With great power comes great responsibility, and a multitude of tedious tasks. Marvel’s Spider-Man is an open world action adventure game with a few RPG elements, where you step into the suit of everyones favorite web head.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is a brand-new adventure for the web slinger, standing strong against all other media the character has been in. The story takes place with Peter Parker in his early twenties, having a good few years as the friendly neighborhood Spiderman, and it shows through in how you move as Spiderman. The story kicks off right from the beginning with a bombastic battle with it leading into a fight against the King Pin. After that you are allowed your freedom from then on to explore to your hearts content. In my opinion the story keeps a great stead pace and ramps itself up near the end where you have a great deal of boss fights from Spiderman’s rouge gallery, from Rhino to Electro and the more obscure like Tombstone and Mr Negative. In all honesty though Marvel’s Spider-Man offers one of the best stories for the super hero, outdoing the movies quite easily in my opinion and captures the characters quite expertly. All the characters in this game feel great, most with motives that are easy to understand where they are coming from and just makes them more relatable. One thing I do have to give applause to is the acting, at one point it really pulled at my emotions in ways I was not expecting, and Spiderman’s quippy nature was nailed on the head.
There are side quests and multiple objectives that you can do outside the main story and they are a bit of a mixed bag overall. You have interesting quests on the side through challenges from Taskmaster which can vary from following a drone that drops spheres that you need to swing through too taking out a bunch of thugs silently and quickly. There are scores for these challenges to achieve and make them much more appealing to do. You also have quests from Harry Osborn to keep the city fresh and clean, with each of his missions being different from each other and makes it stand out amongst the other side quests. Then you have the random crimes that pop up all over the city, raid bases full of foes, tracking down backpacks, photographing landmarks and side missions that while fun to begin with, grow tiresome and repetitive way to quickly and while I was going for 100% completion, I felt myself growing bored of the game while doing so. One thing I have to reprimand is the backpacks littered across the city and the landmarks which are marked on the map, it makes them feel more like a chore then actual collectables that take effort and the sad thing is the did handle it better with hidden photos, where once you get a certain suit modification it will show the vague area of where to take the photo when you are near it on the map. If they had done it that way with the land marks and backpacks, I feel a bigger sense of accomplishment would have come from it.
The gameplay is rock solid all around, however, it excels in one area that is phenomenal and that is the web slinging. The sense of movement and mobility is fascinating and there is a handful of different ways to traverse through the city that becomes your playground. From web zipping to normal swinging and launching yourself of a building, it gives a cathartic feeling that is rare in games, never did I want to use fast travel as the pure enjoyment I took from swinging around the city was too much to pass up and is easily one of the standout features the game has to offer, it truly makes you feel like Spider-Man. Also, parkouring is an easy on button solution and works effectively, if at sometimes a bit janky, being able to run up walls gives incredible momentum and allows you to always keep at an enthralling speed.
Combat in the game is well handled and the inspiration from the Batman Arkham games can be easily seen, being able to mix up combat in the sky and ground is a fantastic feeling with how smooth it can be and you can always trust yourself into combat when enemies are far apart by zipping to them with a web and continuing the combat. Your Spidey sense radiates around your head when you are about to be attacked giving you a chance to dodge out of the way. You then have gadgets which can be used for a multitude of purposes from the basic Web Shooter to the more advance options with gadgets such as Suspension Matrix which causes enemies to float in the air for several seconds to the Trip Mine which can change the way you go about when being stealthy. The gadgets aren’t necessary to use, as at points I complete forgot that they were ready to use, but they are versatile and can get you out of sticky situations and really help when doing the combat challenges.
There is a verity of costumes that you can unlock in the game, each coming with its own ability, either a super move or boost to Spider-Man. From jumping into the air and firing of tons of webs to lock down enemies, to strengthen yourself to do more damage or have extra limbs to fend of enemies. A cool feature is that once you unlock a suit you can use the power off it on any other suit, not restricting you to a costume you don’t like just so you can use that ability. Suit Mods are little affects you can add to yourself, you can have three on altogether and can adjust Spider-Man to allow him to continue a combo even if he has been hit or take less damage from bullets. The focus meter is a clever mechanic, you fill it up by beating up the bad guys and once you do then you have two options, you either heal yourself or you can do an instant takedown move. It creates a great balance as you decide to dwindle down the enemy force or make sure you can heal yourself, it can lead to interesting moments within the game and make you feel like a real superhero when you take the bad guys down in a stylish manner.
You then have the RPG like elements, you gain experience and level up, growing stronger on general along with unlocking skill points which can be used to upgrade Spiderman. From when you dodge at the last moment and shoot out a web to keep the enemy open for attack or distracted for a handful of seconds while you deal with others. To my favorite upgrade that allows you to perform a second instant takedown on normal enemies when they are near to the first enemy you take out.
You have missions outside of being Spider-Man that are a nice break sometimes. From doing puzzles as Peter Parker that are simple to understand and do, but get tricky every now and again. To doing missions where you sneak around as Miles Morales and Mary Jane, which while fine overall really made me want to return to being Spiderman.
The soundtrack is another interesting topic to me, at the very beginning you have this fantastic piece of rock that really gets you pumped as you start swinging for the first time and head towards your first battle encounter, but after that it slips into pure orchestra, which for the most part is great, however there seems to be a sense of repetition on some tunes that lost their appeal as I played through the game, though there are still a few that really stand on their own. I kind of wish that there were a few more bangers like the opener, not only to mix it up but to create a different vibe that would make web slinging more appealing.
There is no denying how drop dead gorgeous this game is to behold with your eyes. The level of detail is quite ridiculous as you will see furnished rooms through windows, the sprawling landscape and the wonderful views you can witness from high up places.
This game has its fair share of problems when it comes to glitches, from enemies I knocked out stealthily hanging from absolutely nothing, to motor bikes just at a standstill in the air, the game having to render scenes as they happened, Spider-Man disappearing when you do a stealth mission as Mary Jane and all sound apart from music just disappearing all together. All these little inconsistences nibble away at the game and take you out of the moment you were experiencing.
Marvel’s Spider-man is a brilliant game in a lot of aspects, however it does have its problems. With tedious Side quests that become a chore apart from two, along with a similar problem with music and a number of glitches within the game, there is much that can be improved upon in updates to the game or for a sequel. However, with a solid combat system that will leave you satisfied, a fantastic story that was thoroughly engaging with a fantastic and emotional finish and the ever so enrapturing freedom that comes with swinging through New York, Marvel’s Spider-Man is a must buy game!
If you’re looking for games similar to Marvel’s Spider-Man I would recommend any game from the Batman Arkham Knight, Infamous Second Son and Gravity Rush 2.
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