GSY REVIEW | PS4 Tuesday, September 4, 2018 | 4:00 PM

GSY Review: Spider-Man

GSY Review: Spider-Man

It's September already and things are about to heat up with all the upcoming releases. Today is a big day as we have a special guest to welcome, the super hero you've all been waiting for on PS4 since E3 2016. As you'll understand when reading our verdict, we haven't been fully convinced by Insomniac's take on the super hero genre, but Spider-Man remains a very solid game you will undoubtedly enjoy if you love the Web Slinger in the first place. Just don't expect it to be anything else than a Batman Arkham lookalike.






Verdict


Spider-Man is without a doubt a good game which is both very effective and perfectly polished in terms of visuals and animations. That being said, after completing the game at 100%, we cannot say it is truly one to remember, contrary to most exclusives on Sony's console. Don't get us wrong, we enjoyed our time on the game, but in the end, it is just another super hero game set in an open world that is more often than not quite unimaginative in terms of content. By the end of the main story, you'll have kept repeating the same actions over and over again which is made even worse because the upgrade and crafting systems require you to play those optional activities to earn the necessary tokens (of which there are too many by the way). The more is not always the merrier, something developer Insomniac Games seems to have forgotten. There are different categories of crimes (thugs, demons, prisoners, mercenaries), different categories of bases to clean up (demons, prisoners, mercenaries, Fisk guys), timed challenges based on (again) combat, stealth or traversal, backpacks to collect, towers to hack to reveal all the surrounding activities, pigeons to catch, etc. It's all been done before and although each of those side mission can be fun when taken separately, there is bound to be a moment when you've just had enough of them but you still need to complete a bunch more to unlock something cool. It is also unfortunate that none of the sidequests have anything interesting to offer in terms of story. They are all very generic and the only point we've found in doing them is that they give you XP and you need to complete them all to get the last suit (provided you've also completed the main story and done everything that needs to be done in each district). We may sound a bit harsh, but we expected a bit more, at least in terms of variety. That being said, there is still a lot of fun to be had when playing Spider-Man, whether you're a fan or not. The characters are well-written, the plot, though not surprising at all for the most part, is engaging, and we also liked the fact that the city evolves through time because of the events that occur. The main problem is that we were more motivated to follow the main storyline than to take our time wandering in the open world and it's a bit of a let-down for us. Let's hope some more varied content will be added to New York City, or that the upcoming DLC will offer new exciting gameplay sequences - and more interesting boss fights. As it is, Spider-Man is a very entertaining game, but it sets no milestone for the super hero genre, at least in our book. In the movies, DC Comics tries to follow in Marvel's footsteps but remains behind, in video games it is almost the exact opposite, which is a real tangled web if you ask us.




Mister Positive


+ Graphics look superb (especially during the day in dry weather)
+ A very detailed and lively city
+ Great work on the animations
+ Dynamic combat system
+ Quick Times Events do not occur that often
+ Many suits to unlock
+ Exhilarating traversal sensations
+ Fast travel is funny (and pretty fast on Pro)
+ You'll get your share of side activities
+ Very respectful of the original chracters
+ Some pretty impressive scenes to watch or play
+ Facial animations are excellent for the most part
+ Story may be classic but it's engaging
+ The best Spider-Man game set in an open world
+ We're still curious to see what the DLC will have in store for us


Mister Negative


- New York by night doesn't always shine
- The OST is nothing memorable
- Unmissable QTEs
- Wall crawling can be awkward at times
- Neither day/night cycle nor dynamic weather system
- Unimaginative open world
- Towers to hack, pigeons, only feathers are missing
- Most side activities are based around the same thing
- Only 2 mini-games for the puzzles, it gets old pretty fast
- Only 2 ways to deal with all the boss fights
- Stealth for dummies with MJ
- You're bound to hear your PS4 Pro when playing

Traversal in Spider-Man (FR)
Traversal in Spider-Man (EN)
Side activities (FR)
Side activities (EN)

All comments

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Commented on 2018-09-04 16:12:29
Thanks for this! I am curious to know what puts the DC games ahead...I found Arkham knight to be the same as its predecessor mechanically, and beautiful visually, but atrocious in terms of narrative.
Commented on 2018-09-04 16:15:59 In reply to catfish
Well, to be perfectly honest, the only Batman game I've truly enjoyed is Asylum. I found City boring because of its open world structure and the way it was built, and I didn't have the courage to complete Knight. Origins was better than I imagined at the time, but mainly because it was not too long. Problem is Spider-Man is more Arkham City than Asylum and it doesn't feel fresh today. It's a mix of Batman, Prototype, inFamous and the previous Spider-Man games (back then, I enjoyed Shattered Dimensions a lot, thought it was a bold way to make a Spidey game, and I even found The Amazing Spider-Man quite thrilling when it came to traversal). It's entertaining, but at the end of the day, it's not memorable and it can get really redundant. Now obviously, some people will disagree and it's all fine. :)
Commented on 2018-09-04 16:23:05
- You're bound to hear your PS4 Pro when playing


