After stealing the Marvel Games panel at San Diego Comic-Con and our hearts at E3, the PS4-exclusive Spider-Man from Insomniac Games has its first reviews swinging in — and they’re just as excited as the webhead himself.
With more suits than Paul Manafort and a cast of villains including Vulture, Rhino, Silver Sable, and Negative Man, this looked to be the Spider-Man game to yank the title of “Best Superhero Game” away from Batman’s Arkham Asylum series. Spidey has to fight all the escaped baddies, swing around his city, and play through missions as regular ol’ Peter Parker — all while emphasizing the grace, humor, and athleticism comic fans love about the hero.
Now that critics have gotten to play the first few hours of the game, they’re raving about just how much fun it is playing as the webslinger. But we'll let the critics do the talking:
Variety’s Brian Crecente said that the moments playing as normal Parker — as well as Mary Jane — make the Spider-Man antics feel all the more potent. “There seemed enough to do that a player could never return to the story and the experience would still be memorable,” he said of the plentiful side quests and collectibles. Comparing the combat to the aforementioned Arkham games, Crecente explained that “the almost supernatural fluidity of movement feels even more authentic when they’re performed by Spider-Man.”
Game Informer’s Andrew Reiner also praised the balance between the “duality of Peter Parker and his masked alter ego,” saying that fans should “be excited. Be very excited.” Reiner’s confidence in the “beautifully framed and well-written” story, travel system (webslinging is thrilling), and unlockables mean that his experience playing the game only made him more enamored with the spectacle.
IGN’s Andrew Goldfarb enjoyed playing and watching a Spidey that wasn’t “a cocky kid ready to take on the world; he’s a seasoned hero who’s learned from his mistakes.” The sheer amount of powers (like holographic decoys to fool enemies) made combat feel diverse and fun, while the different playstyles of the different characters did the same thing for the story. Goldfarb ended the review by calling the game “one of the most exciting iterations of the webslinger we’ve seen in years.”
A few other perspectives on the game come from The Hollywood Reporter’s Patrick Shanley and Polygon’s Allegra Frank. Frank was engrossed with Mary Jane’s Uncharted-like stealth-and-puzzles gameplay, which she says contributes to the game’s “fantastic sense of flow and pacing, slowly building up the player from a breezy opening into grounded action that you can punch through, followed by the more complicated aerial fighting that Spider-Man does best.” And that fighting? Shanley says it’s “the best translation of the hero's powers from page or screen to gameplay that has ever been handled.”
Now that’s something to look forward to when Spider-Man swings into PS4s everywhere on Sept. 7.