Gaming

Spin an intriguing web as Spidey

With excellent controls, you feel like a superhero as you swing and leap from building to building as Spider-Man.
With excellent controls, you feel like a superhero as you swing and leap from building to building as Spider-Man.PHOTO: INSOMNIAC GAMES

The highly anticipated game has exhilarating hooks, convincing animation and sound effects

Expectations for Marvel's Spider-Man have been pretty high, ahead of its launch on Friday.

The PlayStation 4 exclusive game has compelling trailers to live up to.

I can safely say it lives up to expectations. It is like an extended Marvel flick that is all kinds of amazing.

You play the beloved Peter Parker, who turns into Spider-Man when trouble brews in Manhattan, New York City.

The game takes place eight years into his career as a crime fighter. The 23-year-old has quit his job at the Daily Bugle newspaper and is a research scientist.

And, boy, does this game have some exhilarating gameplay hooks.

One highlight is how Spider-Man, or Spidey, gets around Manhattan. He can run up walls with ease and swiftly swing from building to building with his web shooters.

The controls are excellent and make me feel like a superhero.

  • RATING: 9/10

  • PRICE: $69.90 (PS4)

    GENRE: Action

Making travel fun is important because the city in the game is huge.

Manhattan is re-created incredibly well. There are many gorgeous towering skyscrapers that Spidey can swing from. At ground level, the streets are bustling with pedestrians and traffic, with little details like residents playing basketball that make the city feel alive.

Another gameplay highlight is the combat. While somersaulting between buildings, Spidey can seamlessly slip into combat. This means that when fights get tough, he can often swing his way out of trouble.

Spidey's fighting moves include shooting webbing to immobilise enemies, swinging on a webbing to knock thugs down and grabbing items with his webs to fling at foes.

Stringing moves together is kinetic and silky smooth, due to convincing animation and sound effects, as well as responsive controls.

Spidey can approach situations more stealthily and silently take down enemies. This nicely changes the game's pace. But do not expect foes to be too smart.

As he strings together combo attacks, Spidey can build up Focus which he can use to restore lost health or execute moves that will instantly knock out weaker foes. It is a great mechanic as it caters to defensive and offensive play styles.

Levelling up, Spidey can punch harder, move faster and take more hits. He gets skill points, too, to learn new moves and abilities such as jumping farther and throwing rockets back at foes.

He can also build gadgets that, for instance, shock and stun enemies; new flashy suits with abilities like becoming temporarily impervious to damage; and suit mods to improve his abilities.

All this crafting needs components earned by completing the many side quests in the game, from helping the police stop a heist to snapping photos of cute kitten figurines, with some challenging content to boot.

It can get tedious, but these quests are generally enjoyable and make sense in the game's context. Still, the game's main missions are largely well crafted. There are high-octane action sequences, spectacular boss battles and surprising gameplay moments often done on a level you might see in a Marvel movie.

These missions are beefy and tackling them should take you about 20 hours, according to developer Insomniac Games.

Many fans will like how true the game feels to the source material. This version of Peter Parker is one of my favourite adaptations of the character - he is unabashedly dorky, funny, chirpy and an all-round nice guy. His interactions with his friends, family and foes add a lot of heart to the game.

Marvel's Spider-Man gets so much right that there is a lot to like about it.

And despite some controversy over the game's downloadable content plans, the title feels complete and has a very meaty campaign that is mostly satisfying and makes me grin from ear to ear.

• Verdict: Marvel's Spider-Man is an excellent game that captures the essence of the superhero, complete with thrilling action.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2018, with the headline 'Spin an intriguing web as Spidey'. Print Edition | Subscribe