:(

Curse you sony for being so great at making games but terrible at hardware
Commented on 2018-09-04 16:28:30 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
Well, to be perfectly honest, the only Batman game I've truly enjoyed is Asylum. I found City boring because of its open world structure and the way it was built, and I didn't have the courage to complete Knight. Origins was better than I imagined at the time, but mainly because it was not too long. Problem is Spider-Man is more Arkham City than Asylum and it doesn't feel fresh today. It's a mix of Batman, Prototype, inFamous and the previous Spider-Man games (back then, I enjoyed Shattered Dimensions a lot, thought it was a bold way to make a Spidey game, and I even found The Amazing Spider-Man quite thrilling when it came to traversal). It's entertaining, but at the end of the day, it's not memorable and it can get really redundant. Now obviously, some people will disagree and it's all fine. :)
Thanks for clarifying. I can totally understand. I played Asylum, CIty and Knight, and to be honest, always found them a bit derivative even Asylum. This has me interested a bit more because of Insomniac's involvement - I am not really a big fan of either marvel or DC stuff in general. I'll keep my expectations in check, but like what I have seen so far.
Commented on 2018-09-04 16:42:09 In reply to catfish
For an Insomniac Game, the bosses are quite disappointing. Not saying they were all incredible in their previous titles but in Spider-Man, it's always the same 2 methods to beat them.
Commented on 2018-09-04 16:55:11
cannot wait for friday. reviews have been great. i think "best spider-man game ever" is all i really needed to hear though. and hearing it compared to batman and infamous here is certainly high praise in my book.

https://youtu.be/L2wr7vebb6Y

DF tech analysis for those who want to watch it. looks stunning.
Commented on 2018-09-04 17:21:23
No day/night cycles? wtf... Hope this comes later with an update.
I guess it's to enforce the sense of progression through story but still...

Side activities lacking originality is the worst tho.

Thanks for your detailed impressions and review. I'll still take the game but at least i won't expect too much on some aspects. Overall it sounds very good.
Commented on 2018-09-04 17:22:52 In reply to syder
There will never be a day/night cycle or a dynamic weather system as it's all linked to the main story, as in inFamous.
Commented on 2018-09-04 17:27:54 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
There will never be a day/night cycle or a dynamic weather system as it's all linked to the main story, as in inFamous.
can you choose between the set times of day after the game ends? that's all i really want...again, like you could in infamous.
Commented on 2018-09-04 17:29:42 In reply to Driftwood
I meant as an option like some features that are added later on like new game plus. I know it's tied to story. I guess there could also be some goof in the dialogue and stated times due to this.
It would be more of a freeroam feature.
Commented on 2018-09-04 17:30:36 In reply to KORNdog
You can (as explained in one of the videos if I'm not mistaken), but you only have 3 time options (day, sunset or night), no weather options.
Commented on 2018-09-04 17:42:19 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
You can (as explained in one of the videos if I'm not mistaken), but you only have 3 time options (day, sunset or night), no weather options.
ah, i think horizon only had 6 TOD's and they had a system that seamlessly blended between them creating the illusion of a day/night cycle. i'd imagine spider-man could do something similar, but it would need more TOD states to maintain the illusion. 3 doesn't seem like enough.
Commented on 2018-09-04 17:43:32 In reply to Anvil
Posted by Anvil
- You're bound to hear your PS4 Pro when playing
:(
Curse you sony for being so great at making games but terrible at hardware
If there is one thing I cannot stand with my PS4 Pro is how loud it gets. That fan is ridiculous at times. This game is bound to have that fan blowing for a while.

As for the Spiderman game, the one thing I was hoping they would not do, they did. The side missions can not be done the same way as they done in previous Spiderman games and it appears they did.

Can't understand how they didn't tie those into the main story like Witcher 3.
Commented on 2018-09-04 17:44:37 In reply to zarbor
Funnily enough, it gets noisier in the lab when you play as Peter. It's indoor and it's only a bunch of rooms (but lots of details).
Commented on 2018-09-04 17:46:21
While Insomniac following the open-world formula to a tee is not very inspiring or fresh, I still love open-world games very much. I love the Batman: Arkham very much, as welll as Spider-Man, so this is right up my alley.

