One month prior to the PlayStation E3 2018 Media Briefing, Sony Interactive Entertainment America President and CEO Shawn Layden revealed that Spider-Man would be one of four major first-party titles highlighted at the show. With a cover story in Game Informer magazine, several in-depth gameplay videos all over the web and an official release date confirmed, many questioned what more Sony could tell us about Insomniac’s upcoming title that we didn’t already know.
While the seven-minute E3 2018 showcase demo served the purpose of answering some questions and raising new ones, the real excitement came after the PlayStation briefing when we finally spent some much-needed hands-on time with the game. Below are a few of my thoughts on this highly anticipated title and why it very well may be one of the best Spider-Man games in recent memory.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is an action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective featuring the iconic Marvel Comics superhero in all his glory. It’s the first licensed game being developed by Insomniac Games and this version of the character will appear in an upcoming Marvel Comics Spider-Man related event planned for late September titled Spidergeddon. Fans can expect a new storyline with a 23-year-old Peter Parker and several other well-known characters including Mary Jane Watson, Aunt May, Miles Morales, Norman Osborn and more.
The fifteen-minute demo that I played started off with me casually swinging across the open world modern-day New York City setting. Spider-Man‘s NYPD ally Yuri Watanabe usually alerts him of nearby criminal activities and from there you have a choice of either doing these missions or continuing to explore the city. Traversing across buildings and rooftops with the use of parkour maneuvers, web-slinging and wall crawling felt both natural and satisfying. This is one aspect that I absolutely loved about Sunset Overdrive and it’s great to see that Insomniac has continued to refine this formula in their other titles.
Combat is another versatile and engaging feature within Marvel’s Spider-Man. While it feels very similar to the combat system featured in a Batman Arkham title, the overall core aesthetics are deeper thanks in part to aerial moves, finishing moves, occasional quick time event prompts, spider-sense quick reflexes to warn against incoming attacks and the ability to pick up objects within the environment and hurl them towards your adversaries. There are also bonuses that you can earn based on objectives that you have completed. These added layers of fighting are guaranteed to keep combat scenarios fresh and allow players to master their favorite moves at their own pace.
After beating down two groups of enemies and stopping a truck bomb, my demo concluded with a battle against The Shocker shortly after he attempted to rob a bank. Swinging around in a more concealed environment like the bank lobby definitely felt more challenging as I had to be quick with my attacks. With this boss battle, you had to figure out the enemy’s attack pattern and be ready to retaliate once you saw an opening. I’ll be very curious to see how other boss battles later in the game will differentiate from this one as every encounter definitely won’t be the same.
While I very much enjoyed this short demo, I still have a few lingering questions in regards to how the final product will ultimately turn out. Which other Marvel superheroes and/or villains can we expect to make surprise appearances in the game? How will playing as Mary Jane Watson in key moments within the story differ from playing as Peter throughout the entirety of his adventure? Will completing missions start to get repetitive after awhile or is it possible that they may become more fleshed out? Luckily the answers to all of these questions and more are right around the corner.
Spider-Man launches worldwide on September 7th. Are any of you planning on picking up the game in a few months? Please feel free to let us know your thoughts on the upcoming title and more in the comments section below.