Experienced Points: The New Spider-Man Does Amazing Things

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Oct 3, 2018

Filed under: Column 67 comments

My Escapist column this week is about how the new Spider-Man game nails several different things that other adaptations have typically struggled with.

I’m currently writing my long-form Spider-Man retrospective, so I guess I should warn you that this article will spoil a few points I plan to touch on in that series. Then again, that series won’t appear for a long time. We’ve got another month of Grand Theft Auto V, then five months of Mass Effect Andromeda, and then the Spider-Man analysis will run. By then a lot of you will probably have forgotten about this article. Just be warned that you’ll be seeing these points again in the future, only much, much longer and with many more self-indulgent digressions.

In the article I praised the game for the alternate costumes. They are indeed pretty cool, although to be honest I usually put on a new suit when it unlocked and then five minutes later I switched back to the classic suit. I’m pretty old-school in my sensibilities. I can still remember being miffed over the black costume in the mid-1980s. I kinda still am. Stop trying to make Spider-Man cool and edgy! Don’t change things! I fell in love with the character in 1978 and he should stay that way forever!

Yeah, I’m one of those fans: The ultra-retro hipster purist snob. Yes, I know we are the absolute worst. I can’t really help it. Sometimes you just latch onto stuff in childhood and it sticks with you.

I suppose it speaks well of the game that I’m such a fan despite how insufferably picky I am about my Spider-Man content.

 


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67 thoughts on “Experienced Points: The New Spider-Man Does Amazing Things

  1. Redrock says:

    I actually liked the new Advanced suit quite a lot. The white spider works. It also, inexplicably, really does convey thay this is an older and more mature Spider-Man. I can’t quite put into words how exactly the design does this, but it works. I also spent a lot of time in the Mark IV suit, the one that looks like a shiny version of the classic suit. That’s partly because I read the comic book arc with this suit recently, and I think it also really gels with the emphasis on Peter’s technical ingenuity that the developers are going for.

    That said, some of the gadgets, while extremely fun, seemed a bit out of character, especially the force push and the biotic lift ones. Still, it’s really cool to see the scientist part of Peter showcased so much in the game. A lot of Spidey stories overlook that.

    1. Shamus says:

      I agree that the Advanced Suit is pretty cool. It speaks well to Insomniac Games that they were able to come up with a suit that looks good, yet looks distinct from what came before, while also staying true to the character. It’s a lot better than Ben Reilly’s stupid sleeveless hoodie. Cringe.

      But, you know, I went back to the classic suit anyways because that’s how I am.

      Although I’m on my 4th playthrough now and gathering up screenshots for my series. I’ll be sticking with the Advanced Suit for this trip through the game for screenshot consistency.

      1. Redrock says:

        I get that, absolutely. I usually stick to vanilla suits and skins in most games. As for the symbiote suit, I suspect they withheld it for story and sequel reasons. I also think that they realized many people would feel its abscence, hence the frankly excessive amount of other black suits.

        Still, the argument could be made that the selection could be better. Can’t please everyone, obviously, but some decisions are especially questionable. I mean, the MCU Iron Spider over the comic book version? Come on, Insomniac.

        1. shoeboxjeddy says:

          Yeah, the version billions of people around the world saw and were fans of and not the one that didn’t even last the full storyline it was created for? What were they THINKING? (It is the objectively smarter choice to go with the MCU version in this case… they could have done both though).

          Keep in mind, some suits are being held back for DLC. And to make the DLC more appealing, they will be keeping some good ones back.

      2. Nimrandir says:

        I get the ‘gotta have it classic’ thing. When I played the Captain America game on my 360, I worked my tail off to unlock his classic costume instead of the MCU costume the game defaults to. I then proceeded to play through the whole game again (er, twice) while only wearing that costume.

    2. Misamoto says:

      I spent most of my time in Last Stand suit when I unlocked it. It somehow looked really in-place with the game for me.
      I liked the Black cat present suit second, for the coolness factor

      1. Blake says:

        I also ended up using the Last Stand suit, it looked odd when I first unlocked it, but then I kinda dug it.
        Outside of that I mostly wore various black or flamy-skull suits. I’m that kinda guy.

        Also want to say Insomniac did well with the white spider suit, looked great, appreciated the different shaders they used for negative and comic spidey.