It may not be the greatest game, but as long as it is entertaining and fun to play, that's all that really matters.
Commented on 2018-09-04 20:16:20
It'll probably be a while till I get around to play this, but it sounds great.
Commented on 2018-09-04 20:34:04
Thank you for the Review Driftwood. Glad you enjoyed it.
Commented on 2018-09-04 20:37:54 In reply to Sdarts
Good review guys. Seems like what i expected - some pretty good main missions and bosses, but kinda bad side content.
Rocksteady set the bar quite high for these superheroes games, long time ago. It's still not easy for others to top their work. I wonder what they are cooking for so long now...
Commented on 2018-09-04 21:13:47 In reply to Driftwood
i dont get it... u talking about that spider-man is behind batman arkham series, AND at same time u completed spider-man at 100% but u disliked city and didnt complete knight. wtf?))

about that side missions dont have good story... well, this is not dark and mature witcher game lol. personally i dont mind that side mission about "another villian must be captured\another citisen must be saved", cus in superhero game i want more gameplay and less talk. arkham in that terms is same to me

and "in the end its just another superhero game"... really?!!! how much we have good superhero games? AK were in 2015, second son in 2014. other superhero games is much older, or just bad or mediocre. yeah. JUST. ANOTHER... we cant have just another in the genre that have so little good games and so rare have great games. and even if they didnt make(first time btw) great openworld with great sideactivities, it still sounds like great game. which is spider man deserve to have for DECADES.

thx for review, cus im so glad to hear, that insomniac really know that "with great power comes great responsibility"
Commented on 2018-09-04 21:16:54 In reply to Seth
Posted by Seth
Good review guys. Seems like what i expected - some pretty good main missions and bosses, but kinda bad side content.
Rocksteady set the bar quite high for these superheroes games, long time ago. It's still not easy for others to top their work. I wonder what they are cooking for so long now...
even for themselves. AK have worst side content in the series. and also they somehow f**ked up game mechanics and balance, cus fighting and stealth is totally unchallenging comparing to previous titles
Commented on 2018-09-04 21:24:50
fuck this shit, same thing with each movie. That doesn't seem spiderman traversal... all ALL. You are just a dud with low gravity floating in space and web/force pushing yourself forward. that Ain't a spiderman game. it's millenial garbage.

meh.
Commented on 2018-09-04 21:28:15 In reply to Voland44
Posted by Voland44
even for themselves. AK have worst side content in the series.
First two games... especially AA. The game was something special back then and still holds up well today. Obviously, the quality of the series went down, when WB started to milk it after Arkham City.
That said, with long development time now, Rocksteady could make something really big again (hope it's different superhero game).
Commented on 2018-09-04 21:36:37 In reply to Seth
Posted by Seth
First two games... especially AA. The game was something special back then and still holds up well today. Obviously, the quality of the series went down, when WB started to milk the it after Arkham City.
That said, with long development time now, Rocksteady could make something really big again (hope it's different superhero game).
yeah, since arham series come(which have really great start in terms of game industry), and since we have nonstop superheroes movies, spider man game didnt sound so special for many. but not for spider-man fans who waiting for decades not just only - good or acceptable, but really great game. that ppl really hyped now. also that is perfect start for new wave of marvel games.
Commented on 2018-09-04 21:54:49 In reply to Seth
Posted by Seth
Good review guys. Seems like what i expected - some pretty good main missions and bosses, but kinda bad side content.
Rocksteady set the bar quite high for these superheroes games, long time ago. It's still not easy for others to top their work. I wonder what they are cooking for so long now...
I’m not entirely sure rocksteady are the best people to use as an example of devs who did side content right? I mean, they’re the guys who, when faced with an open world simply filled it with 8000 riddler trophies and nothing else. Knight improved on it a bit. But I don’t know of any traditional open world game that doesn’t have the "problem" of shallow (sometimes repetitive) side content. Even the Witcher 3 has it with it’s nests etc.

Devs at this point have taken 1 of 2 routes regarding open world games:

They either fill their open world with optional shallow content (see GTA, Arkham city/origin/knight, far cry, assassins creed, Witcher, infamous, etc etc)

Or...

they don’t put anything to do in the open world at all (see mafia 2, la noire) and the open environment simply serves as background between missions.

I can’t think of an open world game that doesn’t do one of these 2 things? And if I had to choose between either, i’d definitely choose category A. As boring as I might have found the riddler trophies to be, or as unfulfilling as the pigeon killing was in GTA4. I’m not opposed to it being there, because no-one is forcing me to do it. But it’s nice to have if you do get into the tasks included (for instance blowing up bases in the saboteur or collecting orbs in crackdown) even if they are ultimately shallow distractions.
Commented on 2018-09-05 00:34:28
This game looks particularly unimpressive
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About the game


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