Is the Marvel Spider-Man Game Worth Playing? | 9Lives
Reading Time: 4 min

Release Date: 7 September 2018

In a PlayStation 4 exclusive, Insomniac Games boldly ventures into the world of one of Marvel’s greatest heroes, Spider-Man. In this open-world adventure, we’re introduced to the ever-genius and ever-broke Peter Parker, living a humble and seemingly uneventful life. That is apart from the foreshadowing newspaper clippings of villains and a hero suit ready to take into battle.

With the return of the original hero suit, not the spiffy new spandex showcased in the promotional material seen earlier this year, Marvel’s Spider-Man completely skips this hero’s origin story as we leap into action. That’s right folks, Uncle Ben doesn’t need to die again!

Receiving a distress call, we take flight towards our first mission to investigate trouble at Fisk Tower as we are introduced to the new flagship web-slinging physics that when mastered, becomes an effortless aerial dance of web-swinging, leaping and wall-running.

Upon reaching Fisk Tower, we’re met with an explosive battle as hired mercenaries are determined to defend their Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, from the NYPD’s best efforts to take him down. It’s up to Spider-Man to make the difference and finally bring an end to Fisk’s villainy.

A fresh style of combat

Bringing a hot fresh cup of bodily harm to evildoers, we’re introduced to the reactive combat system reminiscent of the Batman Arkham series. This elegantly brutal combat system introduces the Spider Sense ability to evade and counter oncoming danger. This allows you to seamlessly stack sequences of complex combination strikes including hand-to-hand combat, a myriad of gadgets and even using objects in your environment. Because some henchmen need a high-five, in the face, with a chair. As if that wasn’t punishing enough, Spider-Man also delivers a pun with every punch.

Marvel’s Spider-Man’s combat system includes the brilliant feature of the Focus Meter, which builds when stacking combination strikes successfully, allowing you to perform beautifully choreographed Finisher Moves that instantly knocks out an enemy. It can also be used to heal Spider-Man after the most brutal battles.

Strategy and side-missions

The game also introduces multiple strategic approaches to completing missions. This gives you the option to go in webs blazing, or to take a more methodical approach by exploring the area and finding the best hiding places to gather information, catch henchmen unaware and stun them without making a sound.

The open-world adventure of Marvel’s Spider-Man truly comes to life when playing its side missions. Explore a gorgeously rebuilt New York City as you complete Taskmaster’s challenges, take down henchmen hideouts, and find backpacks scattered throughout the city containing crafting materials and bonus experience. Although repetitive at times, it’s still a tremendous amount of fun and truly satisfying for all the completionists out there.

Collecting crafting materials and gaining experience ensures tremendous replay value as you’ll be able to upgrade gadgets in the most fun and bizarre ways, reminiscent of the quirky weaponry of Insomniac Games’ massively successful Ratchet & Clank series. Unlock new moves, and unlock the unique power-ups and upgradable modifications each collectible hero suit possesses.

Old and new characters

The world-building of the game succeeds in bringing the rich history of the Spider-Man universe to life through the return of many loved characters, with Wilson Fisk being the first of Spider-Man’s Rogues Gallery. We’re also introduced to Doctor Otto Octavius before his descent into madness in which the persona Doctor Octopus was born. Founder of the Sinister Six, Doctor Octopus is joined by Mister Negative, Electro, Rhino, Scorpion, and Vulture. Together, they form one of the most terrifying teams of supervillains in Marvel history. With the appearance of other loved characters who are sometimes friend, and sometimes foe, like Shocker, Silver Sable, Taskmaster, Black Cat, Norman Osborn, and of course J. Jonah Jameson, the surly editor and proud protestor against Spider-Man’s web-slinging antics.

This time Spider-Man won’t be braving it alone. Yuri Watanabe and the full force of the NYPD joins you in arresting Wilson Fisk and pursuing a myriad of evildoers. Mary Jane joins Peter Parker and work together to uncover sinister plots as their once estranged love for each other is restored. Miles Morales, who fans have been dying to see, takes his first step in becoming a superhero with Peter Parker as his mentor.

Thickening the plot

In Marvel’s Spider-Man the plot focuses not only on Spider-Man, but Peter Parker as well. The storytelling of the man without the mask is sincere and relatable as the themes of friendship, mentorship and love are explored. Peter Parker faces decisions that are every bit as distressing if not more than those his alter ego braves.

The impressive strength of the storytelling is further supported by a brilliant script and the voice talent of Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Parker, known for voicing incredible characters such as Sasuke from Naruto and the prince from the Prince of Persia series. Laura Bailey stars as Mary Jane Watson, known for her impressive career of voicing characters in video games and Anime with characters like Maka from Soul Eater and Chun-Li from Street Fighter. Nadji Jeter stars as Miles Morales, known for his appearances in hit television shows such as Castle and films such as Grown Ups.

Insomniac Games delivers in giving you the chance to truly feel like Spider-Man in this open-world adventure, soaring through the skies of New York City, defeating henchmen and villains alike, and forging the bonds as Peter Parker that defines the hero we have all come to love, our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.

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