I have no problem stating that Marvel’s Spider-Man is one of, if not, the best version of Spider-Man we’ve gotten. It’s right up there with Spider-Man 2, Homecoming, and even the original animated show. Insomniac really, really, outdid themselves on this project. Since the first impressions article, I have completed the storyline and boy oh boy, what a journey that was. For the sake of my opinions and experiences, this review will be spoiler heavy, so if you haven’t completed the story, LEAVE NOW!
The idea of this Spider-Man was to simply create a version of one of the most well-known characters in the world, and give a complete fresh spin on him. What I love about this is that they did execute a perfect new Spider-Man, but at the same time, it’s still the Spider-Man we’re so familiar with. He is just a hero at the core, as Peter and as the web slinger. The best example of this will come later in the review. Let’s dive into this now!
I can’t emphasize how much I love swinging around in this game. Once you really get the hang of the controls, it becomes the most satisfying traversal I’ve ever seen. Let’s not forget about the AMAZING score by John Paesano that kicks in when you’re hopping from building to building. Before you know it, you’re completely lost in the game and almost feel as if you’re watching a film. It’s pretty wild what they were able to achieve. Whether you’re doing air tricks, or simply just listening to the thwip of a web, Marvel’s Spider-Man aced the web traversal. The easter eggs placed throughout as landmarks are super cool too! There’s landmarks ranging from the Wakanda Embassy, to Alias Investigations, to Avengers Tower! They kept the universe intact while still focusing only on Spidey.
Another super cool aspect to the game is how cinematic the whole thing looks. With beautiful sunsets, rainy nights, bright lights, they brought New York to life. Oh, and photo mode? Coolest addition ever.
The combat holds up pretty well too. It does get repetitive at times, but that doesn’t stop you from wanting to take down every enemy you see. It’s mesmerizing, and the suit powers are a great addition. They bring a new aspect to combat gameplay and keep it interesting.
What I really want to talk about is the story. This story is the best iteration of a Spidey story that I’ve ever seen. A few words to describe it? Intense, cathartic, exhilarating, and heartbreaking. The relationship between Pete, MJ, Aunt May, Miles, and Otto will have you so hooked you won’t stop playing. You get to play as not only Spidey, but also Peter, MJ and Miles! Each with a unique perspective. Peter being the greatest guy in the world, MJ being the most driven reporter as well as Spider-Man’s greatest partner, and Miles, the kid who looks up to Peter and Spider-Man.
The stories all come full circle which is so satisfying to watch. You get to witness the slow degradation of Otto as he slowly turns into the evil genius that Doc Ock is. He starts off your mentor, and ends up being you greatest foe, and what a fight that is. A perfect blend of gameplay and cut-scene. I found myself not even wanting to play it at times because seeing it was enough for me. You come to find out that Doc Ock is the mastermind behind the whole Sinister Six. With him unleashing a nerve agent in New York, it’s up to Spider-Man and his gang to stop what could be the end of New York. As you stop most of the Sinister Six in groups, the two you fight one on one are Martin Li, and of course Doc Ock.
In the end, you defeat all of them, but not with extreme consequences. This is where the heartbreak set in. I defeated Ock thinking I was about to witness a regroup of all my friends and everything would continue on happily ever after. NOPE. Instead, one you get the cure for the nerve agent, or Devil’s Breath, you go back to FEAST to hopefully save your sick aunt and everyone else that have fallen victim to the poison. This is when I knew things were going to get rocky cause now Peter was faced with saving just his aunt, or waiting so they can mass produce an anti-venom. Being the hero he is, he knew the choice he had to make. This is when you see May ask him to take his mask off, as she’s known he’s been Spider-Man for awhile. Peter proceeds to sit there and watch his aunt die on the hospital bed. I was shook to the core. The crying, the cinematography, I forgot I was playing a video game.
Let’s not forget about the crazy post-credit scenes. The first one, you see Miles and Pete moving Pete into a new apartment. Miles then talks about how his body is changing and he can’t talk to his mom about it, with Peter thinking it’s a puberty talk! Next thing you know, Miles is on the ceiling where Peter then joins him. Spider-Men!! It was so cool to see. After another set of credits, you catch Norman talking to a huge tank where you then see his son Harry. In the story, Harry has gone for treatment to try and cure him of his nerve degenerating illness. What you see on him closely resembles symbiote! I smell a pretty crazy sequel coming within the next few years.
This whole game was full of action, humor, quips, and most of all, heart. You see sides of Peter that couldn’t be captured in movies. You see him at his most vulnerable, and his most powerful. At its core, this is a Peter Parker story before a Spider-Man story. He’s a hero to the core, and the superpowers just let him execute this in more ways. I don’t think they could’ve made this any better and I hope with all my heart that a sequel happens because I know they’ll create another masterpiece.
To give the next game room to be better, Marvel’s Spider-Man gets a 9/10!