Review: Spider-man

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 at 5:39 PM

In his first game since 2014’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” Spider-Man has never felt better to play, or looked as great as it does in this Insomniac-developed romp. 

Starting off as a slightly more seasoned version of the character — one who has already had altercations and history with villains like The Vulture, Shocker and The Scorpion — “Spider-Man” puts us in the shoes of the friendly-neighborhood hero, the “web-head” looking to do as much good as possible. Obviously, the villains of the story aren’t incredibly keen on that effort. 

This is, bafflingly, the first Marvel-related video game to ever receive the opening flipbook treatment — marking it on the same level as the company’s cinematic ventures. The game deserves this delineation, however. The story here is a unique one, presenting twists and turns that may be familiar to longtime fans of the comics, but ones that feel fresh when presented as an interactive adventure. Peter Parker tries (and often fails) to balance his duties as Spider-Man and his personal life, letting relationships slip and rent bills go (way) past due while working on the streets as a crime-fighter, and in the lab as Dr. Otto Octavius’ partner. 

As is most important in a superhero video game, combat is intuitive and flowing. The system as a whole will be familiar to those who have tried their hand in the “Arkham” series of Batman video games, with counters/dodges mapped to a single button press and enemies that require careful combos to deal with effectively. Spider-Man’s gadgets, however, really make the game interesting — providing everything from holographic clones to an electricity-infused Spider-Drone to take care of foes. Each of these gadgets can be used by players to define their playstyle and their type of crimefighter, allowing for endless experimentation on New York City’s pixelated, Timberland-wearing criminals or be-suited gang lords. 

Speaking of the big apple, New York City is recreated with a stunning level of accuracy. City staples like Times Square and Rockefeller Plaza are present with a level of detail that caused me to take screenshots every time I found something I recognized from my time in the city. Fictional locations in the universe, like Avenger’s Tower, Rand Industries and Fogwell’s Gym exist too if you know where to look, implying that this story is just one of many woven into this version of Spider-Man’s history — with many more to potentially come due to the resounding success this game has had both critically and financially. This history is further referenced in a handful of unlockable costumes that all have ties to specific moments in the character’s comic timeline. 

It’s hard to find reasons to not recommend this game, and much like this year’s early contender for Game of the Year, “God of War,” “Spider-Man” is an instant classic. 

Move over “Spider-Man 2,” there’s a better game in town. 

Britton Rozzelle can be reached at

Tags: games, arcade

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