But Spiderman constantly ups the ante, and late-game battles are plagued with too many grunts standing on the side-lines with machine guns, or body armour that nullifies a good chunk of your attacks. Once Spiderman actively began taking away my opportunities for mischievous fun I began having a lot less of it, and endgame battles devolved into the same safe combos that I knew would hit home, all whilst desperately struggling to stay on top of gunners that were intent on screwing up my once beautiful combos. I understand that games should get harder as they go on, but never at the expense of fun or flow.
Spiderman PS4 is downright gorgeous, and easily the best looking open world I’ve ever explored. New York is a playground in Spiderman, deceptively designed for silly speed and thrilling emergent gameplay. It’s littered with the usual open world minigames that I was happy to pick and choose between as I played, but I’m so happy they’re there so that I have a reason to continue to revisit this world and to enjoy its many distractions.
Characters look almost as good – facial animations range from absolutely excellent to a little stiff at times, but honestly it feels like a tiny nitpick when you take in the bigger picture. In Spiderman’s most dramatic moments, everything comes together to form a visual effect that I didn’t doubt for a second.
Spiderman is absolutely packed with stuff for Spiderfans to obsess over and pick apart – including countless (genuinely, there’s so many I couldn’t count them even if I tried) references and homages to seemingly ever Spiderman incarnation that’s ever existed. This ranges from obvious nods to incidental similarities that you just know were carefully planned and executed so that fans would say “Oh hey, that’s reminiscent of the Raimi trilogy”. This is the ultimate comic book game, surpassing the absolutely excellent Arkham Asylum as the king of the comics (finally!!).
Oh – and finally the sound design is absolutely killer, too. The epic score ramps up in all the best moments, paying tribute to every OST from Spidey’s past whilst delivering one of the most triumphant, original soundtracks I’ve played in a game for a long, long time. The voice acting is similarly excellent, too, and the entire package is a masterclass in how to put a game together.
I don’t care if you’re a fan of Spiderman or superheroes in general, or even if you have a PS4 – as a gamer you owe it to yourself to check out Marvel’s Spiderman, whatever the cost. It’s easily the best Spidey game ever made, it’s a stunning, always surprising title to play that’s constantly fun, and it’s somehow one of the best cinematic stories I’ve seen accomplished in the medium of gaming to date.
There’s a lot of great games coming out in the next couple of months, but I would be shocked if anything but Spiderman tops my Game of the Year list this year. It set the bar spectacularly high.
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