Thoughts on Marvel's Spider-Man

It’s been a while since I engaged in anything Marvel related, but playing this game was a good call.
Off Topic

I’m a long-time fan of comic books and the superhero genre, but for a while now I’ve been at this point where I had more or less given up on Marvel and DC. I developed a distaste for Marvel’s storytelling even before their MCU movies became stale and uninspired, and a lot of it has to do with how they handled Spider-Man in the comics. Even years after the fact, I’m still resentful of the One More Day storyline, and how that comic book threw away years of plot and character development.

Sad times

The Preamble

To clarify, I read hundreds of Spider-Man issues and enjoyed most of them. I love Spidey! I love the character of Peter Parker and everything he stands for. However, Marvel has a commitment problem (DC has it too, but that’s beside the point now). They rarely follow through on transformative storylines and often avoid dealing with the necessary consequences. History showed that Marvel would rather reboot their entire comic book universe over and over again than steer away from whatever their current status quo is…


  Marvel comics are afraid to let their characters grow and change. Even when they introduce and explore stories that shake things up, sooner or later something dumb happens that reverts it all back… One More Day is that something dumb that reset Spider-Man’s development. Meanwhile, the generic adventures that came after were by no measure worth it. I don’t remember at what point I stopped reading Marvel comics, but One More Day is the moment I stopped caring.

The Point

So... why am I ranting about comic books in what should be some form of a game review for Marvel’s Spider-Man (Remastered)? Well, simply put, this game succeeds where the comics had failed. Marvel’s Spider-Man follows through on its premise and all its promises, delivering an amazing story.  This game is the definitive Spider-Man experience, and by far the best Spidey content we’ve gotten in years!

Happy Spidey

  If you’re a Spider-Man fan you should definitely play this game. If you’re not a Spidey fan, this game might make you into one! Now, clearly I have a lot of praise for Marvel’s Spider-Man, but that doesn’t mean the game is flawless. So let’s break things down a bit…

The Biggest Problem

The story of Marvel’s Spider-Man is on point. Like, really on point! But gameplay-wise, the story missions are probably the least fun part of this game… It’s the way they play out. The game has many cutscenes, and though they’re all gorgeous, well-choreographed, and well-acted, they keep interrupting the gameplay. Some cutscenes involve quick-time events which bring slight interactivity to them, but even so, we only get short bursts of activity during the main missions.

Rianbow Six Siege Vibes, but with Spidey

  Some missions even further mess up the gameplay loop by putting you in the shoes of certain non-superhero characters. From a narrative standpoint, sure, those alternative POVs are interesting and at times maybe even essential to explore. But from the gameplay side of things, it feels like you’re being punished. Playing as Spider-Man is super fun—don’t you take that away from gamers! Thankfully, the open world part of this game lets you go to town as Spidey…

The Open World

There are multiple activities to seek out as you swing your way through (incredibly detailed and lively) Manhattan, most of which are unique and tied to the main story in one form or another. For example, there’s a set of mini-missions that shed a lot of light on Peter’s old friend Harry Osborn. There are also crime activities that reflect the current state of the city, while some side quests tie up loose ends from the main story.

Spidey the Impaler
It's all good fun!

  Additionally, the open world is riddled with collectibles, and surprisingly, they’re also fun and rewarding to pursue! Swinging and jumping around as Spider-Man is intuitive and fun, so having collectibles on the map isn’t a nuisance but rather something to aim for while you hang around town. What’s more, Peter will comment on most items you collect, giving you an insight into his personal history and past adventures. It’s a great way to seamlessly expend lore and do some light world-building!

  Another great thing about the game design here is that you're not bombarded with all the different activities and collectibles at once. Instead, Marvel’s Spider-Man paces that content out, introducing new stuff at different stages in the game, so you’re never overwhelmed by it and you almost always have something new to pursue. Perhaps the downside of this approach is that you’ll be visiting the same areas multiple times throughout the game (if you want to 100% the map, that is), but seeing how the city is gorgeous and the traversal never feels like a chore, I don’t really think that’s an issue.


  To be fair, much like the main missions, the side activities are also short and easy. However, unlike the main missions, there are no cutscenes in the open world. You’re always in control, so you can freely string together multiple activities and really get into that superhero gameplay loop!

The Basics

As for combat and stealth… both are a bit underwhelming, but they do the job. My biggest gripe with combat is that hitting enemies usually lacks any real sense of impact. I know Spidey is pulling his punches, but with the sound effects and the way enemies fly around, it all plays out a bit cartoony. Maybe it wouldn’t come across as strange if the game didn’t look super realistic in almost every other aspect…

Finishers were the only attacks that felt good to me, but they took some time to build up.

