‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ offers lots of web-slinging fun

Matt Withers, Arts Editor

It’s rare for a game to completely dominate every moment of my life. Whether I’m at work or doing homework, I am desperately trying to get home to jump back into the world of “Marvel’s Spider-Man.”

Made by storied producers Insomniac Games, the legacy of Spider-Man games is fairly well known in the gaming community. The character is just perfectly suited to video games, from the stylish acrobatics to the colorful world he inhabits. Insomniac Games has crafted not only the best Spider-Man game to date, but the best superhero game ever made.

What first struck me about “Marvel’s Spider-Man” is the way the character of Peter Parker is depicted. From minute one we see that this is a seasoned Spider-Man who has been on the job for a bout 8 years. There are incredibly detailed news clippings giving the audience a brief history of the character and how this world is a little different than past incarnations of the wall crawler.

The game opens up with Peter Parker waking up to his police scanner reporting that Wilson Fisk, “The Kingpin,” is going to be arrested today. Peter excitedly suits up while an eviction notice pops under his door. He’s forced to make a choice, pay rent, or be Spider-Man. This wouldn’t be a very fun video game if he decides to pay rent. With that he jumps out the window and the player is instantly thrown into the best part of the game – the web swinging.

Web swinging is an essential part to any successful Spider-Man game. It’s not an easy thing to get right as proven by countless games in the past, but this latest iteration is the best its ever been. Each web you shoot out has to connect to a building or object, and if you release your web line at the right moment you can get extra speed. Traversing New York is the high light of the game, even after the game is over I found myself swinging around the beautifully depicted version of Marvel’s New York.

That’s not to discount the story, which is by no means a revolutionary story in games but one that was just as emotionally impactful as it was fun. The plot focuses on Peter’s life right after graduating college. He has a lot of the same troubles that most people do after college, they struggle to find a stable job, live truly on their own for the first time, and fight costumed criminals that want to destroy the city. That last one might just be Peter, though.

If you’re a fan of Spider-Man you will probably see most of the plot points coming a mile away, but there is just enough different about this version of Spider-Man’s world to keep even long-dtime web heads on their toes.

The game keeps you collecting and exploring by letting you unlock suits from the history of the wall crawler. These suits are one of the things that keep the game progressing forward. As you unlock new suits you also get to unlock new abilities and gadgets for Spidey to use.

As much as I enjoy the game, it is by no means perfect. The game has a similar problem that many open games have, of filling the map with repetitive collectables and side quests. There are times where it can feel like a chore. The side quests are pretty bare bones as well. There is only one that I can distinctly remember really enjoying due to the introduction of one of my favorite Marvel characters, but overall most of the side quests feel a bit shallow. The game is also littered with small puzzles that are too basic to ever get across a sense of accomplishment.

Overall “Marvels’ Spider-Man” is a must have for any PS4 owner. It’s fast and fun pacing will keep you entertained for the 20 or so hours it takes to beat, and countless more exploring the city. Insomniac has given us one of the best Peter Parkers across any media and may even be the years best game yet.