Spider-Man PS4 early review (spoiler free)

So I picked the game up Thursday night at GameStop’s clutch 9 PM release (wayyy better than those old midnight releases). If I had to guess I’m probably about half way through the main story so far and it has met and exceeded my expectations.

Straight out of the gate you’re tossed into the action.

You see a panning shot of Peter Parker’s messy apartment which he never seems to pay the rent for (one of just several cinematic cutscenes that just make you smile). Peter then ponders over his daily conundrum before leaping out the window as Spidey to help the New York Police confront Kingpin at his tower.

I won’t touch upon any more of the story as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone out there. However I do want to talk about how well each character is made. Peter is the typical nerdy, awkward, and funny Peter that we always love to see. MJ is fantastic in this game and is as lovable as ever, taking on the crime filled city as an investigative journalist for the Daily Bugle. It’s great to see a lot of Doctor Otto Octavius too as most newer Spider-Man fans know him as just a villain but in this game we see tons of his good side, working with Peter under his wing in his lab. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t talk much more about characters.

Next, I want to talk about the gameplay and the map.

The gameplay is VERY similar to the Batman Arkham series, in fact the combat is nearly identical. The Arkham series perfected the superhero combat for gaming so it makes sense that Insomniac Games would keep it similar for the sake of the gamers.

The best and most fun thing to do in this game is simply just swing around NYC and take in all the breathtaking views. Seriously, the first thing I did was zip over to the Empire State Building for a bird’s eye view of The Big Apple. I probably spent a good 45 minutes to an hour just swinging around, it really never gets old. It even gets a little SSX Tricky as you can do spins and tricks in the air to gain XP.

Alright, now onto the map.

New York City is always a great spot for a video game. The most recent memory I have of an NYC set game was Grand Theft Auto IV and this map makes that look like the minor league. It’s authentic down to every block and corner EXCEPT one very big thing…The Freedom Tower.

At E3 we saw gameplay with the beautiful Freedom Tower in the distance but when I booted (yes, booted) up the game for the first time Thursday night I was disappointed to find that there was a fake Freedom Tower. I quickly looked up what might have happened and stumbled across a Reddit page that said the developers may have lost the rights to the tower. I don’t exactly know if that is true or if you even need rights for a tower? Who knows. That is the only real issue I have with the game so far other than a couple of bugs and glitches but there aren’t many at all.

Overall the story is slightly better in my opinion than any of the Arkham games and I think that’s because there’s actually feelings and emotions behind the story. Bruce Wayne has the personality of Bill Belichick so there isn’t too much emotion there. Meanwhile Spidey has relationships all over the map and his humor and awkward charm with MJ make the ride very enjoyable.

There is one HEAVY scene towards the middle of the game that hits deep. It’s very grim and intense, I won’t say more than that though!

I really can’t wait to finishing it up but I don’t want to beat it too quickly as it’s nice to enjoy a new game for once!


The AJ Score (so far!): 9/10 -While some may say it’s a copy of Arkham, I look at it and say they took Arkham’s foundation and built a hell of a Spider-Man adventure on top of it in a never sleeping NYC with lovable main and side characters.

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