  I can't help but notice that Marvel’s Spider-Man copies a lot of combat mechanics (and other things) from the Batman Arkham games, only… it doesn’t pull them off as well. If you never played the Arkham games and this is your first experience with this type of combat, I’m sure you’re going to get a thrill out of it. Otherwise, you’ve already played a better version of this combat system.

  Leveling in Marvel’s Spider-Man also isn’t as fun, since most skills hardly introduce anything new or affect the base gameplay much. Spidey’s gadgets were handled better in that regard, and there’s some fun to be had with crafting different costumes and acquiring special abilities that way. Still, most upgrades in this game felt like an afterthought. Meanwhile, using gadgets sometimes feels like cheating…

No joke, Spidey has some overpowered toys.

  That said, the base mechanics are all right, while the available content is engaging! The main missions aren’t paced great, but the open world lets you correct that, and you’re encouraged to play around before jumping into another cutscene-heavy phase. As mentioned, Marvel’s Spider-Man rewards map completion with relevant information about the story and the characters, so in a way, everything balances itself out.

The Biggest Win

Visually, Marvel’s Spider-Man is stunning and the RTX in this game is the best I’ve ever seen, but all the good and the bad wouldn’t mean much if not for the story and the characters. Luckily, those two elements were the highlight of the game for me. I loved this adventure!

Pizza Time!

  Yes, I complained about the main missions from a gameplay perspective, but from a narrative standpoint, there wasn’t a dull moment. I don’t want to spoil anything about the plot, but it’s safe to say this is a superhero story, and it’s a Peter Parker story. A good one.

  The characters are well developed, their relationships are organically introduced and explored, and everyone’s put through trials that, unlike in the comics, involve serious consequences. The game developers took some liberties and changed certain things from the source material, but they remained incredibly true and respectful to the original ideas of who and what these characters should be.

  The way they captured Peter Parker’s personality, both in and out of the Spidey costume, was outstanding. And unlike the movies, at no point during the game was I put off by the way Pete was represented. The Peter Parker in this game is the Peter Parker I’ve always known and loved from the comics.

That is, once I installed the mod that restored Peter's original face in the game...

  The remastered face debacle is a whole thing. The developers fucked up. Don’t ask… just trust me and play with the mod if you're on PC. Anyway! The game also establishes other characters well, while no change from the comics felt needless or out of place. In fact, some character changes were straight-up improvements. (Looking at you, new MJ… who now has a lot in common with a certain character in my own stories…) The way they introduced Miles Morales was also effective and fitting.

The first appearance of Miles Morales was botched in the comics, but not in this game!

  Everything about the story felt cohesive and well-structured. The writers behind the game took inspiration from certain comic storylines, then actually made them better… They took things where the comics were afraid to go, and you can feel the passion behind it! It’s rare to see changes done right, without sacrificing the core ideas and character integrities, but the team behind Marvel’s Spider-Man really pulled it off… Props.

Thumbs up
Now don't fuck it up with the sequel!

The DLC Campaign

The remastered version of Marvel’s Spider-Man comes with a three-part DLC adventure that was also cool to experience. Naturally, the story here isn’t as epic as the main narrative, while nothing changes in terms of gameplay, but still… it's all good fun. This adventure is more comic-booky in its plot and execution, though there's a certain charm to that as well. Either way, these three chapters explore certain side characters, they set up some sequel elements, and if nothing else, they let you hang out with Spidey some more! So, if you liked the main game, you're going to enjoy this extra content, no doubt about it.

Black Cat
The first DLC chapter was the best one for me. It had a great vibe.

Note on the Soundtrack

It feels wrong to finish this post without having mentioned the game’s soundtrack anywhere, but Marvel’s Spider-Man is an odd case for me in that regard. The original music here is fitting, effective, and well-composed. However, it isn't really memorable… I find this to be the case with most superhero soundtracks, for some reason.


  I recognize that this game has quality music (clearly inspired by Sam Raimi’s movies), but it just doesn’t stay with me after I exit the game. I remember enjoying the main theme and its variations, but as I write this, I can’t recall its tune… Though, I did like it. It's a better soundtrack than that any of the Spider-Man movies have, so there's that.

In Conclusion

If only the comics went in the direction this game took, I’d still be reading Spider-Man issues on the regular… As things are, I care not for comics anymore, but I thoroughly enjoyed Marvel’s Spider-Man.

Spidey pose

  As a video game, it's all right. As a Spider-Man story, however, Marvel’s Spider-Man is outstanding! Add those two together, and I get an excellent 9/10! This is the good stuff… More of this, please.


Anyway, with great games come great reviews.
Take care, everyone!

Vladimir RadojkovićVladimir Radojković

  A long time ago I made up this universe and now, among other things, I write stories for it. When I’m not working on Order of the Spirits, I'm usually busy running a small hotel in a small town. Or programming. Or playing games on GOG. Yeah… Mostly playing games on GOG

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