Video Game Review: 'Spider-Man' exceeds expectations

Elliot Hatch
Game Reporter
Screen Capture by Elliot Hatch

“Spider-Man” for PlayStation 4 must be the most desired game of 2018 thus far. Selling more than 3.3 million copies in just three days, “Spider-Man” broke PlayStation’s record not long after “God of War 4” claimed the title.

This game is a must-have for any Marvel fan. Everything about this game feels right. Everything has a purpose in this game. From the controls to the color schemes, “Spider-Man” doesn’t fail to impress. It even keeps true to the witty banter that usually comes with Spider-Man.

From the start of the game, the player is swinging through New York City. The fast-paced introduction sets the player up for an equally fast-paced game that’s heavily complemented by the challenging combat. The controls are explained concisely, so time isn’t wasted on tutorials that make the player feel like a child. The developers at Insomniac got the point across quickly and easily. This isn’t surprising considering their previous works, including the original “Spyro” trilogy.

Just like the controls, the plotline throughout “Spider-Man” is interesting and fun to play. Gameplay is never dull through the story because of the challenging combat paired with Peter Parker’s in-character commentary. There are also dozens of side missions, so the gameplay doesn’t have to end with the main plot. These missions range from collectibles to crime fighting to actual side-character plots that can amass experience points to spend on gadgets, skill trees, and even new suits for Spider-Man.

The inclusion of gadgets, skill trees and suits add a whole new element to this PlayStation exclusive masterpiece. These treats allow players to customize their favorite superhero in ways they hadn’t been able to before. Gadgets are combat-centric and give variety to the way enemies are taken out. Skill trees help evolve the gameplay itself — from combat to the way Spider-Man flings himself from building to building.

Web-slinging allows the player to traverse New York City in seconds. The way Insomniac programmed the web-slinging makes the player feel like Spider-Man. Not to mention it’s incredibly fun to find all the little Marvelverse Easter eggs planted throughout the city as well.

“Spider-Man” falters in only a few ways. The plotline is unfortunately short. With an average playtime of only 20 hours, it leaves players wanting more. It leaves us wanting more of New York to explore, more collectibles to collect and more villains to fight. The game falls short in a few minor elements as well. Many players have voiced opinions on the enemies. This version of “Spider-Man” has enemies that aren’t what you’d expect from the Marvelverse. Insomniac also tried to incorporate a fast-travel function utilizing New York City’s subway system. However, the game encourages players to swing through New York City using collectibles and side missions. It makes me wonder why Insomniac even decided to include a fast-travel option. Especially since web-slinging is faster as well.

Despite the few shortcomings it has, “Spider-Man” is an overwhelming success. I confidently give this game a 9.5/10.