By Conor Maxwell
Oct 04, 2018
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Review: Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

Okay, so we all know this game is fantastic. I’m gonna give this shit at least a four at the end of this review – don’t get me wrong. What I want to talk about, however, is whether or not this breakthrough in superhero gaming is better than its obvious primary influence, the Batman: Arkham series (2009-15). Spoiler: it ain’t. 

Where Spider-Man most succeeds is in the web-swinging, the aerial combat, and the quips he makes while supergluing thugs to walls. Basically, Spider-Man is really good at making the player feel like Spider-Man. So why does it also try to turn him into Batman? Stealth mechanics feature heavily, and in a game where you primarily swing around in broad daylight in a bright red suit, they seem out of place. Plus, enemies during the sections have no peripheral vision and no awareness that their friends are being taken out one by one. And if you do mess up during a stealth mission, there are almost zero consequences as, unlike Batman, Spider-Man has super strength, and can more than handle himself in a gunfight. 

I wish I could have played Spider-Man without comparing it to the likes of the incredible Batman: Arkham City (2011), but the gameplay similarities are so similar in places—even when it doesn’t make sense for the character—that comparisons are unavoidable. Spider-Man’s popularity will guarantee it a sequel, and I would love to see the titular character put away his stealth suit and dead parents, and focus on being the wisecracker we know and love.

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