Movie Sleuth Gaming: Spider-Man (Reviewed)

Initial thoughts: Alright, so I just beat the game That was a wild ride. The story was immersive. The game was so addictive that I couldn't put it down. I'm freaking upset that it's over. And I wish I could experience it again for the first time. That's always a good sign.

Game Play: The game play is one of the shining features in Spider-Man. Especially the combat. People were right off the bat comparing the game to the Arkham franchise (which is going to happen with any release now-a-days that has a punch-counter free flow combat system) but the combat is different in subtle ways. Trust me. I've played every Arkham game and even got a platinum trophy in Asylum. And I've beat Arkham City over 9 times. I know those games like the back of my hand. The difference between the Arkham series in this is that, it's insanely easy. And I do mean ridiculously easy, even on New Game Plus. It is designed to make you feel invincible, like a true professional that has mastered 127 different martial arts. Spider-Man is not that way at all. If you get hit a few times, you will die. You have to adapt quickly. You can't just spam the triangle button and counter your opponent's every move. There's also so much variety to the combat. I never once -- not once -- felt that the combat was repetitive. I looked forward to fights. I even preferred hand to hand combat over stealth (though stealth was still fun) and would opt for it often instead.

Web Swinging: The thing that could make or break any Spider-Man game. How is it? It blows every other Spider-Man game out of the water and then some. When people first saw the original 2016 E3 footage, they were complaining saying that Spider-Man 2 was better. Nope. Not even close. Take the nostalgia goggles off. The web slinging here is so good that you could legit do it for hours and not get bored. The swinging is momentum based. The higher you swing and the longer you dive, the faster you go.

The Story: The story is absolutely the best part of the game. This is one of the best Spider-Man stories I've seen (in or out of the comics). This game captures the essence of Peter Parker's character so well that I was shocked. The best part was just all the minute details and the phenomenal subtle moments of his character sprinkled on top of the larger than life moments of his character. Without getting into spoilers, there's one thing that really really impressed me: a character villain (that I won't mention) was done so freaking well here that it's easily his best interpretation outside of the comic books. Spider-Man's supporting cast was excellent. Mary Jane was absolutely a stand out and their relationship here was incredible. Aunt May was amazing. The biggest surprise for me was Miles Morales. Never been a huge Miles Morales fan if I'm being completely honest. But man, was he fantastic here. I found myself really appreciating his involvement in the story. There were also quite a few interesting changes to the story that differ from the comics. Some of these were very interesting to say the least. And let me just say right now that the final boss battle  is one of the most satisfying and climactic ones that I've had in a long time.

Voice Acting: Yuri Lowenthal may just be the best voice actor to voice Spider-Man. And if I'm being honest, his voice is probably going to pop up in my head next time I pick up a Spidey comic. He was  phenomenal. His Spidey quips were hilarious and his emotional scenes were tear jerkers (there's one scene that I won't spoil, but I cried). Honestly every voice actor here was incredible and did an AMAZING job.

Post Story Content: One of the most important aspects to an open world video game is how much I can do after I beat it and will I be bored? The answer is, a lot and no. There's side missions, loose ends to tie up, and tons of crimes all over the city. One of the most fun parts of the game in fact, is unlocking new suits. Every suit comes with an ability (some extremely cool, some alright, some meh) and if you don't like the ability of that particular suit but you like the lookt, you can swap out one of the abilities that you DO like and use it with any suit you want.

Minor Nitpicks: I only have a few very minor nitpicks and this is just me honestly searching for something so it's not just a huge jerk fest on my behalf. There's moments in the game where you have to play as either Mary Jane or Miles Morales. Won't lie, I found myself wanting to move back to Spidey. They were all stealth based and were decent but the momentum and speed you have playing as Spider-Man is just so much more addictive that these parts in the game in contract felt so much more slower to me. So I mentioned earlier that there are changes from the story to the comics. I didn't really mind these. And hell I even liked a few of the changes. There was only one I didn't like (it's actually seen in a post-credit scene) which I won't spoil. But it was very jarring.
Really those were the only nit picks I could come up with.


Final Thoughts: This is the best Superhero Video Game to date. The amount of love and passion that Insomniac put into this game is unfounded. You can tell by every second and cubic pixel, that these developers put their heart and soul into this. And boy, does it pay off.

-Charles Angelo Tosti