You probably have at least one friend who can’t shut up about Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PS4. I can’t blame them. This game — I’m sure you’ve already heard — IS AMAZING. Here are 5 of my favorite things about it:
1. WE are Spider-Man.
I’ve played a couple of Spider-Man games before and they were fine. They let us control Spider-Man. This PS4 exclusive by Insomniac Games? The combat system and the traversal let us fight and swing around like Spider-Man. It gives us gadgets that make sense as weapons for Spider-Man. It takes us through both the personal troubles of Peter Parker and the crime-fighting dilemmas of Spider-Man. It lets us have fun and goof around as Spider-Man. It lets us BE Spider-Man.
It’s kind of a cliché now to say that the game makes you feel like you’re Spider-Man, but it’s true. It’s the closest thing we’ll ever get to experiencing the life of Spidey and Peter Parker without getting bitten by a radioactive spider.
2. A New Universe
I’m glad this game isn’t based on any particular comic book story line and it isn’t related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe either. It’s its own unique Spider-verse with a fully formed Peter/Spider-Man and a well-developed supporting cast. The relationship between Peter and Mary Jane is particularly charming and it reminds me why they’re one of my favorite couples in comics.
Also, skipping the whole Spidey origin story is one of the biggest reasons why this world feels so fresh and new, yet still familiar and welcoming.
3. I Heart New York
I have spent hours just swinging around a virtual New York City without really trying to finish a task and I will never get tired of it. There’s nothing like swinging along skyscrapers while the epic background music swells up or BASE jumping from the top of Avengers Tower.
4. PHOTO MODE!
While other games also have a photo mode, this feature makes the most sense in a Spider-Man game. Photography is a big part of Peter’s character so a photo mode somehow makes the game more… Spider-Many. Plus, Spidey’s stance, movements, and poses in addition to a bunch of image editing tools let you produce some very interesting, dynamic photos.
Here are some of my favorite shots that I’ve taken throughout my first playthrough of the main game and The Heist, the first part of the City That Never Sleeps DLC:
And that, my dudes and dudettes, is how I got into gametography.
5. The Feels
Marvel’s Spider-Man is not all about web-swinging, crime-fighting, and picture-taking. There are a bunch of great character moments here featuring Spidey and a number of supporting cast including Miles Morales, Mary Jane Watson, Aunt May, and Black Cat that will make you feel different kinds of feels.
There’s also a cameo by a certain Spidey co-creator that made me sit up and grin like an idiot. I always love it when he comments on Spider-Man characters. Seeing him here was a pleasant surprise that I won’t mind revisiting every now and then. Thank you for everything, Stan.
So, Game of the Year?
I haven’t played enough games this year to make any kind of credible claim or prediction, but what the hell — GAME. OF. THE. YEAR.
It’s fun, it’s beautiful, it makes you feel things, it’s amazing. And I’ll never shut up about it.
Marvel’s Spider-Man and The City That Never Sleeps: The Heist are both available now for the PS4. The second part of the DLC, Turf Wars, drops November 20, 2018.