Game Review: Spiderman on PS4

Combining nostalgia with cutting edge graphics and simulation, Spider-Man on PS4 gives players an insight into what it would be like to swing about New York, unrestrictedly punching people in the face to save the day.

pIMG_1697The latest Spider-Man instalment from Insomniac games combines a solid and interesting story with a wide variety of in-game missions, content and web based gadgets plus a supremely satisfying web swinging mechanic that far surpasses Treyarch and Activision’s iteration on the PlayStation all the way back in 2002. The latest game brings the beloved neighbourhood superhero crashing into the 21st century two feet first with fun combat and typical Spider-Man puns – some that will leave you without a smile on your face.

From the outset Insomniac has managed to nail that feeling of being the web swinger himself. The opening cutscene thrusts the player into Spider-Man’s shoes and impressively simulates the hero gliding between skyscrapers at great height. It is supremely satisfying to move fluidly around the city, with only a press of R2 at the right time. The mechanic takes a little getting used to at first, but after a few hours of gameplay you begin to realise there is nothing more satisfying than combining a swing, a wall run and a backflip as you fly through the New York City skyline.

And what a skyline it is. New York has been lovingly recreated here in impressive detail. Although not everything is in its place, Insomniac really has done an amazing job of making the player believe in their surroundings. With impressive scale and tall buildings to jump off of, there is never a dull moment.

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Spider-Man also has a variety of cool costumes to zip around in, each with a unique look and power-up that comes along with them. From the iconic spider outfit from  the Sam Raimi movies, to the iron spider suit from the latest Avengers movie, the references to Spider-Men from throughout history is impressive. The suit powers bring an added spice to combat, allowing the player to face challenges more easily.

Combat is smooth and the buttons are intuitive. The range of enemies keep you on your toes as you zip and zoom between them, knocking them into the air and finishing them with a sweet combo. My main qualm with the combat is how vast Spider-Man’s move list is, but you soon find yourself using the same few moves over and over, as the higher level moves can feel clumsy to carry off.

Although I won’t spoil the story here, the game does a wonderful job of mixing the worlds of Peter Parker and Spider-Man together, and holds a host of villains for you to battle. There are also lighter sequences played as other characters, such as Mary-Jane Watson infiltrating an art gallery, breaking any repetitive nature of the game.

Spider-Man does an excellent job of combining smooth and easy to pick up gameplay with a strong story and likeable characters. It isn’t perfect. There are a few bugs I have found, from collectable backpacks being stuck inside the scenery to a few combat glitches, but overall this an excellent game and a highly recommendable pick up.

By David Paul

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