The web slinging friendly neighbourhood superhero got another video game in 2018 and I’ve finally played through it.
When thinking about a Spiderman game the first thing that comes to mind is web slinging and swinging. I was very pleased with how this game handled it. For once having a large map that was slow to travel across made the travelling fun, this was no boring horse ride or an uphill struggle, it was just flinging yourself around a city with enough going on that it was hard to get bored. Even the areas without skyscrapers were fun to travel because Spidey could use his webs to pull himself and spring off buildings which just made the pacing really fluid and fun.
Spiderman is a fighter in a more traditional sense than alot of superheroes and this game got that one right too, especially in the later sections of the game after you’ve levelled up a bit. It takes the idea of the Batman Arkham games and makes it Spiderman suited. Punch and kick enemies with dodges and counter attacks in what proves to be another well flowing, fun experience that when you add in gadgets to web enemies and a suit power gets even better.
The villains are an interesting bunch with the Kingpin being the lead into the plot where one villain lasts for most of the game until there are suddenly six. I don’t want to make spoilers for those that don’t want them so I won’t list who they are. The plot revolves around the villains and their plot to attack the city but there are some sad moments and it is quite a good story. However, for all the praise I can give this game the bosses are the start of what’s wrong with it. I can only think of three boss fights that were actually interesting to me which means quite a few didn’t do great characters justice and the whole last section of the game seems a bit rushed although the final boss fight was epic like the end of a Spiderman game should be.
For me the worst part of this game was the forced stealth sections. As Spiderman some missions would require you to not get spotted which were annoying but worked well with a Batman Arkham style system of zipping to a high point and doing stealth takedowns. Then there were sections where you play as Mary Jane or Miles, the only Mary Jane one that I enjoyed was the one where an AI Spiderman assists and the only enjoyable Miles section involved one of the bosses. The worst bit about these sections was that they normally appeared just as the Spiderman story was getting exciting so the pacing that was picking up suddenly went flat.
Side activities are scattered well all over the city meaning there’s very little time to get bored. They all basically boil down to a test of either combat or web swinging skill but they feel varied and well paced enough that as long as you progress the story a bit every now and then they don’t start to feel old or tedious. However the wave based nature of some combat sections leave the game more of a struggle to survive than swinging in as a hero, this does often end up frustrating late game.
Overall, a very fun open world game with a level up system, combat and traversal that all make sense. The experience only soured by badly timed stealth sections and my dislike of stealth in general. Side quests that explain things about characters and story that are actually fun add to what’s already a great game that’s well worth buying and even better if you like stealth.
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