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Spider-Man – Game Review

by Ace Damon
Spider-Man - Game Review

We have a review of the new Spider-Man game created by Marvel and Insomniac Games.

Presenting a new universe telling the story of Peter Parker, there is no story about uncle Ben’s death tragedy and the origin story of Spider-Man, this game’s storytelling is good with 3 different perspectives, Peter Parker, Mary Jane, and Miles Morales.

This is an open world game with tower system in every district, unlocking the towers will open all the activities in the districts, such as main mission side mission challenges from the taskmaster looking for Peter’s bag research station mission, and some puzzles in the lab, landmark photography, base takedown/hideouts, stopping criminal activity, black cat’s challenge and you can also take pictures of secret landmarks from those activities.

You will get tokens to craft costumes mod and gadget upgrades.

Combat feels fluid with skill and finisher moves, you can also use gadgets, use surrounding items and you can even do stealth in this game. Gadget is one of the core element in the combat mechanics there are some gadgets that you can use: web shooter impact, web spider drone, electric web, web bomb, trip mines, concussive blast, suspension matrix one thing that I don’t really like is the QTE (quick time event), it feels like countering the cinematics scene because I think the cinematic scenes should be more enjoyable without too many QTEs.

Other than gadgets, suits are also an important thing that affects your combat because it is not only about appearance, but they also have different powers. There are about 28 suits available,  suits will be unlocked when you reach a certain level, after being unlocked, you have to craft the suits with tokens but there are also some suits that will be unlocked with certain progress.

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You can attach 3 mods in suits that will affect your playstyle, every activity that you cleared, you will get exp to level up and everytime you level up you will get skill points to upgrade.

There are 3 skills categories, innovator, defender, and web-slinger in this game, the traversal, and web swinging system is very good and fluid much better than the previous games other than just swinging you can also do webzip, charge jump, wall run, you can also do air tricks but the crawling feels so slow and buggy.

If you are bored of swinging in the city, you can also move with fast travel, Spider-Man will travel on the subway as the loading screen, with several scene variations the open world gives you many contents, but they are quite repetitive and boring.

After playing for a while it feels kinda forced to craft suits, mods, and gadgets all activity and side mission is playable even after finishing the main story there are also some easter eggs in this game in form of landmarks, such as Avengers tower, sanctum sanctorum, Lockjaw statue, and other landmarks.

Spider-Man - Game Review

You will fight against some villain characters as bosses in the story, the boss fight mechanics is too simplistic like dodging, throwing things, and then hit or dodging, web shots, and hit it makes the boss fights feel repetitive and the bosses moves don’t change during the fights. This is quite unfortunate, in a game like this, a boss fight should be a fun challenge for the players.

Yes, this is the best Spider-Man game ever made. There’s the obvious stuff, like beautiful graphics, pitch-perfect web swinging, tense combat, fun side missions, all coming together to make the perfect Spider-Man experience. But it’s not just the gameplay that makes this the perfect Spider-Man experience. While that helps, to me the real reason why this is the best Spider-Man game ever made is that of how it handles Peter Parker.

Spoilers from here on out. Perhaps more than any other comic book superhero, the life of Spider-Man is so intertwined with that of his alter-ego, that to tell a story focusing on one life and not the other feels disingenuous to the character.

I’m not saying it can’t be done. There have been countless stories that are just about Spider-Man doing Spider-Man things and even some stories about Peter Parker doing Peter Parker things. But, ultimately, no matter what, everything Spider-Man does directly affect Peter Parker and vice-versa. This is different from, let’s say, Superman, who never really gets his alter-ego in trouble. At worst, Clark Kent will just duck out of work early to go do Superman stuff, no harm no foul.

If Spider-Man did that, there would be hell to pay. Countless stories have been told of Peter Parker’s personal life being directly affected in the negative because of something he did as Spider-Man. And on the flip-side of that, we see how Peter Parker’s life affects how he acts as Spider-Man. Sometimes he acts more cautious, sometimes he just straight up quits before realizing that’s easier said than done. In previous Spider-Man games, Spider-Man had always been the main focus rather than Peter Parker. I mean, this just makes sense. He’s the one with the outlandish costumes and the great big adventures. And for the most part, that’s fine.

