- It doesn’t take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- There are a lot of iconic Spider-Man villains in the game
- Insomniac is dedicated to getting web-swinging right
- The game has a photo mode and a selfie mode.
- Spider-Man isn’t the only character you can play as
- Miles Morales is in the game
- Combat looks fluid and nuanced
- Spider-Man has a bunch of different costumes to wear
Here’s what you need to know about the PlayStation 4 exclusive Spider-Man game that’s going to be released this September.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is a game that we’ve been waiting for over two years to play — and for almost the entirety of that time, we’ve known next to nothing about it. All we knew was that it was going to be a take on the iconic hero exclusive to Playstation 4 made by Insomniac Games — the studio behind games like Sunset Overdrive, Ratchet and Clank as well as the upcoming Spyro the Dragon remake and that it starred Marvel’s iconic wall-crawling super hero and … that was about it.
Now that the game is finally getting ready for release and Sony had shown the game off during its E3 press conferences to make sure hype for the game is kept as high as possible, can it live up to Spider-Man 2’s legendary swinging mechanics? Will it continue the success of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man film? Who will we even play as, Peter Parker or Miles Morales? Let’s discussed what we’ve learned so far.
It doesn’t take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Insomniac’s new take on Spider-Man isn’t directly to any other Spider-Man stories previously told in video games, comic books, or even the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When the announcement for the game was made however, people were confused as the E3 2016 reveal occurred just one month after Tom Holland had played Spider-Man in the Captain America: Civil War movie. Instead though, Marvel here is giving Insomniac freedom to tell an entirely new story about Peter Parker’s life as a super hero.
And it’s good, because…
This is an older version of Spider-Man that has more experienced
If you had gotten tired of hearing people say that great power comes with huge responsibility, than this is the Spider-Man game you’re looking for. Insomniac says that Peter Parker’s origin story isn’t part of the new game — it had become ancient history by the time the game takes place. In this new game, we play as a 23-year-old Spider-Man that has been swinging around downtown New York for about eight years.
There are a lot of iconic Spider-Man villains in the game
Fighting crime for eight years means you make a lot of enemies — and many of Peter Parker’s most iconic enemies appeared in the E3 trailer for the game which included The Scorpion, The Vulture, Electro and Rhino along with Negative Man. More villains will probably appear in the game as well, as in a subsequent gameplay trailer, you can identify the word “Fisk” written on the side of some of the buildings which is the name behind another Spider-man nemesis: The Kingpin.
Considering that Electro released just about every prisoner inside the RAFT Prison in the trailer, almost any Spider-Man villain could possibly appear.
Insomniac is dedicated to getting web-swinging right
If you ever talk to any web-head about Spider-Man games, a single title almost always comes up: 2004’s Spider-Man 2. A tie-in for the film of the same name by Tobey Maguire, the game nailed the feeling of web-swinging – and from there other Spider-Man games have tried to chase after it ever since. That’s why Insomniac Games had been adamant in interviews that it will get this important feeling of movement right. Earlier in the year, GameInformer had asked creative director Bryan Intihar if the webs that Spider-Man shoots out would stick to buildings. His answer made it clear to everyone: “They better if I want this game to sell at all.”
Even if the question and answer section was a gag, the gameplay mechanics aren’t at all. Past Spider-Man games had shown that having semi-realistic physics is an essential to giving the game an authentic Spider-Man feel. The spider webs have to attach themselves to real points in the world, Spider-Man’s momentum needs to be dictated through how the player swings as well as when they let go of the webs, and most importantly the movement needs to be fast, fluid and non-stop. From first impressions of the game, Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 has all of that down pat as it features a movement system that’s very easy to learn, but gives players nuanced control of the game’s titular super hero. In short, the movement system alone might be fun enough to be made into a game itself.
The game has a photo mode and a selfie mode.
If you could climb on top of the tallest building in New York, you’d probably want to take a selfie. Well now you can as Peter Parker’s day job has now become an in-game photo mode which lets you take pictures of the wall-crawler in action or take selfies with civilians.
Spider-Man isn’t the only character you can play as
No, we’re not talking about getting to play as Spider-Man’s alter-ego, Peter Parker. According to a Game Informer interview, Spider-Man’s on-again off-again girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson will also be a playable character. How the Mary Jane missions work still haven’t been revealed to us yet, but creative director Bryan Intihar did say that she’ll be somewhat like an investigative reporter. “Mary Jane’s going to surprise a lot of people in this game,” he says.
Miles Morales is in the game
The game’s E3 2017 trailer had ended things off by revealing to us a fan-favorite character: Miles Morales. This character currently doesn’t exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but in the comics, he plays the role of a second, younger Spider-Man who originated from an alternative universe. Yes I know, comic books are really weird and complicated. Insomniac hasn’t revealed whether he’ll be playable in the final game or if it was just a fun little Easter egg, but his appearance in the trailer is certainly intriguing nonetheless.
It’s coming at a good time too as just a few months after the game’s release date, Miles Morales is going to get his own Spider-Man film called Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. While it’s not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe either, the animated film does look gorgeous and it looks like it’s going to take a deep dive into Marvel lore.
Combat looks fluid and nuanced
Batman: Arkham Asylum had set a standard for free-flowing, natural-looking combat where attack, defense and movement flow naturally. From there it kind of became a gold standard for every super-hero game to come. Spider-Man seems to follow the same formula: early previews of the combat system show a complex, natural looking system that sometimes makes it look less like gameplay, and more like a choreographed cartoon instead. Watching Spider-Man chaining his attacks together and pulling off combos on enemies is a bit breathtaking.
We don’t yet specifically know how the system works, but we do know that Spider-Man has a “focus bar” that fills up whenever he fights which lets him execute special attacks or regain health. We also know that the game has a progression system that allows you to gain more attacks an abilities as the game progresses.
Spider-Man has a bunch of different costumes to wear
Don’t like Spider-Man’s new design? No problem. Insomniac has confirmed that Parker will have an entire closet worth of alternative costumes for you to change into, including a punk rocker outfit (complete with a denim vest and, apparently, an electric guitar as well) and a costume that’s based on Tom Holland’s Iron Spider suit from the Avengers: Infinity War movie.
Better still? You won’t have to pay for any of them. Intihar says that the game has no micro-transactions whatsoever.