My first PS4 review is here and it’s on the game that came bundled with my Spider-man PS4!
There are NO spoilers in this review.
This is the best Spider-man game I’ve ever played. There are a lot of bad ones out there and I’m happy to report that this one is freaking fantastic! The story in this game kept me invested from the time I started playing until the credits rolled up. It’s fantastic and Insomniac just became one of my favorite developers. I’m a brand new Playstation owner and this game was a great introduction to the system. My jaw dropped on multiple occasions and my heart broke for Peter on a certain scene and there were plenty wtf moments that kept me on the edge of my seat. When I got into bed at night my mind kept wondering what would happen next (even though I called a few key moments early on) and that’s how I knew I was playing something special because that doesn’t happen to me everyday. Spider-man is making a serious case for best superhero game of all time. It may very well have the best story in the genre with the best villains too. The story is slow paced and takes time to get going, but when it does it’s incredible.
It would be easy for someone that hasn’t played this game to think it’s a Batman clone. It’s not. It’s actually very different than Batman. Batman focuses on counterattacking and heavy hits while Spider-man is way more agile and can kick your ass in the air or on the ground and can dodge bullets. As I unlocked more upgrades and suit powers I was able to do some amazing combos later on in the game that I wish I could do in Batman. That being said both games have fantastic gameplay, but I think I prefer Spider-man’s a little more. Fighting is only half the game. The other half you’ll be exploring the huge city that Insomniac crafted for us to explore and it’s a very lively city. What I love about this game is that the city changes as the story progresses. At first it’s sort of peaceful. I mean you have your crimes here and there, but later on it’s complete chaos. I’m not going to spoil anything for you so I’ll stop there. Another thing I really loved was just swinging around the city and exploring. There’s a lot to see and do, but not all of it is interesting. I’ll get more into that later on. Exploring the city is just as fun as beating the crap out of bad guys and the best part of all is Peter Parker. Insomniac nailed his witty personality and I laughed out loud multiple times because of how funny he is.
The animations are top notch. Spider-man is beautifully animated. Swinging around from building to building feels natural. Spider-man isn’t the only character that’s animated well. Everyone is. From the basic grunts throwing wild punches to the bosses themselves. Spider-man doesn’t have only a single swinging animation like he did in some of his previous games. And his webs don’t shoot up into the sky like in previous games. They attach to buildings and he changes his stance according to how he swings. I never fast traveled in this game. I’ve only ever done that in two other games. The other two being The Witcher 3 and Arkham Knight. That’s how much I enjoyed traversing this world and enjoying those smooth animations.
Spider-man can level up in this game. I was level 47 when I completed this game. After every level up I got some skill points to spend on various different skills. Some skills let me toss rockets back at the person that shot them at me while others would let me swing someone around like a child’s toy and toss them into their friends, or off of buildings :), and knock them all over. The skill tree actually added to the gameplay and every upgrade felt useful and made Spider-man feel stronger and that’s what a skill tree should do in games like this. Spider-man isn’t the only playable character in this game, but I won’t spoil that for those of you that want to experience the full game as blind as possible. All I’ll say is I really enjoyed everyone’s different perspectives.
I’m always telling everyone how important a soundtrack is to a game. It can enhance your experience a great deal or ruin it. Insomniac nailed this portion of the game. The soundtrack is excellent and I can’t think of a single dull song that played. It’s fantastic and (as of right now) is the best soundtrack I’ve heard all year long. The voice acting is fantastic! Some times I forgot that I was playing a video game because of how real everyone was. The sound effects are all top notch too. No corners were cut in this department and I love that.
This is a beautiful game. I played on the PS4 Pro. I have no idea how this game runs, or looks, on the regular Playstation 4. I played in 4K with HDR turned on and sat back in awe as everything popped out of the screen at me. It’s a real visual treat. All of Spider-man’s costumes look really good and I love the lighting in this game. The way the light beams down in a window and only lights up a part of the room I’m in makes it great for screenshots and if you’re wearing that black Spider-man suit he looks badass too. My game only dropped frames a single time in the 20+ hours it took me to complete this game. It’s optimized very well and runs like a dream on the PS4 Pro.
The boss fights are spectacular. Swinging after Shocker while dodging attacks from Vulture was awesome. Fighting Negative Man in his own twisted zone was equally awesome, but the fight that stands above them all is the one with Scorpion. That was an insane boss fight that you couldn’t touch the ground in. It was all kinds of crazy and I really enjoyed it. Even the final boss was awesome! Every boss fight in this game was memorable and I definitely wouldn’t mind playing through this game again to experience that Scorpion fight.
All of the characters in this game are awesome. Especially Doctor Octavius! I don’t get the complaints that people have about Mary Jane Watson. I thought she was a really good character. Yes, she complains to Peter a lot, but I understood where she was coming from. She didn’t want to be a damsel in distress. She wanted to do more than sit behind her laptop. She wanted to be Peter’s partner and their relationship went a little sour there for awhile, but she never stopped caring for him. I loved her. I loved everyone. Aunt May, Peter, and even Norman. I even liked Harry and he wasn’t in the game!
Quick Time Events:
I’m not a big fan of quick time events, but they’re done well here. There are a LOT of them in this game and they’re completely optional. If you hate quick time events then you can disable them completely in the options menu. I love that I have the choice on whether or not I want to do them, but for my first playthrough I went ahead and left them on. This Spider-man game captures the feel of Spider-man perfectly in my opinion. The over the top action scenes and insane acrobatics that he performs in, and out, of cutscenes is spectacular, but I would appreciate boss fights that didn’t depend on them so much. That being said I still really enjoyed this game.
The side activities aren’t horrible. They’re just not very interesting. Collecting backpacks, pigeons (Yes, I said pigeons), and chasing drones can only be entertaining for so long. The fun I had was exploring the cities not doing the various different side activities that this game throws at you. There’s your fetch missions, beat up missions, and stealth missions and they all play exactly the same. I’m hoping that the next game adds the same amount of quality to the all the side stuff that they did to the main story. That would make this game 10/10 quality!
Spider-man is fantastic. It's the best Spider-man game ever made and I'm very excited to see what the future holds for not only this series, but for superhero games in general. Insomniac proved that making a great superhero game isn't exclusive to Rocksteady. They can make them too! And they did a damn good job and deserves all the praise they're getting. Spider-man tells a great story, has interesting characters, and awesome gameplay. I can't wait to see what the future holds for Spider-man and superhero games in the future.