Anyone who follows my blog probably knows I don’t often do reviews. The reason being, I feel like everyone does reviews and probably does a better job either because they do them professionally or because they have played every or most games in the franchise and played them to 100% completion or at least near to. However, sometimes I feel like I simply want to write a review, for whatever situation. In this situation it’s because I’ve never actually played a Spider-Man game before this one. I’ve never been too interested in the Spider-Man franchise of movies, TV or games before but in recent years after getting into console gaming and following gaming news, seeing how good Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 looked, I knew I had to at least try it.
I mean, I guess in the past the concept of swinging from building to building as the main means of traversal and beating up bad guys just never did it for me, I was more of a GTA guy or open world action adventure guy. The closest thing I ever played to Spider-Man before was Batman Arkham Asylum, which I also enjoyed but, I guess I didn’t get the hint. That a superhero game done right, is bloody good, even if you’re not too engrossed in the franchise.
Now you’ll have to forgive me as someone who’s not into Spider-Man lore like other people, the last Spider-Man movie I remember watching was the one with Tobie Maguire back in 2002. However you start the game working for Dr Octavius working in his lab working to perfect robotic arms that are controlled by the mind, the game starts with one robotic arm that functions very poorly, but as you progress through the game they begin get better and better. Dr Octavius does most of the work, but Peter helps through little mini-games. I found these mini-games fun, however I can appreciate many wouldn’t one in particular is alot like the game Pipe-Dream or Pipe-Mania which is often used in games to simulate hacking. As someone who has learned some hacking basics at University.. it’s nothing like hacking, but you know, pretty fun anyway. The other mini-game is a little different, and I actually thought it was quite clever.
Further there’s the FEAST story line. FEAST is an organisation run by Martin Li and Aunt May to help the homeless and provide them shelter and food. You often return here to check on Aunt May and when Martin Li turns out to be ‘Not who he says he is’, Peter investigates and finds Martin Li was doing a little bit more than just helping the homeless.
The the romantic story line between Peter and Mary-Jane also, where Peter and Mary-Jane spend the entire game flirting with each other, resulting in well, what you would expect I guess. To the games credit through, the romance between Peter and MJ which I’m aware is present in the Spider-Man movies too, wasn’t at all over the top and I always enjoyed the scenes of them together.
Lastly the main story line of Peter swinging throughout New-York stopping crime working behind the scenes for the police. Escalating into a plot ran by Li and well.. a certain doctor (This was news to me, but I guess most people probably knew this was going to happen) to release a bio-weapon into the city infecting millions of civilians.
Along the way, there are a number of side missions to do and things to collect. All of which I found pretty enjoyable, however there was one where you had to find people in New York based on a photo of the area they are believed to be in. This was enjoyable at first, but repetitive after a while. However I’m not normally one to want to complete all the side missions and collect of the objects etc. But I felt compelled to in this game.
In terms of actual game play, I remember watching people play the game on YouTube, a little concerned I’d find the game play difficult, you know as I’d never played a Spider-Man game before, but the game eases you into it. To be honest, there was a little learning curve for me to master the web swinging, but once I had, it was alot of fun and as fluid as it looked in the trailers.
The fighting mechanics, for me at least, were difficult to master, but they eased you into it and provided you kept using all the abilities in your arsenal on occasion just to get the muscle memory down, it made things much easier when you needed to rely on them later in the game. When you have a solid grasp on the fighting mechanics it becomes a unique fighting experience and alot of fun.
The progression was great too. As you collected or achieved certain things within the game, you unlocked more web and fighting abilities, better suits and better suit abilities. The things you unlocked generally had a very tangible impact on the things you could do in the game. I remember most of the time, when upgrades were available, there were things that I genuinely was excited to upgrade and be able to unlock.
Which brings me to the whole reason I’m writing this review, as someone who’s never played a Spider-Man game before, I could not be happier that I played this one. Honestly I’ve had a bit of a lull in my game playing, by which I mean, it’s been a few months since there’s been a game I just couldn’t put down.. or if I put it down, I’d want to pick it back up in like a few hours. The web slinging and fighting mechanics were enjoyable, the graphics were incredible, the story line to me was very interesting, the side missions were enjoyable and felt worthwhile. I really enjoy games that give a sense of freedom, where you can just run around and explore, usually it’s in car or on foot, but for someone who hasn’t played Spider-Man games before swinging around and climbing up buildings I think is my new favorite way to traverse a video game world.
I now feel cravings to play some of the older Spider-Man games, watch the movies and get into the lore of it a bit. Which for me is the sign of a good Single Player game, when I want to explore the lore of it after finishing it.
Rating based on enjoyment. Although I could fault some repetitive aspects of the game, to me repetition doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the game if basically every other element is super fun.
Screenshot I took of Spider-Man in game after unlocking the Vintage suit. I think it looks really cool! and it makes the world look hyper realistic juxtaposed with the cel-shaded style of the suit.