There has to be a conversation about Spider-Man–specifically, Insomniac’s Spider-Man. Before I open up about that game, I will talk about my history and experience with Spider-Man. Growing up, there were only a few superheroes I followed, and characters that I grew fondly of; Spider-Man was on that list of heroes for me, but wasn’t closely focused on as much as the other super heroes of my time. I didn’t care for any of the games that made it to the SNES or NES, but I remember playing the SEGA game Spider-Man and the X-Men, and I raged quit that game in a matter of minutes! Around the time of the late 90s, there was Marvel Super Heroes for Arcade, Sega Saturn and the PlayStation. I absolutely loved that came and yes, Spider-Man was my favorite character to play.
Moving fast forward to the early 2000s, the world was greeted with
Toby McGuire’s role in Spider-Man (2002); that was my real introduction to the infamous Web Slinger–learning about the Green Goblin, The Osbornes, MJ, Flash Thompson, Aunt May, Uncle Ben, and that famous “With great power comes great responsibility” line. I was totally hooked after seeing these movies, and the games soon followed; they were good, but the games to me always seemed like they were missing something. (I still gave them a 7 out of 10!) Mr. McGuire even graced his Spidey voice in the first movie based game, which was a nice touch.
Finally, 2016 rolled around, and I had my potato chips and water ready, as I waited in front of my computer, anticipating Sony’s presentation at E3. After a few announcements of great games such as Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, we got a glimpse a mid air Spider-Man landing on top of a rail in a construction site, listening to a cop named Yuri Watanabe, while sneaking above, snatching thugs and tying them with his web, leaving them upside down hanging from a rail. There was even a scene of him diving head first for the surface while repeatedly shooting his webs out to form a cushion for a helicopter to land on. My eyes were wide open along with my mouth. This was the Spider-Man I needed. This was it! I got my hands on the game and was absolutely mesmerized by the bustling city of New York–the people walking the streets (sometimes running in terror from a gun man). The sights! The clean, crisp graphics and textures, the sounds of music playing, cars driving by–it was a true sight of beauty to behold. This Spider-Man has so many jokes and quips that I couldn’t stop laughing at most of the things he said. His interactions with everyone amazed, his chemistry with Mary J felt beautiful, and I still love the chemistry he displays with Dr. Octavius, Aunt May, Miles Morales, and so fourth. My favorite conversations were with “Spider Cop” and a begrudging Yuri Watanabe. Gets me every time!
Of course, we have to talk about his movements–the controls are so fluid and tight that each fight never feels bland or repetitive. His parkour (or Parker) movements, feel so smooth, like a hot knife cutting through butter. After a few Spider hits, he can perform a special attack called Finisher, which really lands the goons right on their faces. This game has loads of side missions, including collecting backpacks as each item tells a story by Parker himself, missions tracking whereabouts of Black Cat, and stealth missions to sneak past foes to rescue people. Each mission can grant Spider-Man these tokens that are used to purchase gadgets and you can also upgrade these gadgets like impact web or electro webs, and even my favorite web bombs, which can splatter webs all over the surrounding thugs coming at you. You can also use these tokens to purchase a variety of suits; you can even modify each suit with different techs you pick up along the way.
With all of this being said, there is so much to discover and do on this game–so many nooks and crannies to truly stop and appreciate, whether you are a die-hard fan of Spider-Man or not. The voice acting is phenomenal–I haven’t even mentioned the voice talent of this game’s Spider-Man is Yuri Lowenthal, who is an amazing voice actor and possibly my favorite version of Spider-Man’s voice and character. The scenes truly feel like another Spider-Man movie and possibly the best Spider-Man movie. The challenge level of the game isn’t super hard, unless you choose a beefier challenge option, which is great. The storylines, including the DLCs, are amazing; and I’m a sucker for a great story that complements great game mechanics. There is so much to love in this game that you can easily sink in hours just going through the side missions alone and never getting bored. Players will also get a chance to learn about the characters that are in the Spidey Universe along with some of the rogue gallery. It was fun juggling Parker’s vigilante life with his personal life, and I would even go on record to say this on my all time favorite game list.
Tell us what you think. What is your favorite Spider-Man game? Share your reactions in the comments below.