Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is an exclusive game for the PlayStation 5 console, which not only develops the series’ formula in an almost perfect way, but also draws heavily on other great titles from the Japanese console. It’s also one of the best superhero games in years.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is not a revolutionary game that would turn on its head the gameplay known from the first part released in 2018 and from the 2020 game Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which introduced the universe of the second Spider-Man. However, the first hours of gameplay show that we are dealing with a production that improves the most important features and mechanics of games in the series, adding new solutions that make it a great superhero story.
About superheroes, because in the game we control two Spider-Mans – both Peter Parker and Miles Morales. We can switch between both heroes at will in the open world and perform activities scattered within it with the selected character, although while completing the main story missions and some side missions we learn the story from the eyes of the hero imposed by the game.
This is a great solution that allows the creators from Insomniac Games to tell the personal stories of two characters, which interestingly intertwine in many important moments of the game.
And the story itself is definitely one of the stronger points of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. It is not just a pretext for further fights, presenting the problems our superheroes struggle with. And not only those related to super villains, but also the difficulties of adapting to “civilian” life. The game also features Spider-Man’s characteristic sense of humor.
The supporting characters accompanying the heroes are also presented interestingly and believably. And a separate hero of the game is certainly New York itself, whose various faces we get to know thanks to the side activity of taking photos – this time enriched with a story justification explaining why Spider-Man, instead of chasing criminals, also takes photos of his beloved city.
Drawing from the best
The game doesn’t hesitate to take advantage of the best experiences of other Sony exclusives, which can be seen in many places. The narrative, which uses found objects, small side activities (such as entertainment at an amusement park) and short conversations with characters to tell the story, is reminiscent of plots in the Uncharted or The Last of Us series.
Fighting a huge opponent the size of a skyscraper using a QTE sequence is a dream come true for fans of old God of War games presented in a modern way. I also had a clear association with the series of adventures of the God of War, using the rampage ability that both Spider-Men have. You can use it after filling the appropriate bar, becoming a real machine of destruction for several dozen seconds.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 also shows action scenes in a spectacular way, using the camera very dynamically. Explosions, chases, shootings, collapsing skyscrapers – it’s all in this game. Watching these scenes, at certain moments we feel as if we were playing a role in a top-class superhero movie. This feeling is also complemented by perfectly selected music.
PlayStation 5’s potential used
This perception of the game is made possible by the beautiful graphics, finally taking advantage of the power of PlayStation 5. Marvel’s New York serves as the background of our game, this time not limited to Manhattan Island, but expanded to include Queens and Brooklyn.
We move around the city not only using webs, swinging between skyscrapers, as in the previous parts, but also using webwings, which are the spider version of a wingsuit. We use air currents to glide, which allows us to fly from one side of the city to the other, even without using the net. This mechanic has greatly developed the way of moving around the city, making exploration more dynamic and convenient.
The game also makes great use of the DualSense controller. For example, haptic vibrations can be felt with every step of the running hero, adaptive triggers were cleverly used in one of the mini-games, and the loudspeaker on the pad makes an amazing additional impression when our character goes berserk.
The fight develops the ideas from the previous series, but this time the skills and gadgets are assigned in a much clearer way to the appropriate buttons and shortcuts on the pad, thanks to which we can use them very smoothly in subsequent battles. The seemingly minor change, which allows you to hang your nets anywhere and move over the heads of unsuspecting opponents, has also greatly expanded the possibility of eliminating them silently. Interestingly, they themselves are prepared for this and react in a much broader way to our actions than before, being able to watch their backs or gather in a group once we have eliminated a large part of them.
For fans of PlayStation games, for Marvel fans
After several hours spent in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, I am enchanted by the story presented – both in terms of gameplay, the portrayal of Spider-Man’s character and the beauty of New York straight from the pages of Marvel comics. Insomiac Games once again shows that it can make superhero games, giving us one of the best games of this type in several years.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 goes on sale on Friday, October 20.
We received a review copy of the game from Sony Interactive Entertainment Polska.