I finished this game this weekend and I have nowhere else to put my thoughts. Hello long-unused blog!
Spider-Man is the first game I’ve played to completion on my PS5. I don’t have a ton of modern Spider-Man game experience to begin with. I own a copy of Spider-Man 2 for Xbox and I’ve never played it. Wisely, this game takes a whole book out of the Batman: Arkham series. This game is a lot of that game, plus web swinging.
That was a good idea, as Batman: Arkham is awesome, and so this game is awesome. I’m punching, I’m kicking, I’m webbing bad guys to walls, I’m throwing stuff at them, I’m dodging. It’s great. The other feature, web swinging, is also a lot of fun. Long distance movement in games can be pretty tedious but swinging from buildings across the city is effortless and rewarding. The game also promotes not using fast-travel by making some activities only visible if you’re near them. It’s smart, and it works. I rarely used the fast travel unless I was going all the way across the map and didn’t have any intention on doing any side activities.
This game also has the narrative chops to hang with the Batman: Arkham series. I don’t know which version of Spider-Man this is based on, except that it’s not the movie Spider-Man, but it works well. Spidey’s not an old man but he’s out of college. Most of the big villains are known and locked up. It introduces a new villain who carries most of the plot. It’s got an emotional end.
What I really want to praise in this game is how it layers on activities. This is an open world game. At the start, the map is populated with activities. As I progressed through the story missions, it added more activities to the map. I’m not a completionist, but I do like to put off doing consecutive story missions but doing side activities. I found that by the time I’d completed a series of side activities, the story was adding new ones to the map. I loved it because it gave me more to do without overwhelming the map with icons from the start, and the game was ramping up the difficulty of activities as I was learning how to play it.
Overall, I was extremely impressed by Marvel’s Spider-Man. It may be a reskin of a different comic book game, but it’s very well done.