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"Amazing, Spectacular, and a bunch of other Adjectives"

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    Marvel’s Spider-Man

    Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding

    "Amazing, Spectacular, and a bunch of other Adjectives"

    In today’s entertainment, where superheroes in tights reign supreme, I’ve become accustomed that every time I see the Marvel logo come across the screen to be prepared to be entertained. Spiderman on Ps4 manages to not only achieve this level entertainment, but brings the Marvel brand and the character of Spider- Man to new heights of excellence. This is all done through an amazing open world design, spectacular gameplay in both locomotive traversal and acrobat like combat, and a well-crafted narrative.

    First things first, this is the best open world traversal that I have ever played. Tumbling across rooftops and swinging between buildings leaves you with a feeling of unbridled joy at all times. Every time I opened up my map and marked an objective on the other side of the island, I couldn’t help but smile knowing that I was getting to spend the next few minutes uninterrupted swinging between buildings. The only time I used fast travel during my 25 hours was to get a trophy that was tied to it. Other than that, web swinging feels like a treat that you’re getting to experience every time you move between objectives. The sense of movement is so fluid to the point that looks cinematic. As your squeezing between fire escapes, running off walls and swan diving from ledges all while flinging from web to web in one single run, you can’t help but to feel like for the first time you gaming history you truly are Spider-Man.

    The combat also feeds into the imagination of feeling like everyone’s favorite wall crawler as well. Spider-Man doesn’t feel like a generic martial artist throwing elbows and gut punching. The way he spins and twirls like an acrobat around his enemies feels like a natural way that only Spider-Man would move. You also have a wheel of gadgets to mix into your fighting style that all feel natural to Spiderman’s abilities. Most of the gadgets are web based like an impact web that shoots enemies into a wall, or a web bomb that explodes and wraps up all nearby enemies. There was never a case where I was shooting iron man phasers from my hand that broke immersion. Once I finally found my groove with the combat system I was webbing enemies and throwing head kicks with an extreme since of grace. The controls are so intuitive and feel so natural that eventually I wasn’t even thinking about what I was doing, but still pulling off very diverse moves in a way that left me feeling like a seasoned crime fighter.

    The open world is built with a noticeable sense of love and care. This doesn’t feel like a generic city with name New York, but feels like an inhabited, established place with a history and a bigger picture aspect to it. Having easter eggs, like a menu from Peter and Mary Jane’s first date, sprinkled throughout helped give the city character in a way that left me wanting to explore every nook and cranny I could wall crawl my way into. The city and its inhabitants also help really make you feel like a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Being able to walk among the citizens while giving high-fives and playfully shooting finger guns at everyone makes you feel that much more connected to everyone. It helps show there is already an established relationship between Spidey and the people he saves. There is a bit of disconnect when the occasional rooftop party doesn’t acknowledge your existence. The way missions are littered throughout the city are one of the less than stellar points of the game. While I wouldn’t exactly label the mission designs as disappointing, they do feel a little uninspired and didn’t exactly do anything noteworthy. There are your run of mill ¡°hack the towers to open up the map¡±, find enemy bases and defeat all the enemies inside. Help your pal Harry Osborn by keeping his many research stations up and running by completing simple objectives like catching pigeons or connecting satellites. While these missions aren’t original in any sort of interesting way, they were never boring to play thanks to incredibly intuitive combat and traversal.

    The story is a particular highpoint for the game. Coming from someone who has spent plenty of time reading comics in general I was pretty up to date on all Spiderman lore. However, Insomniac still managed to find ways to mix up characters relationships and origins to help keep me on my toes. These character relationships are also brought to new heights through the exceptional voice cast. Yuri Lowenthal’s performance as Peter/Spiderman was so good that I now mentally associate the character with his voice. Any time I pick up a comic and read I will probably hear his voice from now on. This is because he managed to bring together the most human parts of Peter and the more spectacular comedic points of Spiderman together. I really felt for Peter as a character throughout his journey, and I have never wanted to like a character so much for just being a good person. I did find the big overarching plot a little predictable in certain aspect. I basically felt like I knew how the game would probably end about half way through, but that didn’t hardly detract from my enjoyment of the story.

    Spiderman is a character that is not new to videogames at all. He has had many portrayals in the medium some good and some bad. However, Insomniacs freshman outing with the character has already blown all previous entries out of the water. Spiderman gives us what my opinion is the best feeling traversal in any game, fun, intuitive, acrobatic combat that makes you feel like a natural born crime fighter, and a story that keeps you engaged from beginning to finish. It fits among the pantheon of PlayStation exclusives perfectly, and is a must buy for anyone who enjoys fun open world games, or is just a fan of your friendly neighborhood Spiderman.

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