Is it a game? Is it a movie? No, it’s Marvel’s Spider-Man and it’s both, as DAMIAN REID discovers.
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Marvel Spider Man PS4
$95.00 to $120.00
Witchdoctor rating: 9/10
Having played every game in the Spider-Man franchise since PS1 days I was looking forward to the latest edition. However, given that Marvel had seen fit to reboot the cinematic Spidey with yet another teenage version of the web-slinger I was a little apprehensive as to what we were getting.
Well, let me just say that this is not the teenage homecoming Spiderboy but the adult Spider-Man I really wish the Marvel Universe had introduced in Civil War.
Anyway, feelings about the cinematic universe aside, let’s talk about how Amazing Spider-Man is. The graphics are spectacular and using motion capture on the voice actors added a depth to this game that gives you a real movie experience. In particular, William Salyers as Dr Otto Octavius and Mark Rolston as Norman Osborn stood out for me.
The game involves a lot of cinematic scenes which normally would bug me but as part of such a compelling story and with such great acting it was never an issue except a little in the end sequences of the Boss Battles. After all my hard work fighting to defeat Rhino, or Electro or Vulture etc. I was often left a little cheated when the epic knockout sequence was taken over by a movie sequence.
Speaking of combat and general game play, this was like putting on a familiar pair of gloves, swinging, rappelling, web-slinging, punching, kicking and gadgets are all reminiscent of old Spider-Man games with some new additions giving the game a sweet modern feel.
Through a series of missions, side missions, challenges, crime and base scenarios you accrue experience, skills, gadgets, suits and suit powers to allow you to defeat your foes in a variety of different ways and with many different outfits. I particularly liked doing stealth missions in the noir suit.
It is at this time I should say that early on especially, dodge is your friend and brute enemies suck. Also if you want to unlock everything you will need to be especially good on the challenge missions.
The story sees you playing Peter Parker aka Spider-Man aka Spidercop as he swings his way around New York fighting crime and putting bad guys away. It opens with the triumph of sending Wilson Fisk to the Raft. This, of course, creates a power vacuum in the seedy underworld of New York and it would appear that a new gang called the Demons are making a play for Fisk’s empire.
Of course, nothing is as it seems and this develops into a much more convoluted plot of revenge, betrayal and outright vengeance.
This game is set in the Amazing Spider-Man universe where Peter Parker is a scientist and a lot of his foes have augmented their abilities with high tech. This opens up some fun puzzles as Peter is working for Dr Octavius and helping him to develop breakthroughs in prosthetics and allows for a change in pace as you work out circuitry and identify chemical compounds.
This more technological Spider-Man universe was the setting for the short-lived Andy Garfield Spider-Man movies and I am glad that this is the direction the game has gone in. Why? Because it is just cool, okay?
It also gives a chance to see a version of the Sinister 6, where six of Spidey’s foes team up to beat Spider-Man and do evil deeds.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is a great game but it’s also a movie and the soundtrack that accompanies this game/movie is stellar. Composer John Paesano has created a sound that draws you in and makes you feel as you play this game and watch the cinema unfold. Whether it’s an action-packed fight scene, a turning point where our hero needs to mount a comeback or a tragedy that brings tears to your eyes (it was dusty when I completed the story), Paesano’s music fits perfectly.
This game was so good and the story so compelling that I sat through the credits expecting a stinger and I was not disappointed. In true Marvel movie fashion, there are two with one hinting at a possible sequel.
The ending was a Holy S#1t! moment, I am not going to lie and I won’t spoil it for you but be prepared.
All that is left to say is if you have not played this game yet, go and do so now.