Did you know that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is actually the 6th Spider-Man 2 title? It’s true! Just take a look at the list of Spider-Man games on Wikipedia! Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Why do the developers of the webslinger’s games keep on reusing the same (or variations of it) title over and over again?
Then again, it doesn’t really matter right? A game’s name could be crap but if it’s fun, people will still buy it.
This then begs the question; is Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 fun?
What is Marvel’s Spider-Man 2?
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a third person action adventure game with RPG elements. It’s developed by Insomniac Games and is published by SIE. It’s a Playstation 5 exclusive, though it will probably come to the PC in the few years or so.
Our copy was awesome gifted to us by SIE! We really appreciate it folks!
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 picks up a year after the events of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Peter is struggling to make ends meet, MJ is writing articles for JJJ and Miles is still struggling to accept his father’s death at the hands of Mr Negative.
Then Harry Osborn returns.
Peter’s best friend since they were kids, Harry’s been MIA for years, and is now back and seemingly cured of his mysterious illness that was touched upon in the original Spider-Man. Of course, Peter soon finds out how Harry’s cured and the whole gang gets pulled into a whole new crisis involving Kraven the Hunter and…well, you’ll find out for yourself.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’s plot is pretty cool but I wish that Insomniac Games had the cajones to pull off a plot twist in the middle of the second act that would’ve shook fans to the core. I initially thought they did, but they chickened out and took the predictable way out.
I can’t say more without spoiling the plot, but it could’ve been something monumental, something on the level of the Metal Gear Solid 2 switcheroo that made Raiden the main character instead of Solid Snake.
Then there’s the whole final act.
To say I was disappointed as hell, would be an understatement. If you’ve played Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, know that the final act is thematically the same for both games.
I got deja vu playing it! Seriously, what is up with that? Couldn’t Insomniac Games think up another endgame that doesn’t involve so many similarities with an older Spider-Man game?!
Also, what the hell happened to the Avengers or other heroes in New York that NOBODY made an appearance (other than the mention of Wong and Doctor Strange in a mission) when New York’s in so much danger?!
Come on, it’s been 3 games already and the only cameos we got are mainly from villains!
The deja vu doesn’t stop with the final act either.
So many parts of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 are so familiar that it feels like I was playing an expansion DLC instead of a brand new game. The combos are pretty much the same, the gadgets too. The Spider-Men can counter most melee attacks now but the mechanic feels a bit forced.
I mean honestly, how many times have you seen Spider-Man (either Pete, Miles, Kaine or even Ben) counter a blow in the comics, cartoons or movies? Yes, I know Peter Parker learned Kung-Fu from Shang-Chi in the 616 universe, but this isn’t the 616. It’s just a bit out of character for me to swallow.
Even though you can play as Miles and Peter, both Spider-Men have similar moves. It definitely facilitates switching around since both play similarly, but it also means that you don’t really feel that you’re playing with two distinct heroes. The Symbiote Suit that Peter gets does unlock new skills but they don’t really change much.
There are other parts that feel familiar too.
The stealth sections (where you need to rid a base of thugs) return in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and this time around they’re made trivially easy with the new web line ability. Now you don’t even need to depend on the environment to do perch takedowns. You can just shoot a web line to a parallel surface at the same height and make your own personal walkway.
The stealth sections are still fun, but now they’re mind-numbingly easy to complete without alerting anybody.
Web swinging in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is also the same (which is a great thing), except now you can glide with the wingsuit.
Problem is the wingsuit can be so useful that web swinging isn’t essential any more. New York City is riddled with wind tunnels you can use to propel you further and faster than using the webs. Hell, there are even air currents that lets you cross over to Brooklyn and Queens, or rather a fictionalized version of them.
I felt more like I was Iron Man than Spider-Man in the game to be honest, especially since I mainly used the Red and Gold Iron Spider armor as my costume for Peter.
Speaking of costumes, most of the ones in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 are from the first two games. I know I’ve used the word disappointing for many times already but this too is a massive disappointment. To their credit, Insomniac Games introduced suit styles, which you can unlock by using tokens. These are alternate versions of a suit with different color schemes.
The problem here is that not all of the suits have multiple styles.
Even worse, suits that should be suit styles are given their own entry. I mean is the Sam Raimi Spider-Man black suit really so different from the Sam Raimi red and blue suit that it deserves its own entry instead of being a style for the red and blue?
