Spider-Man 2: Spider-Man has undeniably become one of the most iconic fictional characters in the last five decades, gracing comics, films, cartoons, video games, and more. Among the various interpretations, Insomniac Games’ 2018 release, “Marvel’s Spider-Man” for the PS4, stands out as a true gem in the Spider-verse.
Unlike other iterations, it wisely skipped Peter Parker’s origin story, immersing players directly into a vibrant, sprawling Manhattan. The city felt alive, teeming with activities and featuring a rogues’ gallery of Spidey’s famous foes. It also set the stage for Peter Parker and Miles Morales to eventually team up.
What truly made “Marvel’s Spider-Man” exceptional was the sheer joy of gameplay. Insomniac masterfully captured the thrill of swinging through the city and battling villains, making web-slinging one of the most beloved game mechanics. You may also read ABC Cancels The Wonder Years.
Spider-Man 2 Web-Swinging into the Future
As we’ve seen with other single-player Sony masterpieces like “The Last of Us,” “Horizon Zero Dawn,” and “God of War,” the challenge is always: What comes next? Having played a two-hour demo of “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2” at a recent press event, it’s evident that the answer is to go even bigger.
This strategy has worked well for previous sequels, though sometimes they run the risk of feeling overstuffed. While it’s still early to make a final judgment, considering Insomniac’s track record and the rich Spider-Man universe they have to work with, expectations are high for this latest spider-adventure.
My demo began deep into the game’s narrative, which I won’t delve into too deeply, as I didn’t get the full picture.
However, I do know that classic villain Kraven is on the hunt for another iconic Spider-Man adversary, Dr. Curt Conners (aka the Lizard). Peter and Miles are both trying to protect the city from Kraven’s hunters while also searching for a cure to revert the Lizard to his human form.
In a demo like this, gameplay takes precedence over story details. “Spider-Man 2” had a lot to offer in this regard. Since the game world is nearly twice the size of the original, with the inclusion of Brooklyn and Queens, Insomniac focused on providing new ways for players to traverse the expansive city.
Enter the web wings, a tool that lets you glide through the city, harnessing wind tunnels and updrafts for high-speed maneuvers. It’s not meant to replace the core web-swinging mechanic but to enhance it.
Given how exhilarating swinging through Manhattan felt in the original game (and still does here), this is quite an ambitious addition. However, it didn’t take me long to adapt to gliding across long stretches of the city and seamlessly transitioning into web swings to regain altitude.
Web wings are particularly useful in areas like Central Park and Queens, where tall buildings are scarce. Navigating Central Park felt somewhat awkward in the first game, so this addition greatly improves traversing different terrains and crossing rivers – even engaging in battles on them.
Gameplay footage from earlier in the year showcased both Spider-Men chasing the Lizard down a river while being pursued by Kraven’s hunters, both on water and in the sky. The web wings played a crucial role in catching up with and thwarting the hordes of enemies.
Another side mission had me controlling Miles as he pursued one of Kraven’s drones. To keep up with it, you had to use the web wings to tail the drone while downloading vital data. Gathering all the data took some skill, as you needed to stay close and navigate the city’s twists and turns.
There’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to making tight turns and quick ascents with the web wings. I found myself colliding with buildings a few times, allowing the drone to escape.
With practice, I got the hang of it, but it was an exhilarating experience that felt almost like a high-speed race. Challenges like this serve as a smart way to introduce new mechanics and educate players on their optimal use.
Unsurprisingly, combat has also received some tweaks. Players familiar with the previous Insomniac games can easily dive into the action and take on the numerous foes prowling New York City.
Both Peter and Miles have four special moves corresponding to the four face buttons on the controller. Holding L1 and pressing one of these buttons triggers a special attack.
While playing as Peter, these moves involved the symbiote suit going berserk, while Miles employed variations of his electrical attacks from his previous game. These special moves charge up as you engage in combat, and you must wait for them to recharge. It’s likely that you can acquire and equip new moves as the game progresses.
In the previous games, repeatedly pressing the circle button for dodging was a key part of combat. However, “Spider-Man 2” introduces a change: there are enemies whose attacks require parrying by pressing the block button at precisely the right moment – dodging won’t suffice.
Other attacks necessitate dodging, as they can penetrate any attempts at parrying or blocking. These different attack types are indicated by a color flash above the enemy, signaling when it’s time to block or dodge.
Managing these diverse attacks disrupted the familiar gameplay, as it took some time to adjust and break old habits from prior games.
Both Spider-Men have upgraded gadgets compared to the older games. Previously, you could hold down R1 to switch from your standard web-shooters to various other gadgets for combat assistance.
Now, R1 always defaults to web-shooters, a change I found quite welcome. From there, you can hold R1 and select a face button to activate a specific gadget.
The preview concluded with an unusual twist: Peter embarks on a solo mission to track down the Lizard after he escapes into the sewers, displaying uncharacteristic symbiote-induced behavior. Miles notes that this departure from Peter’s usual demeanor is concerning.
However, the demo didn’t stop there, treating me to the only true “boss battle” of the preview as Peter faced off against Conners. This was a sprawling, multi-stage showdown that required me to apply all the skills I had honed in the prior two hours, including well-timed dodges and judicious use of special attacks.
As with the epic battles in previous Spider-Man games, I needed to discover specific tactics to expose the Lizard’s vulnerabilities – simply relying on standard attacks wouldn’t cut it. I faced a few defeats before grasping the mechanics, but these failures didn’t feel unfair.
Once I mastered the strategies, I dispatched the Lizard relatively quickly, or so I thought. The demo ended on a cliffhanger that hinted at possible consequences for Peter’s solo mission.
Typically, it was due to my failure to recognize the need to dodge rather than block, or some other aspect of executing a skill the game had introduced. You should also check Shocking Revelation Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith.
Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long to uncover the outcome, as “Spider-Man 2” is set to release on the PS5 on October 20. While we can’t provide a full recommendation until a complete review is conducted, it’s safe to say that fans of the first games will want to dive into this sequel.
Even newcomers should find it accessible without requiring an encyclopedic knowledge of Spider-Man’s history. While Insomniac has crafted compelling stories for both Spider-Men, the pure thrill of swinging through and battling in NYC remains one of the most exhilarating gaming