A PC remaster of a game always has a lot going for it. And when said game is critically acclaimed, universally praised by fans and industry members, multiple time recipient of Game of the Year (2018) Marvel’s Spiderman you know you have big canvas shoes to fill. At a minimum, PC bettors yearn for the exact wonderful experience that PlayStation devotees enjoyed all those years ago. But also, it’s been four years; so does Insomniac Games have anything new in store for gamers?
This notice may be a little different from most of our traditional notices. You can read our original review of the 2018 version here, but we’ll do our best to cover improvements and tweaks in terms of general performance and overall quality of the transition to PC. That being said, we’ll also be looking to comment on the overall experience four years later and how the title stands out in today’s ever-growing landscape of superhero games.
New Platform, Same Spidey
For those of you who didn’t have time to play the original 2018 release on PlayStation 4Marvel’s Spiderman is a third-person action-adventure game set in the iconic world of the world’s most well-known and beloved web-based superhero sensation. While the script is an original piece, many elements are understandably heavily inspired by comic book source material as well as later Spidey media, such as the later films. Without venturing into spoiler territory, the game follows Spider-Man as he overcomes a mix of villains (some very familiar faces) and attempts to save New York City from a deadly bio-weapon.
Players take on the role of a seasoned Spidey, with eight years behind the mask and all the bells and whistles you commonly associate with the superhero. That means ignoring the pretty tired origin story and having some cool abilities right off the bat. It is also possible to strengthen our boy through the game’s upgrade system that improves combat skills and web swing.
Apart from the main storyline, there are also side missions and items you can collect in the city, which will keep you busy and immerse you in the open world. As someone who couldn’t make it to the original 2018 release, I was truly blown away by the cinematic nature of the story and overall gameplay. It felt like an interactive movie as the cut scenes blended beautifully into the gameplay without loading screens that would disrupt immersion.
Thanks to the power of the new RTX graphics cards, Marvel’s Spider-Man looks better than ever, and arguably better than the PlayStation 5 remaster. A bunch of sliders let you fine-tune the balance between performance and graphical fidelity, and ultra-wide resolutions, ranging from 16:9 to 48:9, allowing you to move through the city with a wider field of view than ever before. Ray-traced reflections and enhanced shadows also help bring the city to life, rivaling the PS5’s admittedly gorgeous fidelity mode. That being said, DualSense support has also been added, allowing PlayStation and PC gamers to get on board with the same solid experience they may have come across on console; trust us, it’s still the best way to play this.
Does everything a spider can do
Web swinging was probably one of my favorite aspects of the game. It took me back to my very first Spider Man game, the 2000 version for the original PlayStation, but naturally much more improved. I did well on a fairly standard sized computer screen, but I wonder if playing on a larger screen would heighten the experience or cause motion sickness. There’s a lot of movement going on, so keep that in mind during this segment of the game.
Combat was tricky for me, even though the game was set to Friendly (the second easiest option in the menu). The game tells you, at least in earlier missions, the most effective way to disarm and eliminate enemies in your path. This can range from standard combat to momentary paralysis through weblinks, aerial attacks, or taking advantage of environmental elements and throwing trash cans at bad guys. Through various key clicks, you can in theory formulate thrilling combos, some of which will see Spider-Man’s web slither between his legs to pull them out from behind. However, I struggled to remember what to do and while figuring it out, I would end up getting beaten up instead. There’s auto-targeting, but again, unless you know what you’re doing, you’ll end up tying up someone you didn’t want or half hitting everyone and not really knocking anyone out. I chose to play on a keyboard rather than my usual controller setup, so I’d put this one up to skill, or lack thereof.
Along with including all of the original content and subsequently released DLC chapters, it’s hard to argue with more Spidey. Especially for PC, the graphics are now optimized, meaning players can enjoy a variety of graphics quality options to suit your build. For controller gamers, haptic feedback and dynamic trigger effects keep your head in the game when playing through a PlayStation Dual Sense controller over a wired USB connection. The ultra-wide monitor support here is amazing and a real sight for those willing to invest in tech at this point. And for those of us who use mouse and keyboard, there are also a variety of customizable options. Marvel’s Spider-Man is now also available on Steam Deck so you can take the titular wall-crawler with you on the go. If you’re a fan of the original 2018 release, there’s really only more to love with this remaster, so jump on board.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Strong points: Immersive landscapes; Same solid gameplay; Extra points for Spider-Man’s sarcastic comments; Graphic fidelity, support for Ultrawide monitors
Lowlights: Combat is always tricky, but it’s probably my fault
Developer: Insomniac Games
Editor:Sony Interactive Entertainment
Test carried out on PC with a pre-release code provided by the publisher.