while to understand the feel and how the enemy perception works, due to the landscapes you fight in usually having vertical layers. Then there is the brawler’s style which will probably be what you will use most of the time in combat, but this is not due to the other styles being unviable but for the simple fact you probably started in stealth but you alerted the enemies, literally every time, maybe it’s just me. Last is the webslinger style which I used the least because If I’m being honest, I wasn’t fluid enough to make it look cool, and if we as gamers don’t feel cool when playing video games what really is the point to the adventure.
Next is collectibles, and I mean seriously this game could give any Nintendo collection-based game a run for its money, but the worst part of this incredibly large part of the game is this:
No seriously what is this, when I first saw a TOWER that I had to hack I might have let out the loudest, deepest non pleasure based moan in my entire life. You may think I’m overreacting but I beg to differ, you may see a simple tower that opens the landscape you will be traversing but all I saw was a dated fossil that game developers keep using because true creativity involves risk and oh lord you don’t want to jeopardize the bottom line of the company.
Outside main missions to progress the game’s story the main activity that you will be doing involves combat, which includes small crimes of a few varieties (recycled content) and hideouts of the various factions (large scale small crimes). Not much to say on this section because it really is just combat oriented gameplay and a way to gain experience.
Last part of the loop is the side missions and Harry’s research lab spots, this part of the loop is a mixed bag of task that you will be doing to keep Spider-man busy in between main missions. Some of them have small stories with them which I won’t spoil because a few of them are actually good but majority of them are just there to give conversation for Spider-man to speak dialogue. If I had to boil it down to what you will mainly be doing, I would say most of the activities are mobility challenges, which some people may really enjoy because the movement to this game is very fluid for the most part.
The Nitty Gritty
I will start by saying look at this:
You might can’t tell because of the angle due to the fact that Spiderman is literally vertically running up the side of a skyscraper but this game is quite beautiful at times. If I had to compare, it would be when you have been drinking at a bar and you have enough alcohol in your system to not be classified as drunk but you are way past the point of tipsy. The night has been moving at a steady pace since you had your first drink and by this point you are trying not to go any further because you don’t want to get sloppy. Then on your way out of the bar, eyes heavy from the intoxication and probably the lack of sleep that you have been receiving because on a subconscious level you have nothing but distain for your 9-5. Your mind wonders in the mysterious realm of non-dream sleep, realizing you have no point to the way your living your life and how you throw away literal years off the calendar achieving nothing other than just being a number in the system that unfortunately is rigged in a way that you will probably never get to where you are trying to go. You decide to bring the night to an end because your tab is getting to be a bit much so you head for the door to leave. Walking toward the door of the bar you look to your side to see someone that you hadn’t noticed all night. Maybe it’s due to you being drunker than you realize but this person causes time to come to a crawl as your hormones begins to surge causing the person to be much more sexually attractive. You hear last call from the bartender and this sets your mind apace, you drunkenly try to keep yourself together to walk over to them. You come close enough that your slightly blurred vision comes into focus and the light is hitting them at the perfect exposure level. As you take all of this person’s pure beauty in, you forget to breath becoming lightheaded stumbling toward them barely catching yourself before crashing into them. The alcohol has finally set in you are heavly intoxicated to point where even after such an embarrassment of an approach you decide this person has too much raw sexual appeal to let the opportunity pass. That is how good this game look sometimes other times it’s just ok.
That may have taken a turn you weren’t expecting but let’s continue there are a few more points that I would like to hit upon such as:
Osborn was going to shut down Harry’s dead mom’s research stations, why would this even be a thing if it is shown that he loves her.
JJJ is still the best character in the Spiderman universe
Camera is immersive but way too close, this is the real difficulty in the game
Why did they get rid of Osborne’s waves, this guy had the best waves in all of marvel by far, if you stare at them too long you would get seasick, and I never saw him wear a wave cap/durag his stuff is all natural
Game is littered with openworld jank:
Look at that foot…Come on guys do better
My question as with many other superhero games, where are all the other superheroes in the world, like they don’t see this huge city literally burning
MARY JANE as the romance…WHYYYY always MJ.
This game is pretty much a glorified collect everything and do small task kind of game but I still somewhat enjoyed it. The story took awhile to really get to where it was going but the ending is definitely worth it and leaves high expectations for the future. If you have ever played Spiderman web of shadows this game is overall the updated version for the PS4.
Spiderman fan – Must Play
Non Spiderman fan – Enjoyable but not missing anything you couldn’t get from elsewhere.