Adding insult to injury, some of the suits from the first two games don’t even make a comeback. I honestly love the Future Foundation suit and the Bag-man suit and both are MIA, despite being in the original.
At least the Superior suit made it into the game this time.
I’ve always felt that Otto Octavius made a better Spider-Man than Peter Parker anyways. There are a couple of other noteworthy suits but if you’re expecting to be blown away with new options that weren’t in the first two games, you’d better rid yourself of that expectation. The game doesn’t even have the Beyond suit that Ben Reilly wore or his newer Chasm suit.
As a comic fan, the lack of new suits suck big time (oh yeah, the Big Time suit is also missing).
What you should be blown away by instead are the insanely fast load times when you Fast Travel. It is near instantaneous! Once you’ve unlocked Fast Travel for a borough, you literally just move the cursor to where you want to travel to and hold the Fast Travel button. The screen goes black for a second and then it cuts back in and shows Spidey arriving where you pointed earlier.
IT. IS. AMAZING! So freaking cool and honestly one of the best features of the new game.
Another amazing thing is that you can now upgrade everything WITHOUT needed to get an A ranking on optional content! WOO HOO! There are more than enough token types that you’ll have extras of everything leftover if you did all the optional stuff in the game.
Speaking of optional stuff, the side missions are much better this time around.
No more bullcrap like the Screwball trials thankfully. There’s a lot more variety to them and some of them are hilarious! I love hunting for Spider-bots and seeing all the cool references some of them have to the Spiderverse.
Unfortunately, one of the best optional stuff from the original is made much lamer.
I’m talking about the photography side quest.
While the first game had you touching base with iconic Marvel locations, the sequel has you taking pictures of random crap like food stands and the like. Robbie Robertson calls it the life of New York or something. I call it a waste of my damn time.
Random crimes are also similarly familiar, although it’s super cool now that you can arrive at a crime and find Miles (or a certain other character) already throwing down with the bad guys.
I wish that Insomniac Games had added cameo appearances too! Maybe teaming up with Daredevil in Hell’s Kitchen? Or the Heroes for Hire? So much potential wasted.
What’s not wasted though, are the visuals.
I play with the 40hz refresh rate mode (you’ll need a 120hz display for that) and the game is the best of both worlds.
You get decent visual fidelity and at a higher than 30fps framerate. All of the game’s visual modes have ray tracing enabled (obviously the 60fps has lower quality than the 30fps mode) so the reflections from windows all look great.
I didn’t really notice much draw distance difference from all three modes to be honest, though there are times when items in the background will pop-up when you’re in areas with shorter buildings (like Queens).
The 40hz mode does seem to have some slowdown (it’s noticeable when you’re being swarmed in the last act) but it doesn’t really impact gameplay too much.
If you have the tech for it, definitely try the mode before you write it off for either the 30fps or 60fps offerings.
The Bottom Line.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 had a lot to live up to. The good news is it does. If nothing else, it is as good as the first two games that preceded it.
If you loved those games, you’ll have a blast with this one.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t really bring much new to the table.
This is pretty much the first two games with a new plot, the ability to glide, a couple of new gadgets (that act like the old ones), more boroughs of New York and some new moves.
Is it really enough to consider it a sequel?
Not really in my opinion.
I honestly felt that Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales brought more to the table than Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 does. That and the fact that I can’t overlook how similar the final act of the game is to Spider-Man: Web of Shadow’s endgame!
I really hope the game’s expansions (if there are any) adds more unique stuff to the game because I really can’t envision playing a potential Marvel’s Spider-Man 3 if the gameplay remains as unevolved as it is.
Don’t get me wrong, the games are great but something needs to change to bring the magic back.
On par with the original games, but lack of innovation and significant gameplay evolution makes it feel too similar and more of an expansion than a true sequel.
- Decent plot.
- Huge open world to explore.
- Fun gameplay.
- Web swinging never gets old.
- You don’t need to ace every sub-mission to completely upgrade and unlock everything.
- Super quick Fast Travel.
- Final act is a rip-off of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows’s endgame.
- Gameplay doesn’t feel as innovative or fresh as the first two games.
- Not much fanservice.
- Too many suits are from the first two games.
- Gliding doesn’t feel like Spider-Man.