        1. Redrock says:

          I was really annoyed that the Last Stand suit only gets unlocked so late in the game. It will probably be the one I’ll use for most of my New Game Plus walkthrough.

      2. guy says:

        My baseline is currently the Stark suit since the Spider-Man I’ve watched is the MCU Spider-man

  2. BigMoss says:

    That picture is amazing Shamus.

    1. Karma The Alligator says:

      Is that a new superhero? Amazing Shamus?

      1. Redrock says:

        Isn’t Spider-Man Noir technically the amazing shamus?

  3. Pax says:

    It’s funny, because in the lead up to the game I thought I’d just switch back to the classic costume as soon as it was unlocked and never see the white spider again. But then, as I was playing the game, it didn’t just feel right. I dunno, I guess it just seemed that the white spider costume is what he was actually wearing, in universe, no matter what I put him in. Or maybe it was because the classic costume doesn’t match the art style 100% (like the difference between the Halloween villain costumes and their new redesigned ones). I had the same problem with the MCU costumes; they looked great, but didn’t seem right. I tried a lot of different costumes as I unlocked them, but always went back to the Advanced Suit. Well, except for the cel-shaded costume, that made it seems as though the rest of the world was what was wrong instead.

    1. Redrock says:

      One thing that bothered me was that the red on the classic suit seemed a bit washed out compared both to the Stark suit and the torn classic suit. I think the Stark suit has better texture, but I agree that it just feels off, for some reason.

    2. Blake says:

      I’d agree that in-universe he was always wearing the white spider suit, except that when I put on the punk suit JJJ had a rant about it :p

  4. BigMoss says:

    Continuing the thread of discussing which suit is the best, I really enjoy the Spirit Spider suit. I think it’s hilarious to see M.J. trying to comfort a naked flesh-monster with a burning skull where their head should be. It also fits the narrative that a lot of people in N.Y. — including the city’s mayor, radio talk show hosts, and mercenaries — think he’s a menace and should be stopped.

    1. Redrock says:

      That’s undead-ist! Skull-ist? Just because he has a flaming skull for a face doesn’t make him a menace! Shame on you.

      1. BigMoss says:

        Well, that’s true. Shame on me! Then again, the Spirit Spider is in fact evil:

        “The alternate reality of Earth-11638 poses the question of what happens if Uncle Ben never died and inspired Peter to become Spider-Man. This Peter became the “Amazing Spider,” and later died while trying to steal the powers of other Spider-Heroes. He was granted a second chance at life by the Sorcerer Supreme of his universe, Bruce Banner. And thus, the Ghost Spider was born!”
        https://www.polygon.com/2018/9/8/17831834/spider-man-game-ps4-costumes-comics

        1. BlueHorus says:

          …what happens if Uncle Ben never died and inspired Peter to become Spider-Man. This Peter became the “Amazing Spider,” and later died while trying to steal the powers of other Spider-Heroes. He was granted a second chance at life by the Sorcerer Supreme of his universe, Bruce Banner. And thus, the Ghost Spider was born!

          Whaaaaaaaat?

          I love this shit. Not reading it, per se, but the summaries of the weird stories that has been churned out by comic book writers. Like the Kryptonite Ape that Superman once fought, or the time all the Vibranium in the world caught cancer, or that comic where Spidey once gave birth to himself.
          Finding out (or just speculating) as to how and why these stories got written is often more interesting than the stories themselves.

        2. Viktor says:

          Wait, there was a Ghost Spider before Spider-Gwen took the name? Are there literally no good names left unused at this point?

          And I’m disappointed that my two favorite costumes don’t seem to have made an appearance. Them not giving Peter a version of Gwen’s white-and-pink outfit is understandable, even if the costume does look way better than almost any other superhero outfit, but no Amazing Bag Man? Come on, that’s like the required secret hidden outfit for these games.

          1. Shamus says:

            I was SO SURE the bag outfit was going to show up at any moment when I completed various challenges and such. Even if it had to be scrubbed of its Fantastic Four logo, that one seemed like such an obvious choice for a secret unlockable or something.

            1. Nimrandir says:

              I only knew about Bag-Man from Marvel Puzzle Quest, where he is a spectacularly bad character. Maybe his awfulness there has tainted his memory.

