When I first heard about the new Spider-Man game I was excited but wary, worried that it could become a retelling of the many movies we have seen on the web-swinger in recent years. Therefore, I was shocked and incredibly impressed when I played Insomniac Games' take on the character and it felt like I was seeing not just an entirely fresh story but a completely new world.
The game flies straight into the action with Spidey rushing to help police take down his arch-nemesis the Kingpin. The biggest shock of all was that the game made me care about Peter Parker as much as I did about Spider-Man. Peter, in this game, is a much more experienced crimefighter, aged 23 rather than the teenager that we are used to seeing, he is struggling with the real-life problems of adulthood, relationships and eviction.
We instantly get to experience one of the games most attractive features, the web swinging. The swinging mechanics in this game aren't just smooth transitions between locations. When you’re zipping around corners, jumping off rooftops and racing through the streets you feel like you are Spider-Man. When these mechanics are combined with the brilliantly and beautifully animated New York City, swinging can alone keep you entertained for hours.
With the Kingpin secured in max-security prison, Peter goes back to his job, helping the ambitious Dr Octavius create revolutionary robotics. Octavius' rivalry with the rich company Oscorp and Mayor Osbourne himself is essential to the games' development. Peter discovers secret files about a super weapon called Devil's Breath. Soon after there's the arrival of the Demons, a new crime syndicate, that force Spider-Man to face the fact that removing one evil just leaves room for a worse one to take its place.
Spidey isn't alone either as he has his fair share of Allies. There's the will they-won't they relationship with Mary Jane; he also has a strong friendship with Head of Police Yuri Watanabe and later in the story we encounter Miles Morales, who plays an important role in the Spider-Man universe. Together they have to face stronger enemies than Peter has ever fought with some sinister plans coming together and threatening to tear him apart later in the game.
This game not only has its unique swinging mechanics but the fighting in the game is very impressive too, clearly inspired by the Batman Arkham Series, Spiderman gets into some fast-paced, body bruising beat-ups. Insomniac has developed this system by adding web-based aerial combat that keeps the fighting fresh throughout the game. It also takes the stealth system from the Arkham games with Spiderman using his gadgets to lure thugs and take them out silently.
With the main story packing some punches it does show that the side missions and minigames are lacking in the motivational department, however, the world is well populated with your typical objectives of taking out strongholds, stopping unique crimes and backpacks each with artefacts from Spider-Man lore. The enjoyable gameplay is backed up by entertaining voice acting with the stand out James Jonah Jameson Radio show that appears after every mission and the general quips of Peter Parker himself. An extra layer of excitement is also added by John Paesano’s soaring soundtrack.
If you want a game that makes you feel like a superhero, presents an enthralling story and encapsulates you in a beautiful, lore-filled world the Spider-Man is easily a venture worth your time. Insomniac have knocked it out the park with this game and it deserves more attention. Also, if you enjoy the main game I would recommend the game extension ‘The City Never Sleeps' as it does well to develop on the story and adds to the gameplay.