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The Web-Head is back with a vengeance!

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    Marvel’s Spider-Man

    Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding

    The Web-Head is back with a vengeance!

    Spider-Man games, and a lot of super hero games in general, tend to be hit or miss. Obvious hits would include the Batman Arkham Knight series, while the last decent Spider-Man game I can remember was for the PS2. It can be hard to convey the feeling of being a super powered being into a video game format (looking at you superman) that doesn’t involve 1v1 fighting like Marvel vs. Capcom or the Injustice series. Insomniac, the developers behind the most recent iteration of Spider-Man for the PS4, has done a REMARKABLE job with this game, making you feel like the web head as you swing thru Manhattan, fight street hoods, and take on a rogues gallery of colorful villains. With the introduction out of the way, on to the review!

    Sound: 9/10

    The music for this game is fantastic! Its subdued a little while you’re walking around on the street, but once you start web zipping around the city the tempo picks up and the music changes to a more "heroic" score. The voice acting is also pretty dang good. Spider-Mans VA is so spot on that I wasn’t even surprised when I heard him for the first time. This is exactly how I envisioned Spider-Man AND Peter Parker to sound. The quips during some of the fights forced me to pause the game so I could laugh out loud without fear of being beaten to a pulp by an angry mob of street toughs. The dialogue as you’re walking the streets and someone shouts an insult your way, or gushes about how you are their kids favorite hero just adds to the atmosphere and was really well done. The Foley work was also well done; I couldn’t get over the fact at how cool your web shooters sounded when you were either web swinging or wrapping up an enemy. It actually sounded like a sticky chemical being squeezed out of a pressurized tube… hard to describe, I know, but it was the little things in the sound design that really made the game even more enjoyable.

    Graphics: 9/10

    The graphics in this game are some of the best that I have seen for the PS4. Everything is crisp and clear when you’re perched on a rooftop, but your vision will blur at the sides a bit as you swing thru Manhattan at breakneck speeds. The suits, for the most part, look amazing and are really well designed. I did notice some minor clipping issues while using "photo mode", but nothing that hurts the visual aspect of the game overall. I was also impressed by how much some of the voice actors actually looked like their in-game characters, Aunt May in particular. The shading and other visual effects, such as rain etc., were also well done and contributed heavily to the atmosphere of the game along with the terrific sound design.

    Gameplay: 8/10

    The only reason I scored the gameplay an 8 was because some of the side missions got a bit tedious and repetitive as you went along. For the most part, I felt like Spider-Man. The fighting sequences, I felt, were tighter than the batman Arkham series. You don’t necessarily cancel an animation if you press dodge in the middle of a punch, and I think that this is an improvement; it keeps you from button-mashing your way thru the game. It really makes me feel like I’m Spider-Man as I punch, dodge, and quip my way thru a fight. You also have spider themed gadgets to compliment your fighting style, and some of the suits you can use also have an ability designed into them that can be used with other suits. For instance, I can use the suit ability on the first suit I unlock with the last suit that I unlock. There are also different "perks" you can assign to the suit to increase your effectiveness such as using web gadgets will increase your focus (your ability to use a finishing move), or doing more damage for a few seconds after executing a perfect dodge. You also level up during the game by completing main missions, side missions, challenges etc. and you can put the level up points that you get into 3 skill trees, a nice RPG touch.

    Speaking of leveling up, you also "unlock" various suits at different levels. I put quotes around unlock because the suits only become available to wear once you buy them with various tokens that are awarded for doing the side challenge missions; IE clearing out an enemy base will reward you with "Base tokens" while helping your friend Harry Osbourne with some science related missions will reward you with "research tokens" Each suit requires "x" amount of tokens to be usable. That said, some of the non fighting side missions got tiresome and repetitive. Also, I’m not a fan of about half the suits. There’s about 15-20 that can be unlocked, some by leveling up, others by meeting certain criteria, but I really never felt interested in half of them. I’m sure some of the more studious readers of the comics (I stopped reading in the early 90’s) will recognize some of them, but I felt they looked meh.

    The web swinging in this game has to be the highlight for me. I cannot convey the feeling I have as I’m web swinging thru times square, or the Village. It feels amazing. I want missions to be on the other side of the map so I can just web swing my way there and have a blast doing it.

    The regular side missions (not the token missions), I thought were pretty well done, but the main storyline is fan-freaking-tastic! it might drag on a bit in the second act, but trust me, it DOES get ALOT better. I can go on for hours about the little things in the gameplay, but time presses!

    Controls: 7/10

    For the most part, the controls when you’re swinging or fighting feel really good. The only problem I have is when you are wall running or wall crawling and hit a ledge. For some reason, Spidey just doesn’t want to climb up over a ledge. The wall running gets frustrating when I’m trying to hurry my way up a building, and I’m suddenly running sideways? I try to jump off the building to try again, but the jump button is also mapped to the zip line button, so I’m suddenly zipping to a whole nother building. It gets frustrating when you’re in a rush.

    Replay ability: 8/10

    After beating the game, I started a fresh one just so I could experience every awesome moment again! Even the tedious token missions…

    Overall: 9/10

    The web swinging, fighting, atmosphere, characters, and the main story MORE than make up for the ,sometimes, janky controls and sometimes repetitive token missions. I really think Insomniac hit it out of the park with this game and I can’t wait for the DLC. This is definitely a BUY!

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