If you’ve been waiting to playon PS4, you’ve been in the dark for awhile. The game was announced over two years ago, and for most of that time, we’ve known almost nothing about it. We knew that it was a PlayStation 4-exclusive take on the iconic hero made by Insomniac Games — the studio behind Sunset Overdrive, Ratchet and Clank and the upcoming Spyro the Dragon remake, that it starred Marvel’s iconic wall-crawler and … that was about it.
Now, the game is finally gearing up for release — and Sony brought the game out for its right to make sure hype for the game is at an all-time high. Can it live up to the legendary swing mechanics of Spider-Man 2? Will it ride on the success of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man film? Will we play as Peter Parker, or Miles Morales? Let’s talk about what we’ve learned.
Insomniac’s new take on Spider-Man is all new — which is to say that it’s not directly connected to any Spider-Man story told in past video-games or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When it was announced, however, there was some confusion: the Tom Holland wore the Spidey-suit in .reveal took place just a month after
This version of Spidey may not be connected to the MCU, but Polygon reports that he will be integrated into the comics continuity in the upcoming “Spidergeddon” even, a follow-up to 2014’s popular Spider-Verse storyline.
You won’t need that to enjoy the game, though. Instead, Marvel is giving Insomniac the freedom to tell an all-new story about Peter Parker’s life as a hero.
And that’s a good thing, because…
This is an older, more experienced Spider-Man
If you’re tired of hearing about how much responsibility comes with great power, than this might be the Spider-Man game for you. Insomniac says Peter Parker’s origin story isn’t part of the new game — in fact, it’s ancient history. In Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4, our hero is 23 years old, and has been swinging through through downtown New York City for about eight years.
It has a ton of iconic Spider-Man villains
Eight years of fighting crime earns you a lot of enemies — and some of Peter Parker’s most iconic nemeses showed up in the game’s E3 trailer, including The Scorpion, The Vulture, Electro, Rhino and Negative Man. There will probably be more villains in the game, too: in a subsequent gameplay trailer, you can see “Fisk” written on the side of some buildings, the name behind another Spider-man nemesis: The Kingpin.
Considering the fact that Electro unleashed pretty much all the inhabitants of the RAFT Prison in the above trailer, almost any Spider-Man villain is possible.
Insomniac is dedicated to getting web-swinging right
Talk to any web-head about Spider-Man games, and a single title comes up: 2004’s Spider-Man 2. A tie-in for the Tobey Maguire film of the same name, the game nailed the feeling of web-swinging — and Spider-Man games have been chasing that dragon ever since. That’s why Insomniac Games has been adamant in interviews that it’s going to get this crucial feeling of movement right. Earlier this year, GameInformer asked creative director Bryan Intihar if webs would stick to buildings. His answer said it all: “They better if I want this game to sell at all.”
The question and answer may be a gag, but the gameplay mechanics aren’t. Past Spidey games have shown that having semi-realistic physics is essential to giving a game an authentic Spider-Man feel. Webs have to attach to real points in the world, Spidey’s momentum needs to be dictated by how the player swings and when they let go of their webbing, and movement needs to be fast, fluid and non-stop. According to early impressions, Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 has all of that in spades — featuring a movement system that’s easy to learn, but offers players nuanced control of the game’s titular hero.
In short, movement might be enough fun to be a game itself. And it has to be.
The Avengers might be in the game. Maybe.
Look carefully at in-game footage of Spider-Man swinging through Manhatten, and you might spot Avengers tower in the background. On its own, that might just be a sly nod to the rest of the Marvel comics universe, but at E3, there were other hints. Specifically, a display featuring a prop newspaper had real-estate advertisements for the property that holds the Avenger’s mansion in the comics, There’s also reference to Daredevil’s law firm.
The game has a photo mode. And a selfie mode.
If you could climb the tallest building in New York, you’d probably snap a selfie, too. Now you can: Peter Parker’s day job has made the transition to an in-game photo mode — letting you compose carefully crafted pictures of the wall-crawler in action or stop and take a selfie with a civilian. Nice.
Spider-Man isn’t the only playable character
No, we’re not talking about the fact that you get to play as Spider-Man’s alter-ego, Peter Parker — according to a Game Informer interview, Spider-Man’s on-again/off-again girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson will also be playable. How the Mary Jane missions will shape up still haven’t been revealed yet, but creative director Bryan Intihar says she’ll be something of an investigative reporter. “Mary Jane’s going to surprise a lot of people in this game,” he says.
There might be one more playable character, too…
Miles Morales is in the game
The game’s E3 2017 trailer ended by revealing a fan-favorite character: Miles Morales. This character hasn’t appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but in the comics, he takes on the role of a second, younger Spider-Man who’s originally from an alternative universe. Yes, comic books are weird and complicated. Insomniac hasn’t revealed if he’s going to be playable in the final game, or if this is just a fun Easter egg. According to marketing at E3, Miles will have a knack for robotics too, suggesting he plays a key role in the story. Either way, his presence in the trailer is definitely intriguing.
It’s coming at a good time, too — just a few months after the game’s launch, Miles Morales is getting his own movie:. That’s not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe either, but it is a gorgeous looking animated film that looks like it’s taking some deep dives into Marvel lore.
Combat looks fluid and nuanced
Batman: Arkham Asylum set a standard for free, natural looking combat that naturally flows between attacks, defense and movement — and it kind of became a gold standard for super-hero games. Spider-Man seems to follow suit: early previews of the combat show a complex, natural looking system that sometimes looks less like gameplay, and more like a choreographed cartoon.Watching Spider-Man chain his attacks together and pull combos on enemies is a little breathtaking.
We don’t know a lot of specifics yet as to how the system works, but the above clip shows that Spider-Man has a “focus bar” that fills up when he fights — which can be used to execute special attacks or heal. We also know the game works on a progression system that will allow you to get more attacks and movement abilities as the game progresses. That’s not the only thing you can unlock, either…
Spider-Man has a lot of costumes
Don’t like Spider-Man’s new look? No problem. Insomniac has confirmed that Parker will have a whole closet of alternative costumes to change into — including a punk rock Spider-Man outfit (complete with a denim vest and, apparently, an electric guitar) and a costume based on Tom Holland’s Iron Spider suit from Avengers: Infinity War.
Better still? You won’t have to pay for them, either. Intihar says the game has no microtransactions.
You’ll be able to play it this year
Marvel’s Spider-Man for PlayStation 4 hits stores on Sept. 7, 2018.