Title: Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered.
Release Date: 2020.
Console (played on): PlayStation 5.
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Comedy.
Developer: Insomniac Games.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Director(s): Ryan Smith.
Writer(s): Benjamin Arfmann, Kelsey Beachum, Christos N. Gage & Dan Slott.
Music: John Paesano.
Voice Actor(s): Yuri Lowenthal, Tara Platt, Travis Willingham, William Salyers, Darin De Paul, Nancy Linari, Stephen Oyoung, Laura Bailey, and many more!
My Overall Rating:
In their over 20 years of original game development, Insomniac Games (Spyro, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance) picked Spider-Man of all the known Marvel characters to be the protagonist of their first licensed game. Originally released as an exclusive on the PlayStation 4 back in September 7, 2018, the game was received with praise and love from the gaming community, almost making it up to par to the classic Batman: Arkham series. With the release of the PlayStation 5 and the spin-off Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (2020), a remastered edition of the first game was included in the ultimate edition of the Miles Morales game and offered fans the chance to re-experience the beloved game with the next generation console’s staggering new technology (faster frame rates and loading speed, stunning ray-traced reflections, upgraded lighting, and DualSense haptic feedback).
What is Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered about? After an exhilarating hunt for Wilson Fisk that inevitably leads to his arrest, Spider-Man learns thanks to Mary Jane that a new group called the “Inner Demons”, led by the mysterious Mister Negative, is terrorizing New York in search for a something called the Demon’s Breath. While he tries to elucidate their plans, he must also juggle his own plethora of worries and challenges as his current employer Otto Octavius goes down a dark adn twisted path upon learning that they might not be getting the funding they need to pursue their advanced prosthetic limbs project. If matters couldn’t get any worse, the ongoing rally for re-election by Mayor Norman Osborn shakes up the political landscape and invites additional players into the chaotic playground. While no one is yet aware of the larger scheme at play, only Spider-Man can do something about it all as he puts his life on the line to save the people he loves but also the city he protects.
Luckily for everyone, the game doesn’t look into offering players the chance to start from scratch and re-experience Spider-Man’s origin story once again (although we do get to witness the introduction of Miles Morales). This time around, Peter Parker is a twenty-three year old research assistant who looks up to his mentor, friend, and boss, the scientist Dr. Otto Octavius. He’s had a couple years of experience as the friendly neighbourhood superhero, made a bunch of enemies along his way, mastered various crime-fighting strategies, works hand-in-hand (sort of) with NYPD Captain Yuri Watanabe, and has been through a rough yet healing relationship with Daily Bugle reporter Mary Jane Watson. Throughout this story, players are given the chance to experience in a third-person perspective both Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s points of view (including two other unique perspective introduced progressively throughout the story) as he goes off to help those in need while stopping bad guys from wreaking havoc in New York City.
Emotionally- and physically-draining, Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s adventure will bring him to make tough decisions that implicates people he loves but also those who he looks up to. Brilliantly-paced, players witness the intimate bond he has established with several characters, as well as the life-changing impact they each have on Peter Parker, especially their role in forging his beliefs, his motives, and his purpose in life. While his great powers might make a lot of his daily battles effortless, they indeed come with great responsibilities that he will not be able to deny anymore. From trying to rebuild his relationship with Mary Jane to reaching deep within the hearts of people in which he believes there’s still good despite the evil they’ve embraced, Insomniac Games beautifully and fundamentally capture the heart and soul of Spider-Man throughout this game.
On top of the fantastic narrative propelling the player deeper into an immersive fictionalized New York City environment, it is the spectacular gameplay mechanics that springs this game to a superior tier, allowing players to embrace lightning-quick traversal skills with jumping and web-slinging features, natural wall-climbing abilities, and cinematic fighting mechanisms that includes dodging, physical combat, web-based attacks, and sophisticated gadgetry action. As players progress through the game, they are introduced with more advanced abilities, gadgets, and suits that allow players to be creative and spontaneous in their combat strategies. The smoothness of the gameplay is what ultimately allows this game to capture the hearts of players but the stunning graphics, elevated by the PlayStation 5’s features, also gives this world a vibrant and familiar feeling that makes it near impossible for players to get tired of swinging around high skyscrappers or reaching the tip of the Avengers Tower to gaze upon the city (let’s also not forget the photo mode that gives players the freedom to immortalize the most stunning moments they encounter throughout the game).
Initially released in three parts, the downloadable content called Spider-Man: The City that Never Sleeps is also included in this remastered edition and benefits greatly of the console’s features but also from the possibility to chain all three short stories into one bigger story without the month wait in-between each of them. While the larger story in itself isn’t mind-boggling, it does have serious repercussions on a key character’s transformation that will inevitably be tackled upon in an eventual sequel. The DLC also puts in evidence the game’s overall primary flaw, that of its repetitive formula found especially in the side-missions and activities, mostly involving collectibles. While entertaining and simple for what they are, not too challenging for the average gamer, whether it’s about defeating waves of enemies, beating time trials sets by Taskmasker, or going around the city to take photos of landmarks, these activities become redundant and stale after a while, turning them into time-consuming tasks rather than exciting detours. Nonetheless, they aren’t annoying enough to ruin what is otherwise a formidable superhero game that later gave way to a spin-off and teases an imminent sequel yet-to-be-announced on the PlayStation 5.
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered (2020) is a spectacular action-packed open-world adventure exploring Peter Parker’s struggle to balance his personal, professional, and crime-fighting lives while saving the world from ill-intentioned supervillains.