'Spider-Man' is Spectacular

Fans of the Marvel universe have a chance to explore a new storyline featuring Manhattan’s favorite web-slinging superhero. ‘Spider-Man’ is available now for Playstation 4. 

With great power comes great responsibility — and a great video game.

With spectacular web swinging, amazing combat and a fantastic story, “Spider-Man” is truly the ultimate Spider-Man experience.

The gameplay is the best in “Spider-Man.” Long have fans dreamed for a game that truly captures the feeling of being Spider-Man; the last notable experience was “Spider-Man 2,” back in 2004. “Spider-Man” features the best web-slinging, with exciting physics-based movement.

While slinging through Manhattan, all webs must attach to a building and this physics-based movement creates momentum that never stops. 

Swinging through New York is a joy, and the soundtrack ramps up at peaks of swinging. There isn’t a single point of traversing Manhattan in “Spider-Man” where I wasn’t grinning. Whether I was swinging past Sanctum Sanctorum, or running up the sides of the Avengers Tower, there wasn’t a single dull moment.

Brawling is another staple of “Spider-Man,” and thanks to fantastic abilities and engaging combat, every encounter and fight feels great. 

The combat is incredibly fluid. Button presses feel powerful, and when fighting larger enemies, it’s up to players to use their Spidey-senses and movement abilities to outwit enemies that could normally pummel Spidey.

Spider-sense flashes right as Spider-Man is about to be attacked, and by pressing the circle button, players can dodge attacks. With an upgrade, Spider-Man will web them immediately after dodging, which truly feels like something Spider-Man would do in the comics.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Spider-Man if the titular hero didn’t joke at enemies and constantly quip with them. While fighting, Spidey is constantly cracking jokes, and rarely do these jokes miss. 

The sheer number of villains is outstanding. With fan-favorites such as Vulture and Rhino, along with relatively newer villains like Mr. Negative, the rogues’ gallery is action-packed. Each boss features unique mechanics and feels like a final fight from a movie or a comic.

Take Tombstone, for example. He’s roughly three-times the size of Spider-Man, so his optional boss fight entirely relies on outwitting him and dodging. It’s one of the best in the game.

The upgrade choices are fantastic, including some that allow Spider-Man to pick up larger enemies, as well as more fun ones, like the ability to perform tricks while slinging through the air. 

On top of that, web gadgets such as web shooters and web balls add variety to the combat. 

Spider-Man has been a comic series for over 50 years, and has seen many variations along the way. “Spider-Man” features over 20 unlockable suits from Spider-Man’s career, and each features a special ability that can be transferred to other suits. Some of these may seem a bit useless, but all of the suits are stunning and gorgeous.

“Spider-Man” also has one of the greatest Spider-Man stories to boast. Peter Parker is 23 years-old in this world, and he’s been Spider-Man for eight years. He works as a scientist, while also helping Aunt May and Martin Li run F.E.A.S.T., a homeless shelter in New York. 

The game shines when dealing with the two identities that Peter struggles with. Sure, he’s Peter Parker, a normal New Yorker and scientist, but he’s also constantly late to commitments because of superhero duties. 

The cold-open showcases Peter jumping out of a window to take down Wilson Fisk, one of Spider-Man’s longest-running villains. After a fantastic opening mission and boss battle, the game never slows down.

Spider-Man has been fighting these villains for years, so a lot of them already hate Spider-Man and have a long backstory with him.

Backstory can be unlocked through 55 collectible backpacks scattered throughout Manhattan. One features a part of Rhino’s horn that Peter broke off, and each tells a story about how this iteration of Spider-Man fought these villains. These pieces of story content, while optional, are incredibly interesting and made me crave more story.

Peter and Mary Jane’s relationship is fantastic, and is one of the best parts of this game. They truly care for each other, and it’s heartwarming and adorable.

On top of that, Peter’s relationship with Miles Morales is one of the most interesting dynamics of the game. This relationship alone had me plowing through story missions hoping to see more and it never disappoints.

Some missions appear where players must play as Mary Jane, and there are some repetitive puzzles, but outside of that, the game never falters. These puzzle experiences are, thankfully, brief.

The game isn’t too long, and that may be a bummer for some. It’s possible to reach 100 percent completion in around 35-40 hours. However, this means the game doesn’t overstay its welcome. By the time many will start to get bored, the game is almost over.

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