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A lot of these games were fun to play with good to great web swinging and visceral combat. But Peter Parker was never the main focus. If he did appear, it was usually just in cutscenes setting up the next scenario for the player to encounter. Now to be fair, there aren’t really that many superhero games that let you play as the secret identity.

There was a Hulk game in 2003 that let you play as Bruce Banner during some half-baked stealth missions and Telltale’s Batman series is famous for folks just as much on Bruce Wayne as they do on Batman, maybe even more so on Bruce Wayne. But we’ll get back to the TellTale games in a minute. But when it comes to Spider-Man, his secret identity is so important, so integral to the overall mythology, that does not include it, or to downplay it in any way lessens the experience overall.

But Spider-Man 2018 is all about the relationship between Spider-Man and Peter Parker and how one directly affects the other. Sure, the game has Peter appear in cutscenes to set up the next mission for the player, but the game goes one step further by having Peter interact with characters like Mary Jane, Aunt May, and Doctor Octavius in full real-style conversations.

Most games don’t really like to show us any more than what’s needed to advance its own story forward. Here, by slowing things down just a little bit, we get a peek into Peter’s life and how his alter-ego is not only affecting him but those around him, those closest to him.

There are scenes of Peter and Mary Jane just hanging out. Sure, they’re talking about important plot details, but they’re filled with all these little touches and great performances that it really makes you feel like you’re experiencing an important part of Spider-Man and Peter Parker’s life.

Spider-Man - Game Review

Also, you get to actually play as Peter Parker in this game. Sure you don’t do anything crazy like swinging from buildings and punch bad guys, but just the fact that you can explore Doc Oc’s lab as Peter or Aunt May’s F.E.A.S.T shelter as Peter and solve simple puzzles and advance the story forward is significant. It shows that this is as much a Peter Parker game as it is a Spider-Man game.

There is also one more thing that makes this game the ultimate Peter Parker slash Spider-Man experience. And I didn’t realize it until I heard one line from one of Doctor Octopus’ audio logs.

This line really hit me because it reminded me of something that often gets overlooked when Spider-Man gets adapted into another media, especially with video games. Peter Parker is a genius, one of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe. In addition to his spider powers, he often has to use his intellect in order to help him fight crime. And this game showcases his intellect by not just having him work with Doctor Octavius at the beginning of the game, but also when it comes to his gear, too.

This is one of the only Spider-Man games, at least one of the only ones that I can think of, to really focus on his gadgets other than his web shooters. His ability to create new technologies to help him really adds a new, interesting dimension to the gameplay. One of the reasons why people were upset with the organic web shooters of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies was because it downplayed his scientific creativity.

He wasn’t able to create the web shooters. It was just given to him. He wasn’t able to show off his abilities. Hell, my only real problem with the MCU Spider-Man was that he didn’t create the suit, somebody else did. He wasn’t able to use his skills to help him be a better Spider-Man. But this game really drives home that fact.

From the opening cutscene, we can see his workbench where he’s fixing up his web shooters, working on his mask, it even looks like he modified his own toaster. The only other games that I can think of that try to do the superhero and alter-ego dichotomy like Spider-Man, are the Telltale Batman games. While I really like those games, I don’t necessarily think they’re the definitive Batman experience.

Or even the definitive Bruce Wayne experience. It’s nice to shine a light on the Bruce Wayne aspect of Batman, but traditionally, the actions of one don’t really affect the actions of the other. It often doesn’t matter what Bruce Wayne or Batman does because, in the end, both aspects of the character want the same thing and they both work towards the same exact goal.

That’s not always true with Peter Parker and Spider-Man. And while this game doesn’t go full Telltale with decision trees and what-not, the story it’s telling and the way it tells its story through gameplay really highlights the Spider-Man, Peter Parker relationship like never before in this medium. And that, friends, is my long-winded way of saying that this is the best Spider-Man game ever made.

Sure, the graphics and the gameplay, whatnot, help, but, again, it’s the story, the Peter Parker, Spider-Man story that really sells it for me. Also, you can give people gun-fingers as you walk down the street.

If I do have one real complaint about this game, I did experience a lot of graphical glitches during some of the more serious cut-scenes, and it really undercut the drama of the story-telling. But other than that, 10 out of 10


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