NO SPOILERS ahead. Just a Barrage of my Screenshots. You have been warned.
Insomniac have absolutely mastered the feel of our favourite web-head; everything from each swing through the bustling city streets, to his awkward-yet-humorous self when faced with everyday life as a normal guy.
As a kid, I was obsessed with Spider-Man. I collected so many toys, films, games, suits; anything I could get my hands on that was Spider-Man related, I would sure try. I remember getting a Spider-Man suit for my 6th birthday while on holiday, so I wore it to the beach to climb some rocks, and my oh my was I magnificent.
I also remember playing Spider-Man 2000 on my PlayStation 1, and that was just the best time I could have: Repeatedly starting the game over, so I could swing across the rooftops, and stealth my way through the bank, dreaming of a game where I could go down to the streets. Then, Spider-Man 2 on the PS2 came along, of which delivered on so many of my wishes for a Spider-Man game, almost to perfection; but I won't go into that game right now, because we all know how good it is.
Now I’ll be honest with you: this obsession kind of settled under some dust. While my love for Spider-Man never disappeared, it was somewhat overshadowed by the multiple reboots, lack of games, and generally the amount of games that come out each year altogether.
So it's only fitting that Insomniac, my favourite developers from my childhood (of which I have to thank for 'Ratchet & Clank' and 'Spyro The Dragon') take up the task of redefining what it means to be Spider-Man, and recovering my love for the character altogether. A daunting task, no doubt, and everyone had that 'back-of-the-mind’ skepticism about how this game would turn out, because we all wanted it to be good.
Well… it's good.
More than good in fact; it's contending to be my personal Game of the Year, fighting for the title head-on against God of War. Insomniac have done an amazing job, and have honestly achieved what I know no other developers could manage. Spider-Man is theirs. They deserve him.
The story in this game is astounding, being so much more than just another 'Spider-Man’ game; in fact, it's more of a Peter Parker game than anything. When we hear all these quips and conversations from the web-head, we’re hearing Parker, and all of the passion and emotion to go with him. I genuinely like and care about this Peter Parker more than any other version I have seen; he is relatable, kind, awkward, humerous, and it is all pulled off fantastically in this iteration of New York.
Speaking of New York, this game looks beautiful. Whether it is day, night, or in between, I never found myself disappointed with the constant views while swinging from building to building. In this, the city is very well crafted: the replication of Manhattan is impressive, and expansive, with plenty of detail and traversal mechanics to truly make the game feel and look fluent. There has never been a more accurate 'Spider-Man' game.
Fun fact: The voice actors for Parker and another character he talks to frequently were all recorded twice. Why? So that the game can seamlessly vary between idle talk, and trying to tirelessly form sentences whilst swinging and flipping between buildings.
There have been countless occasions playing this game where the attention to detail has genuinely amazed me, even down to fingerprints on the metal lid of a jar of spice. Speaking of which, it's worth collecting every single backpack in the game (the main in-game collectable), to look at and hear about all 55 items and Easter eggs along with them.
If you have any ounce of appreciation for Spider-Man, or any other Marvel character for that matter, then I am telling you: you have to play this game. Spider-Man on the PS4 is one of the greatest games this year.
I don't really rate games or anything like that, so all I’ll say is this:
Thank, you Insomniac.
For the countless hours of joy you brought me as a child, and for the amazing passion you have reminded me of now, as an adult.
Your love and effort you put into your games is wholeheartedly appreciated, and I await the honour of playing the next Spider-Man game you bring us, and any other game in the future.
Keep up the good work.