Spider-Man 2 is finally here and the game continues the adventures of our two web slingers Peter Parker & Miles Morales. Unlike the previous games this release is PlayStation 5 exclusive. So those hoping to continue the story on PlayStation 4 will be very disappointed. Both of our Spider-Men faced dangerous adversaries and several challenges in their previous adventures. However, now are pushed to the test with a much more dangerous threat.
Let’s give a bit of an idea of the game. The official PlayStation store reinforces some of the above however we can easily switch between both of our heroes. The main threat is a well-known adversary as we discover how “Venom threatens to destroy their lives, their city, and the ones they love”. Just after the game launched, I was able to provide some early thoughts. However, what changed after beating the game and in close to forty hours of game time getting the platinum? Or did Spider-Man 2 still receive glowing praise?
Our Friendly Neighbourhood Thoughts On Spider-Man 2
So, I went into this game with high expectations. This is mostly down to the fact the 2018 original was my game of the year. Though in 2023 will this be a case of history repeating itself? With some top games already put can Insomniac’s latest adventure challenge them for the best of 2023 overall?
Fans of the original will feel very familiar with the new release. Combat is similar as ate gadgets and abilities. With the original being smooth and easy to pick up and play this immediately bodes well. The fast travel system is much improved and still a quick transition, though maybe not as fast. Now we can fast travel anywhere. However, it’s hard to fault the feature when it’s on the whole a much better system.
The other new parts are web gliding which speeds travel up tremendously but does take a little while to really get to grips with. It wasn’t my preferred travel method but I did appreciate it at times. We also had the option to switch between our two web slingers. For those new to the game it will be easy to pick up and play. We get some new gadgets and combat aids which get explained to you throughout the game when you unlock them
If we look at the original game back in 2018 I found back then it looked fantastic. With the remaster for 2020 along with Miles Morales, it looked even better. The sequel is bypassing the PlayStation 4 so the game can take full advantage of new hardware. For me, I feel that looking at the game is the right call. We no longer see the bizarre facial designs on some NPC’s original boats on the edge of the map.
The visuals do have some negatives which are character models on NPC characters are not really an upgrade and some rare collision detection not being 100%. This may sound worrying but they are minor. I only encountered less than 100% collision detection maybe a couple of times and when we look at the positives the character of models not being upgraded makes sense.
So I mean the compromise with some models aids the game world. I ran the game through on fidelity mode and the city of New York is stunningly recreated. We have an improved lighting system and upgraded particle effects. Ray tracing is much improved and upgraded textures are evident. When we put it all together the world can look at times photo realistic. The main character models are also improved.
When looking at the change in visual quality from God of War to the sequel I said the attention to detail was high. With this title, Insomniac has really pushed the power of the console and achieved some impressive results. The console allows for l I de on screen so the city is even more alive than ever before which adds to the look of a realistic representation of the city.
The original and Miles Morales were blessed with high-quality audio and top voice acting. The sequel doesn’t disappoint here. The only negation I found was audio didn’t sync with subtitles on rare occasions. One part of the game required a musical score to follow the mission. The way the audio and story combined meant we knew the following events and the audio portrayed the mood perfectly. Once more it’s only a minor niggle that lets the game down but one that many may even miss. So, for example, if you don’t use the subtitles you could easily miss this issue.
Though you may think the game’s strength is its visual presentation. However the truth could not be further away. As much as I was so impressed with the visuals it’s by no means the game’s strongest point. Santa Monica gave Sony one of their best narratives in the release of Ragnarok for me. In fact, I said in my review back then that the story “must be experienced“.
Now that story quality has been bettered. For me, the narrative Insomniac has crafted in Spider-Man 2 is close to perfection. It touched a wide range of emotions and the finale is fitting being part of an MCU cinematic release. From the opening sequence to the roll of credits, it’s a roller coaster ride packed to the brim with drama, suspense, action and so much more.
However now for the downsides. One side quest I felt really deserved to be more prominent in the story. So when you play that you’ll understand my reasons for feeling that. Consequently, on one side quest I didn’t really offer much to the game at all. Not because of the content, it could have expanded on so much more. Even then they are really minor niggles and for some may not be an issue at all. Also, both of these are side quests so not part of the main story.
To Sum Up My Spider Journey
Therefore you aren’t going to be surprised I loved the game. I do expect a third game and I worry how Insomniac will better this. They are debating a game for Venom and also have Wolverine to come. Which has a high bar to meet as this release is of a very strong standard. With so many Games of the Year contenders, I have my personal preference. Though it’s no shock my 2023 Game of the Year entry is this. It’s a must-play experience for me. We’ve already seen the sales impact the game made as it’s the most successful launch for a PlayStation Studios title