Peter Parker is just your average college student. Struggling as an intern to make ends meet. Trying to reconnect with an old flame. Battling super powered villains using heroic abilities gained after being bitten by a radioactive spider.
Well okay, maybe not that last one. Luckily, Insomniac Games’ Sony PlayStation exclusive Spider-Man is anything but an average game, and makes players feel like they are actually living the double life of the fledging superhero.
Smooth swinging and combat
First things first, the web-slinging mechanics are buttery smooth. Moving around the city as you swing from building to building in the beautiful recreation of New York City is almost perfect, and you will hardly ever use the fast travel system because moving manually is such a joy.
The combat system is great as well, and takes a page from the Batman Arkham series with the ability to dodge incoming attacks in between easy-to-execute offensive combos. There are plenty of gadgets to mix up the fighting system as well, including web shooters, Spidey-drones and electric web bombs.
A well-paced plot
Fans of Spider-Man will no doubt recognise many familiar faces during the main campaign, which will take about 15 hours to complete. Players will battle Wilson Fisk (AKA The Kingpin) within the first 10 minutes of gameplay, and a who’s who hit list of Spider-Man characters continue to make their appearance throughout the entire game in a fun and engaging story.
You’ll also get to play as iconic side characters in some parts of the story as well, including Mary Jane Watson and Miles Morales. These offer a short break from the frenetic action of the titular character.
You’ll be sad when the thrilling ride is over, but there’s a lot more content to occupy your time after the main story is done. With many collectibles ranging from different Spidey suits from his various comic incarnations to backpacks containing mementos from his early life as Spider-Man, these extra items will reveal cool backstory info to those hardcore gamers willing to hunt it all down.
An overall winner
Despite some minor missteps (like the repetitive crime missions and cliché tower climbing mechanic to reveal the map), Spider-Man delivers on its promise to put you in the shoes of your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. The smooth city traversal, variety in combat, exciting plot and optional extra content will keep you engrossed for the next few weeks.
Disclaimer: This review was written with a review copy provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment Hong Kong Limited.