I’ve been waiting almost four years to be able to play this game. It came out in 2018 for PlayStation 4 – but I don’t have a PlayStation, so it was a long wait for the unthinkable as Marvel’s Spider-Man is finally available on PC.
Truth be told, it did not disappoint.
One of the biggest sticking points about Spider-Man games is focused around how he fights and deals with enemies. It’s primarily based around hand-to-hand combat (or kicking) and using gadgets to stun your enemies and finish them off by webbing them to the floor, the walls or just simply knocking them out. If you’ve played the Arkham games, you’ll know what you’re getting into here. The gadgets are actually pretty fun, but most of the time I found myself just using basic attacks then just the impact web or normal web shooters to stick people to walls. I would sometimes use the electric web if I had run out of charge for the other two.
Stealth really doesn’t play a part in combat unless it’s at the very start of an encounter, which kind of upset me. Looking at The Amazing Spider-Man game that came out in 2012, it put a larger focus on stealth but didn’t make it required. It had a great balance of wanting to fight enemies vs taking them down quietly, and it’s something I wish this game had done more of.
In regards to the story, it’s actually pretty good with how it creates relationships between the characters. Yuri’s slow descent into wanting to be a nomadic vigilante was one of the highlights but all characters are voiced exceptionally well – except Jameson. Something about Jameson feels off. I don’t know whether it’s because everyone is so used to J.K Simmons perfecting the character already, but the Jameson voice actor did not do a great job with the character. Peter Parker himself is really well done, and his relationships to different characters feel authentic – MJ, Otto Octavius, etc – and his quips during fights and in cutscenes are fun too. I think the developers really understood Spider-Man in this game, which is a great sign.
The whole formation of the Sinister Six at the midpoint of the game also feels kind of forced. Having a prison break out sequence in both the Spider-Man games that I’ve played (three if you count it also being a mission in LEGO Marvel Superheroes – “Rock Up at The Lock Up”) doesn’t sit right with me. Is there not any other way to have all six of Peter’s most deadly foes come together that doesn’t involve them being broken out of containment. It happened in No Way Home too.
One of the biggest negatives and positives about Marvel’s Spider-Man is the amount of side content there is. There is a lot of sidemissions, collectibles and general crimefighting to do. It does tend to get repetitive really quickly but the DLC is quick to change things up from the original game with new approaches to these quests, introducing new types of enemies and tasks for you to achieve. The numerous backpack collecting and monument picture taking is fine if you do it throughout the campaign, but doing it after the main story turns it into a bit of a slog.
After reaching Level 50, you get another round of monument pictures to take, except that there’s no indicators for them on the map besides a special perk that activates them when you’re near. I think this is by far the worst part of the game. It’s hard to keep track of and very annoying when you’re having to scour the streets of Manhattan to potentially find one. Also, it uses a slot that you could put a much more useful ability in.
Web-swinging is by far the best it’s been in any game yet. It feels fluid, it feels fun, and most importantly; it makes you feel like Spider-Man. This version has far more intricacies than previous games but their inclusions don’t feel forced or too difficult on the player.
In fact, both times that I played through the game (normal, and on New Game+ on hardest difficulty), I didn’t use the fast travel ability once. I wasn’t even aware it was there but it didn’t matter because the web swinging was so fun that I could just do it across the entirety of Manhattan and not be bored.
Manhattan is colourful and lively, looks and plays like an inhabited world – you can even get a secret achievement for interacting with people on the street too. There’s not a lot that you can do with interactions in the game world, but there’s a lot of cool things that can be found around Manhattan, supported by its beautiful looking world design and colours.
Overall, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is the best Spider-Man videogame to come out. It understands the character and its gameplay, story and writing fit the personality of the universe incredibly. Alongside its extra content, DLCs, New Game+, and vast amounts of adjustable options, the game is a must play for fans of not only Spider-Man, but Marvel Comics in general.