Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 — exclusively out now on PlayStation 5 is arguably the best superhero game. It feels like a step up compared to its 2018 and 2020 siblings. A subtle and neat upgrade to the traversal also plays a pivotal role down the line. Spider-Man 2 lets you assume the roles of Peter Parker and Miles Morales, offering a deeper exploration of their lives and adding layers to the story — in a bigger city.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2Rs 4,999
VALUE FOR MONEY8.0/10
What Is Good?
- Good visuals
- Bigger playable area
- Takes advantage of the PS5 hardware
- Slightly improved combat mechanics
- Interesting villains
- Web wings are just mind-blowing
What Is Bad?
- Somewhat predictable story
- Some side activities lack motivation
- Redundant and repetitive fight scenes
The neat execution, not just on a technical level, but on an emotional level is matchless. It has a bigger task at hand narrating the story of Venom, which deserves separate screen time of its own.
The gripping storyline gives you an adrenaline rush, while the combat adds a sense of satisfaction. The game still has that relatable factor and that’s more to do with the characters since they also have real-life problems. It’s not all roses with boss fights dragging on for too long and redundant fights occurring at every corner. But, all of that combined make the Spider-Man 2 a very worthy successor. If you’ve played the previous games this is a must-buy.
Note: This article might contain mild spoilers for Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 Gameplay and Graphics
The gameplay does not deter much from its source and that’s a good thing. The elements built over the last five years can be seen paying off in this iteration. The larger map gives you a lot of space to fool around using both masked superheroes. Playing as Peter and Miles both adds a different dynamic to the game and gives you an emotional insight into their daily struggles — which is what makes the Spideys so relatable. Switching between them happens in mere seconds, and that’s beyond cool.
With the bigger map at hand, swinging is an elevated experience. The subtle and much-needed web wings addition is a godsent (or Insomniac Games sent) gift that makes life so much easier. This makes you feel like Superman in Spider-Man’s suit. There, I couldn’t have said it better. It’s further made easier by the deployment of slipstreams throughout the entire city. The ability to catapult yourself using your webs reminds me of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man 2. This is also a neat way of reviving yourself from the ground back into the air, straight into action.
Completing missions across the districts gives you access to Fast Travel and other things. Insomniac Games puts the PlayStation 5’s hardware to full use by roughly taking two seconds to reach another corner of the Big Apple. This partially explains why the devs wanted to keep the game PlayStation 5 exclusive at launch. Sadly though, Fast Travel was always an afterthought for me considering swinging and flying between the tall buildings was more fun.
There’s a healthy disparity of abilities between both Peter and Miles. Although they both have different ways to tackle the enemy, the same button layout helps keep things simple. Combat fairly runs on the foundation laid back in 2018. It doesn’t necessarily feel new, but at this point, it’s just muscle memory. A bunch of new tricks and moves helps keep things fresh.
The newly introduced parry system is all about timing for a successful and rhythmic reversal that’s well-choreographed. This is more fruitful against boss fights when they are not prone to normal webbings. Peter and Miles can at times tag-team against enemies with certain little elements that just give us an insight into how childish and fun the characters are.
Special abilities and gadgets, assigned to L1 and R1 buttons, respectively are displayed on the bottom side of the screen. Peter and Miles both get their independent skill tree along with a shared one. The library of suits is also quite impressive with a few of Tobey Maguire’s nostalgic spandex. You unlock more as you progress through the story.
The gadgets can make or break your combat when dealing with a big group of baddies. The Finisher moves are still here, and the cut scene is just as magical as before. Stealth missions are more fun with Miles because of the invisibility factor, but it remains the same as before. Side missions include a proper story and context with a bit of an emotional touch to it.
Despite that, I wasn’t very motivated to complete them because it’s pretty much the same as before, but in a different skin. Fighting a bunch of groups, rescuing people, capturing photos, gathering intel, and more are not very inspirational. It feels that Insomniac Games played a safe hand in this. Puzzles, unlike the 2018 version are not that annoying and can be solved instantly.
Spider-Man 2 runs near flawless on the PlayStation 5, putting the hardware to good use. While the shiny suits and reflections lie in the fidelity mode (30fps), the performance mode is just as playable if you want decent 60fps gameplay. Even after a few initial patches, I faced bugs where Peter got stuck behind a tree or a mission where the story did not move forward even after thrashing all the enemies. This should be fixed in the coming patches, so don’t worry.
The game also puts the DualSense to proper use with the amazing haptic feedback flowing through the palm of your hand. Each blow and kick has a rhythmic vibration and it just feels satisfying. The touchpad is also useful for bringing up the FSNM app or the cameras.
Spider-Man 2 Story
Spider-Man 2 slingshots you straight into action from the starting screen, making you feel like you were never gone. The high-octane intro is by far the best way to get your muscle memory back into action. The storyline is somewhat predictable if you have followed the web crawler across different mediums. It’s a good depiction of friendship, family, emotional balance, humanity, and more. Where it excels is narrating two individual stories, without the entire plot sounding chaotic.
Peter sees a bunch of changes in his life with the return of Harry, a new teaching job, Mary Jane, and more. Miles, on the other hand, is still coping with the loss of his father, while also finding his love interest. This is what makes the Spider-Men so relatable because they have real-life problems. There are also moments in the story where it’s made prominent that even if Spider-Man wins, Peter and Miles lose. Without spoiling much, Insomniac Games summarises everything very well, but at a rather slow pace in the initial hours.
While the 2018 version had the Sinister Six, this time around there are not many villains, but the ones that have been introduced are pretty deadly themselves. Kraven — the hunter, is in search of all the villains while destroying the city in its path. The game throws you into different environments fighting multiple enemies.
The thing is, this feels good at the start, but it stretches out a lot and gets kind of repetitive. The same few moves to beat the similarly dressed opponents. The Hunters, compared to previous enemies are a bit more tough to beat. Some of them stick to the wall and shoot stuff. Come on that’s annoying, Imagine I did the same — oh wait.
The inevitable entry of Venom brings more life to the story and despite the predictable nature, gets you excited. This is when chaos gets the best of Peter, Miles and MJ. Playing with the Symbiote suit is a different feeling altogether. The abilities get batshit crazy and you feel like any obstacle can be thrashed — that’s what the alien goo can do to your mind, and well Peters. Combat gets more heated and out of control, with little cutscenes when using the Symbiote Surge. Certain other characters also play a powerful role that tends to change the course of the story.
Spider-Man 2 also puts you in the shoes of other characters, which also involves Mary Jane and her infamous stealth missions. In some instances, it felt as if hunting down the enemies using MJ and her powerful weapon was easier than fighting with the Spider-Men. This is a good addition and a bit of refreshment from the usual pow and bam that the masked superheroes offer.
Spider-Man 2 Verdict
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a fun game. On the surface, it is still very much like the previous iterations, but a more refined and superior version that feels complete. This has been achieved thanks to the new traversal system, suits, combat, and skill tree. Above all, Insomniac Games respects the loyal fans of the Spider-Men by not messing around with the universe much. Not just that, Spider-Man 2 is a technical marvel with fast loading times, fast travel, and more.
But, it’s not all perfect. The open world could do with more inspiration. Despite a bigger playable area of New York City, there’s a bit of redundancy in the side quests — you’ll mostly be beating the same dressed enemies by hitting the same combination of buttons. The bosses also tend to overstay their welcome.
The storyline, no matter how exciting, has been told many times before. But, this also paves the way for a bigger picture that lies ahead of us.