Insomniac Games has exceeded expectations and I think this may be the most quintessential Spider-Man experience ever made in a video game. Not only do you get the thrill of feeling like a superhero but you also get the surprising amount of emotional weight behind living life as Peter Parker. Insomniac has spared no expense in crafting a fully realised version of the character and the world around him (with their own personal tweaks to the Marvel mythos as well).
The story follows Spider-Man trying to balance his ‘normal’ life with that of his ‘work’ life before a certain new villain (often underutilised outside of the comics) emerges in the city. When you begin, Peter has been a hero for around eight years, he’s met some of his classic foes and allies but not all. This allows for a perfect balance of surprise and recognition for both the character and the player as they encounter various famous faces over the course of the 15-20 hour single-player campaign.
The gameplay has borrowed just the right amount from the Arkham series to feel familiar yet fresh and it’s safe to say that the web swinging is the best it’s ever been. Seamlessly wall running into a web zip followed by extraordinarily animated acrobatics has never allowed the player to feel more like a superhero. The combat seems a bit clunky at first but you soon begin to exact some truly gratifying takedowns with innovative web combinations once you start upgrading your equipment and abilities after the first couple of hours.
In terms of notable negatives, the game has an incredible amount of side content...or so it seems until you realise a great deal of it is the same. Most of it is forgivable, however ‘Spider-Man’ features 180 random crimes that are required to be completed to fulfil 100% of the game. Considering only about 20 of these are unique and that you also have to get to the final act of the game to unlock 90 of them, it can make the final hours feel like a grind.
Otherwise, Marvel’s Spider-Man provides the perfect combination of exciting gameplay, gripping narrative and gorgeous graphics that help to make up the best Spider-Man game ever. Insomniac has knocked it out of the park. This is a PS4 exclusive you won’t want to miss.