The wait is finally over! Announced during Sony’s E3 2016 press conference, Spider-Man swings its way onto the PlayStation 4. This action-adventure, open world game is Insomniac Games’ first licensed game developed by the company. This game is unique, in that it is not linked to any existing or upcoming movie or comic book. Spider-Man is its own unique story, which is just one of the many reasons why this game is a serious contender for game of the year.
With that being said, let’s take a look at all the elements that come together near perfectly including Spider-Man’s rich story, tight gameplay, and stunning visuals.
Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Action-adventure, open world
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
An original story that will keep you on the edge of your seat
One of the key components of a great game in my eyes is a good story. If I can be whisked away into its world with likeable characters, great writing and a compelling plot—then you’ve won me over. And, that’s exactly what Insomniac Games has done with Spider-Man.
Now, I don’t want to give too much of the story away. Though, what I can tell you is that everything that gives the Spider-Man movies and comics their mass appeal is present in the game. All your favourite, or not so favourite, villains are here including: Rhino, Scorpion, Kingpin, Doctor Octopus and many more.
In addition, family and friends including Aunt May, Miles and the on again off again relationship with MJ are all included in the game. One of the things that I love about Spider-Man is the way in which the story unfolds. Though I do feel that the story starts out slow, it picks up quite nicely a few hours in and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The game starts out with authorities finally having enough evidence to arrest Kingpin and put him away behind bars. However, a secret file is found in an auction house that is storing Kingpin’s art collection revealing a secret project know as “Devil’s Breath”. I really do want to tell you more, but lets just say that “Devils Breath” plays a big roll in the game’s story. Trust me, you won’t want to stop playing because you’ll want to see what happens next.
Near flawless gameplay
What is a great story if it doesn’t have as equally great gameplay? And, while Spider-Man does little if any to innovate the genre—its gameplay execution is near flawless. Naturally, Spider-Man is set in New York City. However, what really impressed me is the massive size in which Insomniac Games recreated the city in the game.
Your main mode of transportation is, you guessed it, via swinging high above the ground. At first, I felt that the web slinging mechanic was a little delayed. Though, I quickly learned there is a rhythm to it and in no time I was swing all over the city and stringing moves together with ease.
If you love to unlock things in games, then Spider-Man is right up your alley. There are tons of collectibles to discover that go towards unlocking over 25 suits, modifications to your suits, upgrading your weapons and more. Spider-Man also incorporates a skill tree that allows you to expand your move set. By completing missions, you earn XP and points that you can use towards purchasing these buffs on the skill tree.
In addition to powering up Spider-Man, that game includes various puzzles, quick time events and even some stealth. To be honest, I specifically found the puzzles in the lab to be unnecessary and at some points just down right annoying. These puzzles include completing circuits and finding patterns. While they were never too difficult to complete, these parts are definitely my least favourite part about the game.
A visual tour de force
So now we know that Spider-Man has a great story, and equally great gameplay. What about the game’s graphics? Let me just say this, WOW! Spider-Man uses a stylized approach and the amount of detail is simply stunning. Facial features and mannerisms of each of the characters are spot on, just as you would expect them to be.
Furthermore, the sights and sounds of New York are a sight to behold. Spider-Man includes a photo mode, which after I had completed the game I spent many hours with. I never got tired of taking selfies and marveling at the games beauty. Voice acting is top notch, and even the city’s inhabitants share their thoughts and comments with you.
Overall, Spider-Man’s presentation is top notch and is another element that kept me playing for hours on end.
Is Spider-Man the best game of the year?
Spider-Man is one of the stand out games of this generation. Very rarely does a game come along with as much polish on all fronts as this game does. If you have any remote interest in Spider-Man at all, you will love this game. And, even if you don’t, you will want to try this game. The exquisite gameplay will have you hooked.
In addition to the great story, fantastic gameplay, and stellar presentation—Spider-Man is getting post launch content in the form of 3 DLC packs. Each DLC pack will include new enemies and three additional suits to unlock. With so much to see and do in Spider-Man, it will keep your busy for hours and weeks on end trying to unlock and collect everything.
When all is said and done, Spider-Man is one of my top 5 games of the year so far. If you love video games, you owe it to yourself to play one of the best this generation has to offer, Spider-Man. ‘Nuff said.
+ Incredible story that will keep you on the edge of your seat
+ Near perfect gameplay
+ Accessibility options so that no matter what your skill level you can play and have fun
+ Plenty to see and do after you have beat the main story
– Side missions are uninspiring
– Gameplay doesn’t do anything innovating
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF SPIDER-MAN
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5
Overall Rating 4.4/5 (88%)
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