Thoughts on Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4)

This whole world-on-a-lockdown thing sucks, right? One thing it has allowed me to do, completely guilt free, is tackle some video games on my backlog.

Some of them have been there for a long time. Others, such as Spider-Man on PS4, have been intended since release (2018), but only recently acquired.

Something made me start this game within weeks of picking it up, quite unusual for a backlog slave such as myself. In just a few minutes, thanks to an explosive, action packed introduction tutorial, I was hooked. This is a pretty spectacular video game. This has been 3am stuff for me, I definitely have a problem.

If you’re a Spider-Man fan and PS4 owner, this video game is a must play. Of all the superheroes out there, Spider-Man is without a doubt my favourite. I’ve never really been into the comics, but I did watch the cartoon as a kid. I also adored the Sam Raimi directed trilogy of movies, the first of which is a shocking 18 years old this year. Re-watching these movies, to take a break from playing the game, took me back to a simpler time before the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Enemies vary enough for my tastes, but there’s a lot of repetition

Back to the video game; rinsing the collectibles, challenges, research stations, basically as much as the game had to offer, before the final hour or so, nothing felt like a chore. Swinging through the high rise buildings of New York and continually levelling up Spider-Man, unlocking new abilities, suits and gadgets. It was an absolute joy.

This was a very rewarding story to follow too, with a satisfying ending, great motion capture and acting throughout. The action, combat, cinematics, UI, music, animation, controls and I can just go ON AND ON. There’s so many good things about this video game, it becomes much easier to talk about the handful of things I didn’t care for.

A few of the boss battles are against two villains, I found this hugely irritating, particularly earlier on, before I really got to grips with the game.

I couldn’t keep track of two of them at once, with so many visual effects on the screen it was baffling. I was getting the stuffing knocked out of me by villains and attacked I couldn’t even see coming.

Sometimes the momentum you build up is so vast, you overshoot where you’re aiming for despite your best efforts. This becomes incredibly annoying when precision is required, against the clock or otherwise.

Some of the unlocks are gated behind “challenge tokens” which are quite, er, challenging. I’ll never be good enough to acquire some of the challenge tokens from the base game. Thankfully it seems the DLC and New Game+ released since launch might address this, for those of us not up to scratch. I want to unlock everything, but I’d hate for it to be behind the kind of skill barrier I don’t have time to overcome.

A number of physics items in the game world can be utilised during combat, including bringing down shelves, lobbing manhole covers, returning enemy grenades and rockets

The DLC will make or break this game for me. New Game+ does add a certain amount of re-playability, in addition to the increasing difficulty modes (I played somewhere in the middle). If the DLC adds another 6-10 hours of interesting gameplay, I can see myself revisiting this title in the future, otherwise it might just be a little on the short side at 25-30 hours.

I’m intending to stream a playthrough of New Game+, possibly on the hardest difficulty too, but we’ll see how that goes!

For now, I’ll return this week to tackle the DLC at a normal difficulty, as I’m keen to see how the story progresses. I’ll update this post if more words spring to mind.

Pick this video game up and you won’t regret it, I’m sure, definitely if you’re a Spider-Man fan. You’ll likely know whether it is to your tastes within the first 15 minutes, it starts as it means to go on!

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