              1. Hal says:

                I think Bag-Man was one of the very first alternates in the game.

                I stopped playing due to a lack of content, but also because the number of characters was wildly outpacing character slots (without spending money, natch.)

  5. kdansky says:

    I don’t know, I think this game is overhyped by a lot (similar to the new God of War): These games look amazing, they get the feel (kinestetics, if you will) right, they don’t make huge mistakes (like lootboxes), but in the end, they are extremely shallow.

    The combat is bland to the point where you wonder why it’s even there: both games have crazy lock-on mechanics which try to play the game for you, give you blatantly OP moves (and pretend that slapping a 15 second cooldown on them fixes the issue). But the combat isn’t actually very interesting. You don’t need to judge distance, or move-set, or do combos, or counters because your character will auto-correct that for you. You just button mash at a medium pace, with a QTE dodge from time to time. I liked the Batman-AA style combat *once*, but it wears out its welcome rather quickly.

    Problematically, combat is 70% of what these games are. Slap some unlock mechanics and levels on it for the dopamine drip, and be done with it.

    Spiderman has the web-swinging, but apart from how it feels there isn’t much to it. You just press forward and L2 and wait until you arrive at your destination. The mechanic has no depth because it’s all faked anyway.

    I think watching Yatzhee’s stream of it showed that all too clearly: If you are too cynical to get drawn in by the immaculate presentation, you notice the smoke and mirrors and just find it a bit boring.

    And no, increasing difficulty doesn’t solve any of that: That makes the game more frustrating, but doesn’t give it any extra depth. The combat is still boring, it just takes longer, and you die faster.

    1. BigMoss says:

      I don’t want to give my opinion on either game as I havn’t finished them yet (got my PS4 last week), but from what I read I think you’ll like the YouTube channel Novacanoo: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7vOjKF8-TGVimB572cMuDA/videos

    2. Christopher says:

      Marvel’s Insomniac’s PS4’s Spider-Man is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. All the Money & Time thrown at the devs really show in the polish. There’s a lot of good-looking, decidedly above average written cinematic cutscenes wrapped around a 15-20 hour long story campaign. It’s got a tone that manages to both have fun Spider-Man quips and sad Spider-Man tragedies without it becoming jarring. It hasn’t just got a combat system that feels good, it’s got a traversal system that feels good too.

      I don’t think the shallowness of it all is an invalid critique. There are a ton of QTEs and throwaway garbage open world sidequests. The swinging isn’t remotely challenging and you move slower than I feel like you should. The combat barely is challenging either, and neither of them develop much over the course of the game. 30 FPS isn’t ideal and it’s a bother to wait until the inevitable HD-ification next generation to get to 60. That’s my greatest complaints about the game, aside from just a couple of story preferences where Insomniac zigged where I would personally have liked to see them zag. It was initially frustrating to discover how shallow the mechanics were, and while I warmed up to them and enjoyed them for the majority of the game, by the end of the campaign I got bored of both the swingy and the punchy. And that’s not even mentioning the sneaky!

      But despite those issues making it a very shallow experience, it’s also an ideal, accessible, well-polished Spidey game that stands way above any other Spider-Man game. It presents a movie-like setting with some good new hooks and then lets you play through it all as the most well-realized game version of Spider-Man ever. While I’d love for Insomniac to add much more depth, variety and challenge to both the webswinging and the combat for the next game, it was great fun to play through.

    3. Redrock says:

      I honestly don’t get the “it’s too shallow” complaints. What exactly would you want to be deeper? Do the swinging mechanics have to be flight simulator levels of complicated? Should the combat be reduced to Dark Souls-like one on one drudgery? Or do you expect a Bayonetta-like level of combo complexity? These are all separate genres. Spider-Man is a superhero game. The trick to enjoying the combat is, well, enjoying it. Sure, you can spam web blossom, or use a web grenade followed by a force push to take out crowds in an instant. Or you can try and play as Spider-Man, having fun, being stylish, all that jazz. There’re plenty of games with deep combat and exploration. But that’s not what this game is about. It does what it does in a way that no other game even approaches. It’s pretty much like comparing Spider-Man comics to Dostoyevskiy. Sure, the comic is much more shallow. It’s also, spoiler alert, supposed to be exactly that.

