When I finished Marvel’s Spider-Man, my only gripe was that I’ll be waiting at least another two years for its inevitable sequel. If you’re reading this and are still on the fence about adding it to your gaming library, just purchase it on Sept. 7 and thank me later.
Insomniac Games’ labor of love clearly shows after the first loading screen, at which point the gamer takes their place as Spider-Man and immediately web-swings to the first mission checkpoint. There are no tedious origin stories that bog the story down, nor are there any awkward training sequence to introduce you to the game. The game starts with Spider-Man aiding the NYPD on a raid of Wilson Fisk’s offices, letting the gamer figure things out with a few training aids to gently ease them along.
Of course, learning on the fly does allow for some potential pitfalls, mainly the control scheme that the game employs. The fact that the game lets the gamer figure it out on their own is bound to frustrate some early on. The learning curve for this Spider-Man game is steep, but at the same time, gamers will want to know why they haven’t experienced something this complex (in a good way) before.
The gameplay is where Marvel’s Spider-Man really shines. Standard Spider-Man activities like web swinging or webbing up bad guys still manage to be fun even after you do it hundreds of times. With skill tree that expand as the game progresses, the moves expand and make you want to keep grinding away to learn more.
The work put in by Insomniac is on display during boss battles. The sets pieces are highly detailed, making proper decision-making crucial. Few boss battles are alike and will test skills at each and every turn. The final boss fight and subsequent cutscenes are among the best storytelling through set pieces for any form of Marvel media ever. That’s not hyperbole — if you play through the sequence through to the credits and don’t shed a tear, you might be devoid of a soul.
The side-missions are also in depth, only enhancing the main story while also helping to reduce the dramatic learning curve. There are no shortage of these side missions, which are necessary to build up your Spider-Man avatar as the game gets deeper as you prepare to face the run of villains that this game offers, which are varied and consistently make sense in this telling of Spider-Man’s story.