Ever since I was young Spider-Man has been a staple favourite of mine amongst superheroes. His costume, his web-slinging and corny ass quips are all pleasing to me, but, at the root of my admiration for the character is his relatability and sense of responsibility. Peter Parker is the sympathetic everyman, and whilst his alter-ego Spider-Man is a power fantasy, he is a person with the power to make a difference trying do the right thing in imitation of heroes that he himself looks up to. Spider-Man PS4 allows us, the player, to tap a little into this duality as it presents the most cohesive Spider-Man experience to date.
Spider-Man PS4 adheres to a well-known notion amongst fans about the best Spider-Man stories being those in which the worlds of Peter Parker and Spider-Man collide. Developers Insomniac have embedded this deeply in the overall game, Spider-Man is front and centre in the experience with Peter Parker not being far behind, Spider-Man brings his iconic rogues gallery with Peter Parker bringing the people he loves and that matter to him. The game story excels at its narrative in where Spider-Man and Peter’s lives intermingle and are woven together to tell a compelling and engaging story developing both characters.
Thou Spider-Man PS4 places the perspective and experience of Spider-Man and Peter Parker as priority, the game does take the opportunity to put characters Mary Jane (MJ) and Miles Morales in the players control, these sections not only expand on the inter-personal relationships Spider-Man and Peter share with these characters but how these relationships are growing and the direction they are heading, they are further evidence of Peter’s worlds colliding and also an indication of how high the narrative stakes are for their assistance to be required. The story of Spider-Man PS4 is a high point of the game and will mostly like generate interesting and passionate discussion amongst fans.
The gameplay of Spider-Man PS4 presents the most exciting, entertaining and authentic take on Spider-Man. Taking place in an open-world New York City developers Insomniac have payed great attention to detail, the game takes great care to emulate the hustle and bustle of the renowned metropolitan and truly make it feel lived in and alive. The city and its citizens truly react to Spider-Man’s exploits, and the violence of criminals who appear, praising and criticising him alike. Traversal of the metropolis via Spider-Man’s iconic web-slinging is implemented masterfully and is a pure joy to control. Web-slinging feels light yet filled with momentum, Spider-Man can build serious speed and quick-turn with ease, future abilities allow Spider-Man to bounce off rooftops and maintain the velocity in his web-slinging. There is also the option to zipline with webs to swiftly reach high points and zip to ceilings and hang upside down just like in the comics. As Spider-Man there is a range of crimes for the web-slinger to deal with from car-jackings, drug busts and missing people with diverse ways in which to encounter these felonies. Side missions are also present and contribute to the ‘friendly neighbourhood’ residency of Spider-Man in New York, there are also challenge missions which test skills ranging from bomb disposal to stealth infiltration.
Spider-Man’s combat is a crowning part of the game making Spider-Man feel agile and lithe while striking with powerful blows, his spider senses allow him to dodge and avoid danger and he can even extend his ground combat to the air by pulling enemies to him, Spider-Man is also able to use the environment to his advantage from throwing items with his webs to collapsing scaffolding on enemies. Combat for Spider-Man also makes use of his gadgets which are varied and distinct from his classic web-shooters to anti-gravity devices, and over the course of fighting Spider-Man’s actions build a meter that allow him to unleash a special power from webbing all enemies in the vicinity to concussive blows. Stealth is also a viable approach in handling enemies with the choice of loud or silent instantaneous takedowns. Spider-Man earns experience used to level him up and earn skills points which can be used to purchase more abilities, passive skills and techniques. There is also a detective mode that highlights things of interest or usefulness in the game world.
As stated earlier Peter Parker is vital to the experience of duality between him and Spider-Man, and sections with him are limited to his role as a scientist with Dr Otto Octavious and volunteer at the homeless shelter, F.E.A.S.T, owned by Martin Li where Aunt May also plays a role too. Playing as Peter is very wholesome depending where he is players have an opportunity to learn more about the in-universe lore or where he in his Life. It makes Peter and Spider-Man feel like very developed characters. Whilst he lacks the action and excitement of his alter-ego Peter can engage in some mini-games to gain more experience towards the growth of his superhero counterpart.
Graphically Spider-Man PS4 is a very good-looking game with bright colours and good lighting throughout, Spider-Man’s latest costume is a departure from the classic look but is still pleasing to look at should players desire a change the game does give the option to change costumes anytime on the fly, these costumes each come with their own unique powers and abilities for combat. The rest of the cast have great looks too from Aunt May to Miles (thou he could have used a hair cut), Spider-Man’s rogues all look great with interesting takes on their designs from the comics. Scorpion and Dr Octopus are my favourites. The game music is serviceable but feels forgettable, there aren’t any themes that leave a memorable impression, but the music does well to fit the tone and setting of a Spider-Man game.
Spider-Man PS4 is the game that fans of the wall crawler have been waiting for since Spider-Man 2 the tie-in game to the film of the same name, Spider-Man PS4 is arguably a love note to that iteration, the game excels at making the player feel like Spider-Man and the staple hero of New York that he is. Spider-Man PS4 is a powerful experience of Spider-Man and done so responsibly.
Spiderman on ps4 is available now!