As far as anticipated games are concerned ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ would have to be top 3 of the year. This title has been sold to gamers as one of the most interactive, thrilling and innovative superhero video games ever – and I’m here to verify that sales pitch. Before anything else though it’s only fair to warn you early that this game is a Playstation 4 exclusive, you can’t get it for Xbox or PC.
Developed by Insomniac Games, published by Sony Interactive Entertainment and naturally a product of Marvel Games, this game is breaching new territory for the superhero genre… they’ve gone open world. You can quite literally explore the entire city of New York, launching yourself between the skyscrapers, running through Central Park and just generally interacting in the streets. The map design is utterly insane. As I did, you’ll find yourself looking through windows just starting at a lounge room, shop front or any of the other incredibly detailed open world entities that have been included in this game.
I’m staying far away from storyline in this review because there aren’t many things I hate more than spoilers, but I will let you know (if you don’t already) that this game doesn’t follow any existing movie/comic plotline and uses the Peter Parker version of Spidey. My personal criticisms of superhero video games is how cinematic they are. That sounds stupid at face value, but if I buy a video game I want to actually take part in the good stuff as opposed to watch my character make it happen during cutscenes. Marvel’s Spider-Man combats this trope with some relatively interactive scenes that allow for action that can’t be experienced in real-time.
As I said with an open world map of New York, exploring is an enormous part of this game. And as per being the motherloving Spider-Man your primary method of exploration is swinging – building to building style. It is clinically insane. I can’t exaggerate this highly enough, the freedom and (artificial) adrenaline from swinging through the city is absolutely wild.
A vital aspect of creating an open-world game is giving the player a reason to explore it. It’s all well and good to map out New York city, but if there’s no reason to traverse the landscape other than to see the sights, why bother? Insomniac did an exceptional job here as the many tokens (that unlock gadgets and suits) as well as the packs you pick up along your way really give off the sense of achievement. Not to mention you can also come across small job/missions while simply off exploring.
The combat system is on par with other superhero games, where you’ll often find yourself up against a squad of goons that rather predictably attack you – while you swing around using a combination of web bombs and fists to properly handle the situation. One thing to note however is that there is no ‘lock-on’ mechanism for targeting specific opponents which makes things a little more difficult but nonetheless adds to challenge of the game. It forces you to really engage in the interaction and be smart about each of your moves.
This game has already picked up an award Gamescom 2018 for Best Console Game on PS4 which is saying something both about how heavily anticipated it is, and the type of experience it will be for the player.
Marvel’s Spider-Man will be hitting stores and digital downloads this Friday, September 7th and I HIGHLY recommend that if you don’t buy this game, at the very least give it a demo run, you’ll be sure to enjoy yourself. On release you’ll also be able to pick up the beautiful Spider-Man edition PS4 that we announced here at EFTM a while back.