Video Game Review: Marvel’s Spider-Man
September 13, 2018
Spider-Man on the PS4 is the new action adventure game from Naughty Dog, the developers of The Last of Us and Uncharted. Naughty Dog excels at creating beautiful environments to explore and wonderful stories to get lost in, and that is exactly what they brought to the Spider-Man franchise. Taking inspiration from the critically acclaimed Spider-Man 2 for PS2, this game improves on everything that Spider-Man 2 did well back in 2004.
The game’s graphics are stunning. Naughty Dog’s model of New York is incredibly lifelike, and the city features lots of real life landmarks like Madison Square Garden, Times Square and the Empire State Building. The city is beautiful to explore, with the citizens of New York City each having their own reaction to seeing their friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man. Some will applaud, some will boo, some ask Spidey to take off his mask and some ask for a selfie.
This game also gives Spider-Man the ability to high-five, fist-bump and finger-gun, which is a perfect addition to his already witty personality.
The game’s plot may as well be its own movie. It’s incredibly entertaining and everything expected of a project involving Spider-Man. This game isn’t an origin story. Peter Parker is already 23, and has been Spider-Man for eight years. He also is an intern under Dr. Otto Octavius, a genius trying to create robotic prosthetics to help the world, rather than his usual reporting job at the Daily Bugle.
Following an entirely new plotline, the game starts the player off by taking down Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of New York. Spidey doesn’t get any rest, however, as Mr. Negative quickly becomes the new antagonist with his plot to kill the mayor. He’s also not alone, as he teams up with Rhino, Electro, Vulture and Scorpion to make even more trouble for Parker.
Mary Jane Watson (now his ex-girlfriend) and Miles Morales join Parker as they all try and protect the city they call home.
This game does an amazing job of letting the player play as Spider-Man. Swinging through the city is quick, responsive and fun. The players aren’t limited to swinging, however, as they can also parkour through the city and run on almost all surfaces, ceilings and walls. A fast travel option is also implemented, but it’s rarely necessary.
Fighting enemies is incredibly entertaining. Throughout the game, you don’t know whether you should defeat the criminals with fisticuffs or try to see all the ridiculous places you can stick the criminals to with your webs.
A level system and skill tree is implemented that lets players choose what kind of Spider-Man they want to be. Every level unlocks skill points, and about every two levels unlocks a new Spider Suit. There are over 25 unique suits to unlock that all come with a special bonus ability that can be changed depending on the suit.
Spider-Man also has a vast array of gadgets like drones, web bombs and anti-gravity devices to help him lock up as many evil-doers as he can.
Completionists can revel that there are hundreds of different types of challenges to complete and items to collect. The casual player can also enjoy this as not only does every item and challenge level the player up, some provide interesting lore and tidbits of information not found anywhere else in the game. Collecting these doesn’t feel like a chore, as they’re evenly spread out in NYC and relatively easy to find.
Spider-Man isn’t perfect since fighting the game’s bosses seems incredibly spaced out. Out of eight battles in this game, one is at the beginning, one is about 5 hours in and the last 6 are an hour before the game ends. Because it takes so long to get to a boss, the main quests of the game start to feel a little pointless and dead-ended. Despite these downfalls, the game is still able to keep momentum due to the fact that it’s just plain fun to play.