I am among those who were thrilled with the presentation of ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ in a way probably disproportionate. Also among those that the video of the last E3 gave them something of low, of those who worried about how Insomniac Games wanted to give importance to the life of Peter Parker in a game that should be about jumping and hitting and, of course, also between those who were satisfied that this only ended up being a good game of Spider-Man.
It’s no small thing considering the recent level of the saga, but he did consider that the creators of ‘Spyro the Dragon’, ‘Ratchet & Clank’, ‘Resistance’ and ‘Sunset Overdrive’ had to ask them for something more than simply to meet. In short, I am in that group that had many excuses in the bedroom to move easily from the most absolute illusion to a complete disappointment. And despite that ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ has seemed a great experience.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: A game capable of surprising
Insomniac Games vision of the well-known Marvel character fulfills everything that the hero by birth of my childhood asked of him. It does very well everything that according to my standards should embroider (either because there were others who already achieved something similar or because technical advances allowed it), and where there was room to slip, it has remained standing with more or less success.
In fact, even in that last group there have been surprises. Aspects such as history, which did not give a hard, have become one of its main strengths. Because to see, just as a purist sin, but I think an idea in which to mix the daily life of the trepamuros with that of the man behind the mask, with a time line advanced eight years at the beginning of his epic, and with sequences in which we took control of MJ in phases of stealth, had many numbers to crash.
And no, there is a script well written but silly, with a very well measured rhythm, to turn over the tortilla and justify all those little details that made me raise my eyebrow. It is fun to be Spider-Man , it is to follow the story of Peter without a suit and also ends up being able to live those two worlds from a different perspective like that of Miss Watson.
I have liked so much that irremediably has ended up affecting my perception of many other things, from the combats to the ideas with which the game tries to make the experience more varied, where sometimes it sins of a certain lack of ambition or freshness, and not only as far as secondary missions are concerned.
Spider-Man against the legacy of other heroes
We knew that the combats of ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ should be as spectacular as agile and inevitably we used the saga ‘Batman: Arkham’ as an example to follow. It was not unreasonable to take the Rocksteady system as a reference, but it was not easy to reach the level of mastery mastered there either.
I am very aware that this style of fights has its fans and its detractors, but I position myself without doubt among the first. Once mastered, the feeling of “I’m Batman” was tremendous. And in a sense there is a lot of it here, but it does not touch the same quality.
That there the fights were more condensed and close was a reef that allowed you to have everything much more at hand and controlled. Here, however, it is more chaotic to know at all times who you have to attack. You can have a group a few meters away and also an army shooting at you from a distance and from you go to know what floor of the building you have one block further back.
You have tools to kill everyone, of course, but not the stage, the camera or the ability to tackle the situation as Spider-Man would. Let’s put it another way. There are not many situations in which you can define that now you attack this one so that it does not harm you from a distance, then you go back to the noise to eliminate those who have blunt weapons and finally dispatch the rest in a spectacular way. You can do it, yes, but not in the most beautiful way possible. You can go out with a bestial combo and life to the top of that fight, but not saying “I’m Spider-Man”, and there is a huge difference between the two concepts.
The pending issue of Insomniac Games
Much of the fault is here in everything that encompasses improving the character and adding variety to their combos and animations. A list of skills in which the basic and spectacular falls short (and arrives very soon) leaves the other options as secondary and uninteresting.
The same is tied to the passive skills that you activate when leveling up, and also to the special one that marks the new costumes that you get gradually. The best of all, a jump that leaves Spidey suspended in the air while throwing nets in all directions. Also the one that I used from beginning to end because it worked for me in almost any situation. Others can be showy or facilitate certain fights, but you always end up going back to what really works and unlocked 40 levels back.
The contraptions do not escape from that vice. Improved networks or rather bland gadgets that go from the cobweb bomb to a drone that shoots enemies. In addition, its use at the level of mechanics in puzzles is completely anecdotal and, although Batman demonstrated five years ago to what extent they could provide variety, ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ gets stuck in repeating again and again two or three ideas that they were already more than expired at the second iteration. Irremediably surprising because the Insomniac itself has squandered imagination with its weapons over time.
More serious is that, in that lack of freshness that turns out to be the worst evil of the game, in a final fight in which there are four or five run-ins with the boss (of those who give way to a special single hit of that moment in form of kinematics), on the four or five occasions exactly the same choreography is repeated. At the level of coherence I am fighting against a titan who is not able to predict that the blow always comes from the same place. And on a visual level, what should have been an epic fight has collapsed when I’ve seen an identical animation three times in a row (and I still have a couple more).
Without a doubt the best game of Spider-Man
And despite all this here we are, talking about ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’ as the best game of the hero to date. A character with more than 30 titles behind him who, finally, does almost everything well. How is that possible? Because everything else borders on perfection and manages to balance the balance.
What made us forget in ‘Spider-Man 2’ its terrible story, its poppy graphics and its null creativity, makes it again here ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’. Jump from a skyscraper and brush the ground while you throw the web and your friend and neighbor turns with one hand while it takes strength to fly away is so satisfying, so important to get into the role, that those moments make you forget everything the rest.
Walking around New York aimlessly, just enjoying the view, the graphics and the animations of the character, is such a recommendable experience for the fans of the hero that this phrase should be more than enough to sell them the game. Good account of it is that, in spite of being an open world big enough to include fast trips, I have used them in few occasions.
Lose the opportunity to put your flats on the table to add the slingshot, aerial tricks that are not a somersault or a spin, the power to grab a lamppost to spin and gain momentum, but add others such as the possibility of slowing down time in the air to choose your next anchor point, be that the door that triggers a new mission or the construction tube through which Spidey will be launched skimming the edges to yield with it a shot as spectacular as spectacular.