- Developer: Insomniac Games
- Publisher: Sony
- Price: ₹3,999 on PlayStation 4
With the successful reboot of Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War, the webbed superhero is on an upswing. While we wait with bated breath on the fate of the movie Spider-Man, we can now fully experience the much-hyped Spider-Man game, that has been teasing and tantalising us with gameplay videos and cinematic trailers for far too long. Now, it’s finally out and we can’t wait to swing right into action.
What’s it about?
Much like Homecoming, Insomniac’s Spider-Man does away with the done-to-death origin story. Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider and we all know what happens next. This game squarely drops you at a point where our webbed hero is busy fighting crime and trying to balance his day job as a researcher. It’s interesting to see how all of the characters have moved on, as the game lets you explore life as the titular superhero, as well as the person behind the mask, Peter Parker.
The story of Spider-Man is long and it never stops throwing you curveballs as well as helicopters, bullets and all sorts of supervillains. Just when you think things have gotten heated up for our web slinger, another player enters the fray. The writers have packed in so much of fun for fans of the comic and characters, that there is an incredible amount of content for you to discover. Some of which also connects to the rest of the Spider-Verse that Marvel and Sony have been cooking up. The best part of Spider-Man is swinging through the skyscraper-filled open world, with a new villain to fight and a host of familiar foes making a comeback.
How does it play?
It will take you some time to get used to Spider-Man’s slight learning curve, and it will take at least an hour into the game for things to get interesting. When they do, they get better incrementally with each level up. The fluid combat system is reminiscent of Batman’s Arkham series, but with Spider-Man it gets very physics-based. Especially the air combat, as you launch enemies in the air and use your webs to pull them into your punches.
Swinging around Manhattan is where Spider-Man shines the most. The web-swinging mechanics take time to get used to, but once you do, in no time you’ll move from a swing to a point launch that propels you in a burst of speed into a full-blown run to the top of another building. The feeling sends spikes of adrenaline through you like no other game.
Where things get shaken up is when Peter Parker enters the stage, allowing for a slower pace of gameplay, but focusing a lot on solving puzzles, as a tech and scientific genius. While these sequences may drag a bit in the initial moments, they are a fun diversion and almost always mean some big important story exposition is about to take place.
It also helps that Spider-Man is an incredible-looking game. Rather than a persistent day-and-night cycle, the time of day is determined by the narrative. Manhattan at sunset and at night in the game looks incredibly gorgeous, as the PlayStation 4 flawlessly renders in perfect detail, from the skyscraper level to the road. You can even peer through each window to see into homes. The roads are alive and teeming with people, and if you so happen to stride down the street, they react to you being there.
There is so much to do in Spider-Man, and thankfully, all of it is tied to progression systems. The best is unlocking new spider-suits from across the Spider-Verse, each with its own abilities. There are even the movie suits, including the iconic Iron Spider from Avengers: Infinity War. At no point do the side missions get grating or annoying, with just the right amount of rinse-and-repeat to let you enjoy just swinging around the city. Cutscenes are blockbuster quality, with timed control sequences making you feel like the spider.
Should you get it?
If you own a PlayStation 4, this is one game that you cannot afford to miss out on. Spider-Man is a very strong contender for Game Of The Year 2018, and its massive, beautiful open world and fun web-swinging mechanics put Spider-Man squarely back on top of the superhero food chain.
The writer is a tech and gaming enthusiast who hopes to one day finish his sci-fi novel