After two and a half years of waiting, Marvel’s Spider-Man has finally been released. The PlayStation exclusive video game has been in development for several years and developer Insomniac Games, the company behind the original Spyro trilogy and the Ratchet & Clank games, have worked hard to create a truly immersive Spider-Man experience.
As per the previous Spider-Man games, New York City is your playground and players have complete freedom to traverse the giant metropolis by swinging, web-zipping, wall-crawling or simply jumping on the New York City subway system through a brief but humorous cut-scene.
Players aren’t required to have a vast knowledge of Marvel’s Spider-Man universe, but those new to the franchise may still be able to recognise familiar Spidey characters such as Aunt May, Mary Jane and J. Jonah Jameson who, in this universe, runs a Spider-Man-hating radio show. The game features some of Spidey’s most iconic villains and begins with a now experienced Spider-Man suiting up to battle terrifying crime-boss the Kingpin before all hell breaks loose across Manhattan.
Early reviews have shined a spotlight on the game, praising its story, gameplay and the playground that is New York. It’s been so well received that the game has been compared to the critically acclaimed Batman Arkham series with reviewers in particularly praising Spider-Man’s fluid movement and acrobatic combat.
Spider-Man can sneak up into the rafters and stealthily take down enemies or jump into a large crowd webs-blazing. He can even use a neat selection of Tony Stark-inspired gadgets to help take down enemies or distract them.
Meanwhile, Manhattan is a living and breathing environment and looks to be one of the closest video game interpretation of the city ever made. New York residents react to Spidey running through the city, with some choosing to high-five or take selfies with the hero. Insomniac Games also made sure to pump the city full of activities to keep players distracted, whether in the form of random crimes, challenges or strategically placed collectables needed to unlock the huge array of different Spider-Man suits available.
And as a nod to Parker’s old career as a photographer, players are encouraged to explore the city and snap pictures of New York’s real and fictional landmarks such as the Empire State building and Avengers Tower.
Millions of fans all over the world will be suiting up as Spider-Man tonight and over the weekend. As praise continues to pour in a question has arisen: Is this the best superhero video game to date? Many gamers won’t find out until tonight though, in their minds, it already is.
I, like many others, won’t have a chance to play as the superhero until later on. But as I finish writing this, while wearing my beloved Spider-Man socks no less, I can’t help but wonder how many players will be climbing to the top of the Empire State building for a giant superhero leap off.
I know I will, and I can’t wait.
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