When it comes to the world of Marvel IPs, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that in the last 14 years they have dominated the superhero genre in cinema. Unfortunately, when it came to the world of video games, DC has been a step or two beyond its reach. I can’t deny that games like Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009) represented the benchmark for superhero gaming that all others have tried to bring themselves up to. Its near-perfect balance of sneaking around behind goons’ backs, puzzle-solving, and pugilistic combat outclasses even its larger, more ambitious sequels.
However, the gaming landscape changed in 2018 when Marvel and Insomniac Games released the button turner that changed the world of comic gaming forever, Marvel’s Spider-Man. Over the last 4 years, many people have raved at the complexity and the undesirable feeling they got when they jumped into the suit of the web-slinger from Queens, and completed mission after mission around New York as this game progresses. Unfortunately for a pc only player, this was a horrible letdown that only came to console. So I sat crying and sniffling in the corner as Playstation Elites and Xbox Extremists roared about the one game to change it all.
But Hark, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and on August 12, 2022, that light shines bright as Peter Parker sling’s his way into the heart and minds of the PC world, and I was blessed to jump into this game and try it out for the first time. First and foremost, I will say although the wait for this to come to PC was a very long and daunting time, I can say wholeheartedly, that it was so worth it.
Marvel’s Spider-Man begins with amazing graphics and sound and just leaps forward from there. After an explosive introduction that sees him square off against non-other than Wilson Fisk (the crime lord of Hells Kitchen), players are released into an unbelievable recreation of downtown Manhattan. It appears as if the programmers went down each street and just grabbed it and put it in the game.
The detail and the accuracy are so compelling from the brick tenements and elevated train tracks of Harlem, through the neon dazzle of Times Square. Insomniac is clearly and justifiably proud of its virtual New York; Spidey can use his photography skills to take snapshots of key landmarks, making sightseeing a core part of the game.
Now when it came to web-slinging around New York, the Keyboard and mouse were not easy to manipulate, so I had to switch to a controller. This is maybe my one and only true complaint about this game. As a PC player, I rely on Keyboard and Mouse, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers. Insomniac has compressed the complexities of Spider-Man’s web-slinging into a single button without diluting any of the thrills. All the player has to do is direct the swing and release before launching the next web to maintain momentum. With a little practice, it won’t be long before you’re able to cross the city without touching the ground, threading the needle between tiny gaps in Manhattan’s skyline and acrobatically propelling Spidey from ledges for a burst of speed. The feeling is exhilarating and I know the first time I did some needle threading my heart was racing. A vast amount of work has gone into making his arcs through the city seamless and it is truly marvelous (no pun intended).
When it came to banishing criminals that lurk in New York’s alleys that required a lot more learning. Spider-Man’s combat is a familiar mix of punching and dodging, but makes its own through more open-ended scraps, a fondness for launching goons into the air, and judicious deployment of web-based gadgets. I have to admit that one of my favorite moves is the hammer-swing A.O.E. attack with a thug. I start off by webbing up the enemy, then attaching a web string to them and spinning around to knock over other notorious bad men. It makes me giggle and laugh like I am doing the meme, “Have you ever beat a MF’r with another MF’r?”
Just like in the comics, Spidey can be sneaky when he needs to as well. Hopping from ledge to ledge and silently stringing up criminals. However, it’s easy to be spotted – the red and blue spandex does seem to attract attention to our neighborhood good guy – so most situations descend into fisticuffs before long. Mastering the fighting is crucial as New York is rife with criminal activity from semi-random car hijackings and store robberies, to larger criminal “bases” that offer a more substantial combat challenge.
Now as you progress through the game, you get to unlock variant Spider Suits. Each one provides you with a different fighting style and more importantly a special attack, and there are so many ones I truly enjoy that I had a hard time deciding which one to wear next. Now a game would not be a game without some tough battles and most importantly BOSS fights.
This game does downplay a little. I mean we do get to see Peter’s adversaries but they are not like his main antagonists. There is no Venom or Green Goblin but we do get 7 bosses to test our skill against, Dr. Otto Octavius, Shocker, Wilson Fisk, and such. I wish there were higher-tier villains but I am not complaining for the first game.
Spider-Man’s narrative is surprisingly rich, striving to show us Peter Parker and those close to him (both enemies and friends) as nuanced, human characters. Insomniac’s writers are on fine form, delivering a whip-smart MJ who’s far more than a damsel, and peppering combat with Spidey’s beautifully bad jokes. Its adjustment of J. Jonah Jameson into a frothing shock jock is a little stroke of genius.
It also explores the notion that great power may come with great responsibility, but one man can’t save everyone. I must say for me that the best part of the whole gaming experience is getting to see “THE MAN Stan Lee” in the game. The Cameo made me feel things that, I can’t it is too soon. I am just so pleased that he was in it and his words to Peter and MJ were heartbreaking, “I hope you two would get back together.” I love this game too much.
Now during my playtime, I did run into issues and bugs, however, I am very pleased to state that these have all been looked at and fixed by Insomniac in the last 2 weeks. The game runs smoothly and is flawless. The graphics are much better with ray tracing and now this wonderful game can even go with you and be played on the Steam Deck. This game shows tremendous love for all things Spider-Man, and the ending packs a punch he would be proud of.
In fact, the cliffhanger at the end made me pray that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 comes to PC at the same time as the console. Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered for PC is available now for Pre-Order through Steam or Epic Games Store for $59.99. And if you pre-order, you get 3 extra Spidey Suits, a Spidey Drone, and 5 extra Skill Points to use.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered for PC provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment.