Marvel’s Spider-Man, (commonly known as Spider-Man PS4) is a action-adventure game developed by Insomniac Games, and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was released on September 7th 2018, exclusively for the PlayStation 4. A remaster was released on the PlayStation 5 as a launch title for the system along with it’s sequel, Miles Morales.
23-year-old Peter Parker, who has been Spider-Man and the protector of New York for eight years, struggles to balance his role as Spider-Man and his normal life as a college intern when a dangerous biological weapon is discovered that various high profile criminals intend to release upon the inhabitants of New York City.
Why It Rocks
- Solid acting performances from some familiar actors (some would reprise their roles) like Yuri Lowenthal, Laura Bailey, Josh Keaton, Travis Willingham, Fred Tatasciore, Dwight Schultz, to name a few.
- Plenty of humorous dialogue thrown in for a good few laughs, particularly the "Spider-Cop" bit, which is a nod to RoboCop.
- Plenty of unlockable suits for Spider-Man, all of them having their own unique abilities that can be shared to other suits once unlocked so if a suit you don't like has a useful perk you want, you can give that perk to a suit you do like.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe suits from Spider-Man: Homecoming (Homemade and Stark Suit), Avengers: Infinity War (Iron Spider), and Spider-Man: Far from Home (Stealth and Upgraded) are included.
- The Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse suit is available as DLC.
- It also has Sam Raimi's suit from the original Spider-Man movie series was available in an update, and it's free!
- Unlike most modern AAA games, unlockables, skills, and character customization aren't locked behind micro-transactions. Instead, they are tied to natural progression at a comfortable pace.
- Amazing graphics with an extremely accurate portrayal of New York City with a few creative liberties taken here and there, and exceptional levels of visual detail. The PS5 Remaster ups it even more with improved visuals and to be to play at 4K 60fps. Even better, the developers introduced a patch called Performance RT which, like its successor Miles Morales on the PS5, allow the games to run at 4K with Ray Tracing effects at 60fps!
- This extends to the sound design as well; in fact, some of Spidey's dialogue was recorded multiple times to fit the scenario, whether he is fighting, swinging, or just standing around.
- Pretty good and interesting plot; unlike past Spider-Man games, this one benefits from not having ties to a comic or film, being a completely original story instead. It is also the best story in a Spider-Man game since Spider-Man: Edge Of Time.
- The web-swinging mechanic is well made and surprisingly better than the other mechanics in the other games combined, even Spider-Man 2. The combat is also really fun and gives you plenty of options for combat yet it still has actual difficulty and a huge variety of enemy types. It makes you feel like Spider-Man (fast and nimble), just like how the Arkham trilogy made you feel like Batman (heavy and powerful).
- Plenty of fun gadgets to use, taking some notes from the Ratchet and Clank series.
- Includes villains such as the Shocker, the Kingpin, Mister Negative, and many more. Mister Negative's appearance is also quite interesting since he's a fairly obscure villain and it's nice to see him in a Spider-Man game.
- Spider-Man's web-swinging finally attaches buildings again. The Amazing Spider-Man games, despite having fantastic web-swinging, suffered from not being too realistic with it. Here, however, it goes back to the webs attaching to buildings instead of the sky. Just the act of swinging alone feels exhilarating with how fast you can go.
- You can visit many locations from the comics similar to Ultimate Spider-Man, such as the Avengers Tower, the Wakandan Embassy, Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorium, and even the Nelson and Murdock Law Office.
- Stan Lee makes a cameo as usual, but this time it's genuinely charming and sweet.
- Jonah J. Jameson is also in the game, as a radio host with his own show called "Just the Facts", which does have some funny segments.
- You can play as Mary Jane Watson and Miles Morales in certain parts of the game, and these sections aren't too intrusive to the overall story.
- There has been a recent new DLC which is a new story mode similar to one of Batman: Arkham’s DLCs. This time giving Black Cat a big role, and minor characters like Yuri Watanabe are given more screen time. It even gives the players new suits.
- Venom makes a cameo appearance.
- A really sad and heartbreaking ending.
- Meta example: The game's critical and commercial success solidifies that quality, passion for the craft, and consumer goodwill do eventually lead to long-term success.
- Amazing Soundtrack
- The side missions, similar to any open-world Spider-Man game before it, suffers from getting extremely repetitive at times.
- The QTE's are overused during boss fights, but luckily the game lets you turn off QTE's.
- Once the game is completed, there would be little to do outside of late-game clean-up.
- Weak boss fights that are standard fare.
- The Season Pass for "The City That Never Sleeps" was made available before the game was even out, which naturally led to concerns that Sony and Insomniac had cut content from the base game to sell separately. Luckily, that wasn't the case.
- Despite being able to play as Mary Jane and Miles being a good idea, the execution isn't that good. Also, the stealth sections as Spidey are way too easy.
- In relation to WIR#6, the plot can be easy to predict at times. Examples being Jefferson Davis' death and Otto Octavius' revelation.
- The Baxter building from the fantastic four and the X mansion from the X-Men are not landmarks, as they do not make appearances in the game
- The PS5 remaster changes Peter's face to a Tom Holland-eques face, that looks inferior to what it originally was (an example of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"). It was said that the reason behind the change is so that Peter's face was remade to look more like his voice actor, Yuri Lowenthal, but that's not a very good excuse to change the face.
- Screwball is a very bad villain and becomes an annoying character since she's the one behind the DLC challenges, which were getting harder the further the DLC went. She was so hated many players were hoping any further story DLC didn't involve her and her challenges.
- Before doing anything, repair the Oscorp Towers. If you don't, then your map won't function properly.
Spider-Man received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. The game received praise for its gameplay, graphics, story, characters, voice acting, and soundtrack while being criticized for familiar open-world tropes and lack of innovation. Critics have called it one of the greatest superhero games ever made and the game improved the reputation of both Sony and Insomniac.
It currently holds an 87/100 on Metacritic and an 89.84% on GameRankings, making it the highest-rated Spider-Man game ever and is one of Insomniac Games' best-rated titles. Unlike EA's poor handling of the Star Wars IP, this game shows that a stellar licensed game can amass critical acclaim when put into the hands of a competent studio and publisher.
Before release, there were concerns that the game's visuals were noticeably downgraded from the demo at E3 2017. However, when Digital Foundry did their technical analysis of the game, those concerns were laid to rest when they confirmed it was an improvement from said demo.
Spider-Man also broke several sales records for not just Marvel, but also Sony themselves; these include the fastest-selling Spider-Man game, fastest-selling Marvel branded game of all of time, and fastest-selling game in Sony Interactive Entertainment's 24-year history, selling 3.3 million copies in just three days, and outsold the Batman Arkham series to become the best selling superhero game of all time in the US. As of July 28th, 2019, the game has now sold 13.2 million copies worldwide.
- Contrary to popular belief, the decision to make this Spider-Man game exclusive to PlayStation 4 wasn't because of Sony's ownership of the Spider-Man film rights. Instead, Marvel approached Sony Interactive Entertainment directly and asked them to have one of their teams or partners make a game based on one of Marvel's own characters, and for Sony to treat it as if it was one of their own IPs.