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Insomniac Games takes swing at Spider-Man

Spider-Man ventures around NYC, stopping to rest on a pride flag.
Photo courtesy of Reddit user /u/imabeecharmer

Marvel’s Spider-Man is best game yet

by Jovan Ravenscroft and Adrian Toca

Bless the Lord that waiting for two years was worth it. On Sept. 7, Insomniac Games released its highly anticipated Spider-Man game that is an exclusive for the PlayStation 4 console. It is an open-world style role-playing game where the player takes control of one of history’s most famous and beloved superheroes.

The world’s favorite arachnid-based superhero is no stranger to video games that have spanned from decent and kind of memorable to iterations that well . . . exist.

Insomniac Games has some solid work on its resume that helped ease fears and make the game something to look forward to. From platform adventure Spyro to the first-person shooter The Resistance, this developer has shown its ability to produce decent content, leading to fans having hope in an age of skepticism due to unkept promises in video games.

However, Insomniac Games is already receiving high praise for their new project simply titled Marvel’s Spider-Man. They have put themselves on the map with one of the most riveting open-world superhero games thus far. A bold claim for sure, but it should not go without credit.

Since its launch, everyone from IGN to Game Informer seems to already agree on how superb this open world experience is, and holy Hulkbusters, Mr. Stark, it is great.

The fluid movement of the hero as he swings from street to street in an expertly rendered version of modern Manhattan, the lovably geeky dialogue that the young crimefighter is known for, and the intricate lore that is well-produced in every sequence of the game will have gamers shrieking with each swing and motion.

Right off the bat, the game throws the player into a day in the life of Peter Parker, who is already an experienced hero that has donned the iconic red and blue spandex suit for several years. This proves a wise choice for the game, as the player gets to skip a boring tutorial wrapped up in an origin story and instead learn to play by simply exploring on their own terms.

Best of all, Insomniac on what many other games are lacking: the humanity of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Sure the gameplay emphasizes on combat, rapid movement, puzzles, and side questing throughout the streets of Manhattan Island, but the cinematic impression created by Insomniac wastes no time in portraying a complex life of perplexed love, loyalty, and troubled genius that is Peter Parker. It challenges the obligations, purpose of action, and secrecy of Spider-Man as an identity throughout each piece of dialogue and cutscene.

Of course, Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery makes a great impression as the complex, main villains in the game. This also allows some lesser known villains to make their mark, too: Mr. Negative, The King Pin, Scorpion, and The Shocker for instance. None of these characters have received any cinematic portrayal, but they all have great arcs as antagonists in Spider-Man’s crusade to assist the NYPD in keeping the peace in Manhattan.

Marvel’s Spider-Man has the same free-flow style combat as Rockstar’s Batman: Arkham series, and for veteran players of the Arkham games, it feels great getting back into the free-flowing chaos of engaging multiple foes like a tornado in a trailer park.

The only possible critique is the player being left with the feeling of wanting more—a longer campaign than the average 15-hour playtime. Only a third of the game is currently available upon purchase, with more DLC needing to be paid for to get the “full experience” of the Marvel’s Spider-Man. This is sadly nothing new to the gamer community (looking at EA Games).

Marvel’s Spider-Man is a cinematic, interactive journey into the world of the Big Apple’s web-head and is a must play for anyone who owns a Sony PS4.

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