Spider-Man is undeniably the most iconic superhero there is, and over the years, there have been several games made about the webslinger. But in 2018, Insomniac Games, partnered with Sony and Marvel, took it to a whole other level with Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4.
Marvel’s Spider-Man follows our beloved hero, voiced by Yuri Lowenthal, through boss fights with iconic villains like Doctor Octopus, Electro, Rhino, Scorpion and a few more that form the Sinister Six roughly three-quarters of the way through the game. As well as other Spider-Man troubles, the game also focuses on the life of Peter Parker through relationship and career issues, eviction, loss and struggling to keep his superhero persona separate from his life as Peter Parker.
This was my first experience with a Spider-Man game, so I cannot compare it to any earlier games. Still, this game vaguely reminded me of Lego Marvel Superheroes. You would have to travel all around the map chasing villains and stopping crime along the way, with cinematics emphasising critical points in the story.
The game’s objective is to put a stop to the villains and criminals terrorising New York City. Still, as you progress through the game the objective evolves with the campaign, as new crime organisations start wreaking havoc. A prison break causes chaos to reign throughout the city, and the Sinister Six forms with plans to unleash a deadly virus that kills thousands, just so that they can ruin Norman Osborn with only Spider-Man to stop them and save the city.
Something the game excels in is its gameplay. With a realistic spider-sense to alert the player of incoming danger and attacks, paired with the vibrations in the controller during swinging and combat sequences, it makes an immersive Spider-Man experience. With an endless array of moves and combos that can be upgraded as the player levels up and progresses through the story, each boss fight is unique and exceptionally thrilling. I can confidently say that Marvel’s Spider-Man has my favourite combat sequences of any game.
Another fantastic thing about the game is the challenges and side quests available during and after the campaign. You can do so much after the campaign that the story only takes up 67% of the game. All these challenges and side quests are unlocked during the story, and a few are even crucial to progressing through the game. There are landmarks to photograph, artifacts from Spider-Man’s earlier years to discover and research stations to study left by Peter’s best friend, Harry Osborn. There are crimes to stop and criminal hideouts to take down along with all these. The enemies come in waves, each stronger than the last until the sixth wave is defeated and the base is shut down. My personal favourite of the side missions is the Taskmaster storyline. Taskmaster is a top tier assassin that targets Spider-Man roughly halfway through the campaign. Once the player has completed the Taskmaster quests, a boss fight with the villain will occur randomly and surprise the player. This boss fight is one that I found exceedingly difficult as Taskmaster will use the player’s own moves against them in a violent fashion.
I was incredibly happy with this game. I had extremely grand expectations of it, and the game well and truly exceeded them. This game has everything: it has an amazing soundtrack, incredible gameplay, too many iconic suits to count, a fantastic story and everything else the player could ever ask for. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be on the edge of your seat constantly, and you’ll enjoy every second of the game!
Marvel’s Spider-Man is one of the greatest games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. It is part of a well-beloved franchise, and its engaging gameplay is worthy of attention. It was nominated for Game of The Year in 2018 as it was incredibly popular when it came out, and the franchise will continue growing with the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home and a sequel to the game coming in 2023. And I cannot wait to see what Insomniac has in store for the sequel. With the trailer released a few months ago, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 looks like it could be even better than the first game.