      1. Christopher says:

        Going for a free-flowing, shallow experience where you have a bunch of options but not a lot of depth is one way to go for sure, and you can defend it by their design doc probably being to make an accessible, universal, cinematic experience for everyone that loves Spider-Man. But when that gameplay does leave me and some other players feeling a bit cold ’cause there’s no meat to bite into, of course I’m gonna complain about the parts of the game that got boring. It’s not a genre-defining feature to be dull, and it’s not what the devs tried to make me feel. Ideally you wanna get some Super Smash Bros. Melee or Bayo level shenanigans, where anyone can pick up and play, but there’s more than enough depth for people who wanna dig a little deeper. That doesn’t mean anyone’s saying they want the game to straight BE Bayo, or BE Dark Souls. It means you wanted a little more than they put in there, which is prime material for the inevitable sequel. Get that ability to lock-on to anyone you want easily, let me launch or do finishers on more than one guy at once, get some more enemy varity so not everyone I fight either looks like a Dude, Big Dude or a Jet Dude, get that final boss you don’t just mash R1 on to web up and then zip over to beat up. Get out with the upgrade tree that largely adds more convenience and effect to the moves you’re already doing, gimme all those from the start and give me a tree of proper moves instead. Rather than having the enemies have Types which have to be hit by this or that move before they can be attacked, give them all proper moves you gotta learn to time and avoid instead of having the danger be the bumrush of the group, so you have to think more about what they’re doing and less about what they _are_. That’s the first stuff I can think of, and I’m some idiot on a blog. I’m sure the devs have tons of ideas for how to improve on all their stuff going forward.

        1. Redrock says:

          I think I get where you’re coming from, but I also think we can agree that when a set of simple yet satisfying mechanics is kinesthetically pleasing enough, for most people it never gets old. For me, webbing up a guy and hurling him at a wall is as fun for the 200th time as it was the first time. The combat allows me to change things up depending on my mood – I might stick to webbing one time and go more mano-a-mano another time, instead of being locked into a rock-paper-scissors system of attacks and appropriate countermeasures. I get what you’re saying, but I still think that for the kind of challenge and depth you desire other games exist that specialize exactly in that sort of stuff. I honestly think that a more complex and demanding combat systems would have actually made the game a bit less appealing and fun.

      2. Blake says:

        Pretty much my feelings too, not sure if it’s because I never played the Batman games, but I found it fun.
        Was it super easy by the end to make my way through waves of mooks? Sure, but I was freakin’ Spider-Man.

        I think the main reason I found it fun enough to play until I got that platinum trophy was because I wasn’t trying to find the optimal way through combat, I was playing around with all the different gadgets, always going for a few stealth kills at first, doing fun things like ripping the turrets off Sable cars as I swing past without breaking stealth, trying to lift enemies at the edge of a rooftop then do the yank-down attack to slam them into the pavement 20 stories below, it just felt really expressive and fun.

        Basically same for the traversal. Sure I could have just fast-travelled and done a few point-launches to get anywhere, but I really enjoyed parkouring across a few cars before leaping into the air, wall-running along buildings, zipping around them, swinging around, doin’ flips, it was just a fun time.

    4. DeadlyDark says:

      Yeah, feel the same. I mean, I buy and play these two games, but long later and much cheaper, just to see the story and such

      P.S. Have you seen Joseph Anderson’s video on GoW?

      1. Redrock says:

        Ooooh, I’d love to debate Anderson on the subject of the necessity or lack thereof of jumping in GoW.

    5. guy says:

      Well, it’s going for Arkham style and it does that, so for people who do like Arkham style it’s pretty brilliant.

      The research stations actually push the web-swinging mechanics; they often institute constraints that force you to path carefully and build up momentum. There’s some depth there. But in the regular point A to point B traversal, it being near-autopilot lets you swing through the air as effortlessly as Spider-man; it’d ruin the flow if you regularly screwed it up and crashed into the street just trying to cross the city.

      1. guy says:

        Really, for a Spider-man game I want the web-swinging mechanics to be like an FPS’s walking mechanics. I want swinging between buildings to be as easy as walking across a room. Spider-man just doesn’t miss his swings and faceplant when he’s crossing the city.

