It’s rare that a game is a day-one purchase for each of us here at TSG, yet Spider-Man is one of those thrilling occasions. We can’t stop thinking and talking about the game…so we’ve decided to talk about it some more! Whether it’s taking in the New York landscape, investing ourselves in characters, or following the roller coaster ride of a story, this game has thoroughly exceeded our expectations. Insomniac crafted an experience that gives you everything you could want out of a Spider-Man game. In light of this, we decided to share the things that truly elevate this game to a special tier when considering:
The most surprising and enjoyable part of this game for me is how much they nailed Peter Parker’s character. I realize that many may find the science mini-games to be somewhat tedious and distracting from the thrilling web-slinging, but I love them because they deepen my connection to the man behind the mask. Regardless of how traditionally “fun” they are, giving players something to do as Peter while simultaneously conveying this important part of his character goes a long way to immerse me in the world. The rest of the game is so fast paced. The moments when you have to slow down and do mundane things like talk to people, or fix a malfunctioning circuit, feel special by allowing the story to breathe. This provides a contrast with the climactic superhero moments, making them feel even more powerful and epic.
I have been very pleasantly surprised by the detail of New York in this game. The city is not as “alive” or interactive as one of Rockstar’s GTA cities, but for a world you spend much of your time zooming through hundreds of feet in the air, the amount of detail and care on display from rooftop to gutter is consistently breathtaking. There’s no reason to expect squirrels scurrying among the trees in Central Park, yet there they go. There’s no need for a 3D, modeled room to hide behind nearly every window in the game, but there is. No matter where you take Spider-Man in the game, the world feels tangible and vibrant, and even if the beauty is mostly skin deep, it really drives home the idea of New York as a Big Place that is worth protecting.
Spider-Man has an incredibly engaging and heartfelt story. They didn’t just nail Peter’s character, they did every character in the game justice. Whether hero or villain, I understand each person’s differing motivations and how they play off each other. For instance, MJ wants to be taken seriously as Peter’s crime-fighting partner which clashes against Peter’s natural desire to protect her. Similarly, the villains’ motives are rarely entirely evil. Each mission deepens your understanding of the characters and if this were a Marvel movie or Netflix series, this story would be one of the best.