Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is here. If you pre-loaded the game (like I did), you must have already started playing straight from midnight. However, in case you still haven’t purchased your copy of the superhero sequel to Insomniac’s 2018 masterpiece (2020’s Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales feels more like a next-gen showcase rather than an all-out release), and if you are still wondering if the game’s worth playing, here’s a quick two-hour review — or rather, a list of two-hour takeaways — of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
Before we get into it, it’s worth noting that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is available only on the PS5, priced at Rs 4,999 for the Standard edition and Rs 5,599 for the Digital Deluxe edition.
The Standard version provides only the base game. In contrast, the Digital Deluxe variant includes the base game, five unique suits for Peter Parker, five unique suits for Miles Morales, additional Photo Mode items, two skill points, and pre-order bonuses.
Regarding pre-order bonuses, those who purchase the game before its release will receive early unlocks for two suits (one for Peter and one for Miles) and an early unlock for the Web Grabber gadget. Additionally, buyers will receive three skill points.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, here are the completely spoiler-free two-hour takeaways:
Gameplay Feels Way Faster
Insomniac has done it again. The first Spider-Man felt quite sleek and fast in terms of gameplay and how Spidey whizzed about Manhattan. The ‘showcase-sequel’ Miles Morales somehow made everything feel faster — thanks to the next-gen musclepower of the PS5.
However, nothing will ever prepare you for how fast-paced Spider-Man 2 feels. It feels like the PS5’s SSD is firing on all pistons. Loading screens are almost negligible — as is the case with most PS5 games — and no matter how busy your screen gets (dust, traffic and pedestrian density, etc), the game never stutters.
Honestly, it took me a second to get used to the increased pace of the overall gameplay. But once you do, web-swinging and web-winging through New York City feels like a high-octane breeze (go figure!).
Web Wings Take Some Time To Get Used To
Speaking of traversing through the map, you may already know by now that Spider-Man 2’s world is twice the size of the previous games, thanks to the addition of Brooklyn and Queens boroughs alongside Manhattan.
To assist faster traversal, Insomniac has added the Web Wings ability, which allows Peter Parker or Miles Morales to zip through the city at breakneck speeds. Now, when the early trailers revealed the web-winging ability, it looked fun. When I got to play it first-hand, it surely is as fun as it looked, but definitely took me a few seconds (or rather, a few minutes) to get used to.
The speed is spectacular, and on flight mode, Spidey flies just like any other virtual jet plane. Of course, you can invert controls and do all sorts of tweaks to the overall gameplay (including turning on fall damage for some extra challenge), but the best advice would be to swing and wing around the map in the beginning to get a good hand of the game’s physics.
Fidelity Mode Is Absolutely Gorgeous
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 offers two graphics mode on the PS5 — Fidelity and Performance. The latter targets 60 frames per second, which feels refreshingly smoother. However, the ray-tracing features are turned down to almost negligible — so much so that Peter’s super suit had a weird glow that’s supposed to give you the feels of a setting sun, and it felt downright terrible at times. Of course, the action sequences and the general brawls feel sleek and swift.
However, once you turn on the Fidelity mode, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 really starts to showcase the beast that it’s intended to be. The ray tracing gets dialled up to max, and everything from the reflections on the water to the window interiors and even the evening glow on the leaves jumps to life. Pedestrians and traffic densities get maxed as well, making the city feel like a living, breathing entity. Sure, it only offers 30 frames per second, but honestly, the game doesn’t feel slow at all, thanks to Insomniac’s solid gameplay design.
A Treat For Shutterbugs
Insomniac has been known to offer some pro-grade camera elements in its in-game Photo Modes, especially the Sphere Light, which is my favourite as it helps me easily light up darker frames like no other.
I’m happy to report that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 stays true to the developer’s pedigree and offers a Photo Mode that is easy to use, but has all the features to make even the most cavilling shutterbug happy. The controls are simple, and it is highly recommended to play around with the lights to get the best possible frame.
Of course, there are several character poses and frames to choose from.
Not A Dull Moment
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 opens with an earth-shattering sequence as the two Spider-Men take on… No, I won’t spoil it here but it is already up there on my list of the most memorable opening sequences in games (Uncharted 2’s dangling-train intro still takes the cake).
But, intro aside, the game feels like reading a Peter-Miles team-up comic book. The dialogues are witty, the set pieces are memorable, and Insomniac even offers some moments that would make all ‘true believers’ quite happy.
Switching between the two Spider-Men is more fun than you’d think. Just like GTA V, the switches are marked by fun animations and are instantaneous. Once the game fully opens up, you can switch between the characters as and when you want. However, note that there will be some main story missions which will require a specific character only.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has all the skills that you had to unlock in the first two games available from the get-go. I was presently surprised to see the jumping-web-swinging-kick attack being available from the start, which was my go-to move during brawls. There are a plethora of new skills to unlock for both Peter and Miles (individual as well as overall) and there are noticeably several traversal-based skills that you can unlock to help swing around the map faster.
Oh, and more often than not, you will come across the other Spidey swinging around, cracking jokes, and assisting you in taking out goons randomly. It’s a whole lotta fun, and I can’t wait to get back to the world of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
Final Verdict: Must Play!
If you like Spider-Man (I don’t see how anyone cannot) and you are absolutely in love with the world Stan Lee created for Peter Parker, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a must-try!
If you aren’t a fan, but just want a solid open-world action game that feels real yet super at the same time, it’s highly recommended you consider this title.
Doonited Affiliated: Syndicate News Hunt