We already knew before this year’s E3 that your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man would be swinging exclusively on to PlayStation 4. Now we’ve seen much more of Peter Parker’s latest console outing during both Sony’s press conference and a secret session with the game’s developers Insomniac.
If you weren’t already hyped about the first Spidey game for four years, you really should be. Channelling the best of the Batman Arkham games with a huge open world New York to web-sling around, Spider-Man promises one hell of a superhero adventure when it arrives sometime in 2018.
What’s just so exciting about this game? Look out! Here come our seven favourite things about Spider-Man so far.
1) IT’S A NEW KIND OF SPIDEY STORY
What with all the movies he’s been in of late, we’re a little over-familiar with Spider-Man’s usual cast of foes. From the Green Goblin to Doctor Octopus and Electro, they’ve all popped up onscreen at one point or another over the past decade. Rather than returning to an old foe, Spider-Man has called upon Mr Negative to deliver something we’ve not yet seen before. With Miles Morales also popping up in the game’s trailer, it looks like two generations of Spider-Men might well be playable.
2) PETER PARKER MIGHT BE PLAYABLE
OK. So this is reading a little between the lines, but from our session with Insomniac it was said that Peter Parker has a significant role in this adventure. Does this mean the man behind the mask will be playable? That wasn’t confirmed, but we really do hope it happens. If the Batman Arkham games were missing anything, it was some kind of take on the duality of life as a superhero.
3) QUICK TIME EVENTS WON’T BE COMMONPLACE
If we had one reservation about the Spider-Man trailer we saw at E3 it was the relative abundance of quick time events it showcased. From rapid-firing webs to protect citizens on the streets below him to dodging debris from the chaos around him, we were a little worried about how much control players would have over the game. According to Insomniac, these big set pieces are just one part of the game and the trailer was designed to give a taste of everything you can do in Spider-Man. Fair enough.
4) WEB-SLINGING LOOKS IMMENSELY FUN
Given Insomniac were the droppers behind the similarly acrobatic Sunset Overdrive, we had high hopes for the web-slinging antics in this game. As it turns out they were well-founded since Spidey seems to be able to dart across New York in exhilarating fashion. We especially love his talent for running across the side of a building before leaping back into the air on a new strand of webbing.
5) COMBAT SEEMS FAMILIAR
Given we didn’t actually get to play Spider-Man, it’s hard to tell just how exhilarating its combat will be. Especially if it turns out to be a straight-up riff on the Arkham series’ fist-pumping action. What gives us hope, though, is the level of gadgetry Spidey has at his disposal. You can see him using some kind of bomb in the trailer, while his webbing is melded into fights via little bursts of the stuff to the face of a hired goon and more complicated lassoing moves.
6) SPIDEY’S ZINGERS ARE ON POINT
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of one-liners to Spider-Man’s character. As well as giving us whip-smart insults to rip-off and claim as our own, they mask the fact that Peter Parker often finds himself out of his depth and relies on his sense of humour as a way to mask that. So when he meets Wilson Fisk in the trailer with the words, “Nice jumpsuit… slimming”, it does a lot to reassure us that Insomniac can write funny stuff.
7) NEW YORK IS GORGEOUS TO BEHOLD
Our Spider-Man demo was running on a PlayStation 4 Pro, and the game seems to make full use of its added power. Most significantly, those action set-pieces in the trailer were stunning and didn’t lead to a slowdown in gameplay. What we’re really looking forward to is exploring New York and discovering all the little Marvel references that will have been scattered around it. If we can’t crawl about the Daily Bugle building, we’ll be sorely disappointed.