Review: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 sets new standard for superhero games

By Ryan Ramirez, Nov. 7, 2023

Insomniac Games, renowned for their mastery of storytelling and gameplay, has once again captivated the gaming world with the Oct. 20 release of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 for PlayStation.

Having immersed myself in the world of Spider-Man with the original release Marvel’s Spider-Man in 2018 and its spin-off Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales in 2020, it was riveting to have the opportunity to play as both Peter Parker and Morales, facing new challenges and enemies.

Spider-Man 2 retains familiar elements, including side quests, collectibles and some abilities. However, the game introduces refreshing additions that breathe new life into the narrative, combat mechanics, traversal system and expansive map.

The game’s narrative takes a darker turn, unveiling the symbiotes and Parker’s black Spider-Man suit, along with the introduction of one of his most iconic foes, Venom. This iteration of Venom is a frightening and intimidating design. The inclusion of Kraven the Hunter as another menacing adversary further enhances the gameplay experience and leaves the player wondering about the next opponent.

While the combat mechanics have similarities to previous entries, Insomniac Games has skillfully implemented new elements to prevent repetitiveness. Parker’s newfound symbiote abilities, courtesy of his black suit, provide players with a heightened sense of invulnerability, offering exciting moments with beautifully crafted animations.

A standout of the new game lies in the traversal system, an area of contention among fans of earlier entries due to the PlayStation 4’s hardware limitations. With Spider-Man 2 as a PlayStation 5 exclusive, Insomniac Games took full advantage of the console’s capabilities. This resulted in significant improvement in movement speed, web swinging and the introduction of web wings, enabling players to traverse New York City at exhilarating speeds.

The addition of new areas in NYC, including Queens and Brooklyn, ushers in fresh and vibrant environments for both Spider-Men to explore, capitalizing on the enhanced traversal mechanics. These new areas incorporate Morales’ new school Brooklyn Visions Academy and Peter’s former high school, which introduces elements that contribute to the narrative and flashbacks, providing insight into Peter’s journey from childhood to becoming Spider-Man.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 stands as a testament to Insomniac Games’ ability to push boundaries and redefine the superhero gaming genre, culminating in what can arguably be considered its greatest game to date. With attention to detail, it has crafted an experience that not only pays homage to the legacy of Spider-Man but also sets a new standard for interactive storytelling and gameplay.

Feature courtesy of Insomniac Games 

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