        What ends up being actually slightly difficult is chasing Shocker or a car or helicopter when you need to maneuver through buildings to catch something that’s probably faster than your basic straight-line speed and you have to dive into swings and take shortcuts.

    6. shoeboxjeddy says:

      The thing is, Spider-Man is for a VAST audience and has designed its mechanics for that audience. Bayonetta is hyper niche to the point where it makes Devil May Cry look mainstream and approachable. Spider-Man sold more its first week than the entire Bayonetta series might ever sell. Thinking from a business perspective, becoming any more like Bayonetta is undesirable.

      1. Christopher says:

        Thing is, anyone can pick up an play Bayo. There’s tons of depth from the huge movelist, the variety of weapons and on-the-fly weapon switching, witch time, parries, dodge offset, the colossal amount of enemies etc. But it’s also a game where you can continue as much as you like, mash your way through without engaging much with any of the systems, and there’s a super easy difficulty setting, too. Even on default, it’s less difficult compared to Devil May Cry. Bayonetta doesn’t sell less than Spidey or Smash Bros. ’cause it’s a game that’s too complicated for the mainstream crowd, it doesn’t sell as much because it’s not a household name like Super Mario or Spider-Man, combined with the whole out there burlesque dancer/demons and angels aesthetic. Spider-Man wouldn’t sell any less at all if it had dodge offset, a larger moveset, or more types of enemies. But it would be a more fun game, at least for me.

  6. Guildenstern says:

    I didn’t really know much about Spider-Man until 2002 when the Raimi movie came out. And even now, I don’t know a lot about the lore; I know who all the key players are, and have a good feeling for the thematic and tonal core of Spider-Man stories, but like. I don’t know who the hell the Rhino is. I had no clue JJJ apparently created a supervillain in the Scorpion. I cannot for the life of me tell Shocker apart from Electro (who thought *that* was a good idea, anyway?). So I can hardly be described as a purist in any sense. But even I stuck to the more “traditional” costume sets, alternating between the Advanced Suit, the Classic Suit, and the Stark Suit (ignoring a brief foray with the homemade and Last Stand suits, because I do admittedly like stuff that deviates from the spandex model when I can get it). Anything that started adding blacks or greens or weird metal bits just looked wrong to me. Spider-Man has that really bold red and blue scheme, period.

    Also on the topic of suits, it was a really good move to let players use any combination of suit and suit power, provided you had both unlocked. Shamus and I share a pet peeve, I think, about games that tether amazing abilities to gear that looks ridiculous (or at least that I don’t much care for, aesthetically). Being able to use the 4x damage multiplier power while not having to use that weird blue and white monstrosity with the bladed gauntlets(?) was a godsend.

    1. Blake says:

      Totally agree on separating visuals from powers once they’re unlocked. Made me switch them around a lot more than I would have otherwise.

    2. shoeboxjeddy says:

      Shocker and Electro are easy to visually tell apart if we’re talking classic costumes. Electro has a lightning bolt costume, straight up. He looks like he’s cosplaying a Mega Man boss. Shocker generally wears a yellow bodysuit with a red leotard over the top. The confusing bit is that Shocker’s powers don’t “shock” you, they vibrate and push you with waves of kinetic energy.

      1. Viktor says:

        Shocker’s powers are SHOCKwaves. They…probably should have taken a second swing at that name, though. Also, yeah, Electro looks like he should be starring in an educational TV show talking about why not to stick things in power outlets, Shocker looks like his powers involve quilting.

        1. Christopher says:

          This isn’t helped by the fact that I swear the writers just give Shocker electric powers when Electro isn’t around to provide them instead. There’s one story where he teams up with Hydro Man and ends up evaporating him with the electricity.

  7. Al__S says:

    Away from games a bit, but what do you make of the trailers for “Into The Spider-verse”?

  8. Nimrandir says:

    . . . I fell in love with the character in 1978 and he should stay that way forever.

    Refresh my memory — is this before or after Gwen Stacy died?

    Obviously it’s before she became Spider-Person, and way before she became Deadpool, but I get murky on the Spider-timeline. I was more of an X-Men guy.

    1. Shamus says:

      This was a few years after that.

      However, her death was part of the anthologies I was reading at the time, so for me the death of Gwen is as important to the character as the death of Uncle Ben.

