Review: Fans will welcome latest Spider-Man game

Niko Robledo, Co-Editor

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It has been a long while since we’ve seen a Spider-Man game of any merit. The Spider-Man game that probably most fresh in your mind is the subpar, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” developed by Beenox Studios. They have developed Spider-Man games in the past but that one sticks out like an infected spider bite. The game was based on the equally subpar movie released in 2014, starring Andrew Garfield.

It incorporated a unique “hero or menace” system that forces the player to consistently stop crimes or you will fall into the menace category causing AI that is normally friendly start attacking you. For me, that’s the most interesting part of the game. Otherwise, the web swinging felt wonky and the combat was just a lot of button mashing without much difficulty. Upon release it received mixed reviews, it currently holds a 44/100 critic score on Metacritic.com.

But when you think of the best Spider-Man game, it is without a doubt is Spider-Man 2 for the PlayStation 2. Developed by Treyarch and released in 2004, That game had everything. It improved web swinging, from just touching the sky with webs. Webs actually had to have a place to stick. Combat had enough depth that you weren’t bored and Spider-Man was voiced by Toby McGuire! How could it get better than that? I spent hours of my childhood web-swinging through the skylines of New York, saving citizens and wooing Mary Jane. Treyarch provided all a kid could want out of Spider-Man.

So here we are now, 2018. I’ve got a lot of nostalgia and a couple of bad memories under my belt. So let me say this now, Insomniac games developed an amazing work of art with their release of Marvel’s Spider-Man, currently holding an 87/100 on Metacritic. 23-year-old Peter Parker has graduated from college and is finding his permanent role as Spider-Man. Besides Spider-Man and Peter Parker, Insomniac has also made missions where you play as Mary Jane Watson, Peter’s ex-girlfriend and reporter for the Daily Bugle. These missions provide a break from regular gameplay and help set the pace for the story.

The level of detail that Insomniac has put into recreating the vibrant island of Manhattan is stellar. New York is filled with citizens and traffic is bustling down crowded streets, but who cares about that? You’re a web-slinging and swinging machine! The physics created for the web swinging is extremely smooth and you are provided a boost of speed at the end of every swing. So Spider-Man slowly gains momentum as he traverses through buildings. Through the leveling system, you are able to spend skill points in the “web-slinger” skill tree to improve your mobility in combat and on the move.

Insomniac captured what makes superhero beat-em-ups an enjoyable time by providing a plethora of ways to take down enemies. It’s reminiscent of the Batman Arkham series in the way of stealth areas and finishers, but Spider-Man is overall superior in combat. Providing the player with faster-paced mechanics along with an emphasis on vertical combat.

It’s so satisfying to knock someone in the air, punch the crap out of them and slam them into the ground. All of this happens while Spider-Man is making sarcastic quips to his foes. You have several options of web shooting gadgets as well, one of my personal favorites in the impact web. If an enemy is close enough to a wall the impact web will completely immobilize by webbing them to a solid surface. It provides a beautiful “DENIED” feeling when you see an enemy trying to get the jump on you.

Overall, Marvel’s Spider-Man is phenomenal. Insomniac showed that they have not lost their touch in creating a fun, challenging and extremely enjoyable gaming experience. They have come a long way from the days of Spyro the Dragon (another one of my childhood favorites) and Rachet and Clank. The acquisition of the Spider-Man license was a step in the right direction for Insomniac, they filled a gap in the hearts of fans that has been open since 2004.

Niko Robledo can be reached at [email protected]

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Review: Fans will welcome latest Spider-Man game