      Having said that, I love the Gwen costume and that makes me want to read the book. I actually like that she’s in her own universe so she’s not dragging around 50 years of accumulated lore-cruft.

      1. Christopher says:

        Spider-Gwen’s costume is so excellent it’s essentially the Bowsette of Spidey outfits. Fan artists can’t keep their hands off it, ’cause it’s got it all.

        While I personally wouldn’t want any Spider-Men in the Insomniac series other than Peter, I gotta admit, it would’ve been phenomenal to have a Gwen skin just for roaming around the open world.

  9. Christopher says:

    Same, I went back to the classic suit the instant the cutscene that showed off the white spider suit ended. If pressed I’ll swap to Black Cat’s suit, the Last Stand suit and maybe the Homecoming suit, but generally I just wore the classic suit/torn classic suit for the entire game. It’s the dude’s look. The others are nice for variety, but I’m not gonna go into cutscenes with even the cel-shaded classic suit, I saved my messing around for the post-game. Black Cat’s suit is something I wear just to woo the lovely lady. The Homecoming suit is an inoffensive cinematic take on the original suit to the degree that I can put it on and just kinda forget about it. And finally, the Last Stand suit is from one of those issues I’ve actually read. And it has some fun history, being concepted out by some Jewish tailor who ended up working for superpowered dudes by accident and needed a helping hand one time. It helps that it looks pretty good, and is designed to be kinda practical. You turn the jacket inside out, you put on a hood, done. I like that unassuming design.

    And yeah, I expect that a black suit isn’t available because, you know. Understandable reasons. In an interview, Bryan Intihar(it’s cool how these sony leads doing the interview rounds have turned them into much more well-known names) mentioned that the Superior Spider-Man suit isn’t in the game to avoid confusion with, you know, that guy. Similarly, you never get Miles Morales’ costume either. They aren’t putting in stuff that might come up in the story, they’re limiting their suits to event suits and alternate universe costumes. I take Ben Reilly’s suit being in there as a merciful admission that they’re never gonna do any clone bullshit.

    1. Christopher says:

      “Homecoming” meaning the Stark Suit actually. I forget that the Homecoming Suit actually refers to the hoodie or whatever he puts on as his basic costume in the MCU. MCU Spidey can’t sew for shit.

  10. Rosseloh says:

    As someone who isn’t into superheroes and doesn’t own a PS4, you’re making me want this game. Must actually be pretty good, I guess.

  11. Hector says:

    I’m going to challenge Shamus’s article on one thing!

    It’s completely possible for Spider-Man to swing about the city like that. If he never made a mistake and made sure to build up enough momentum while avoiding all the omni-present opbstacles and has a nearly-unlimited supply of carbon nanotubes in those tiny web-shooter thingies and is so tough that his body can take the strain.

    Completely possible. Just impossible for anything human!

    Edit: Oh, and also, TaskMaster is pretty cool now. He is a bit of an Edgelord though, so fair game.

    Edit Edit: I now want a Spider-Man villain who is actually named Edgelord.

    1. Nimrandir says:

      I have to admit that I had no idea who Taskmaster was for a long time. When they added him to the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 roster, I thought to myself, “When did Hobgoblin start wearing a skull mask? And did he always carry a sword?”

      1. Christopher says:

        Gotta say, I’m way more into Taskmasters Marvel VS Capcom 3 look, which I expect is his classic look. Skeletor in a blue and white Superman costume with a sword and a shield… that’s a supervillain alright. PS4!Spidey uses what I expect is based on a more modern design, body armor and a skull-shaped mask. That Taskmaster look doesn’t quite hit that same level of camp, which I imagine is the point.

        1. Nimrandir says:

          I haven’t played the game yet, but did they not go for that level of camp in general? I mean, Spider-Man has a dude in a rhino suit in his rogues’ gallery. I fail to see how one can make that not campy without leaning into retconned movie territory.

          1. Christopher says:

            They largely go the movie route of making every costume robot/armor-like. Which, I guess a robotic suit rhino is a certain level of camp? But it’s not the same level as huge guy in gray suit levels of camp. To the designers’ credit, the villains’ original designs show up during a certain mission, but I wish they would embrace even more of the cornball nature of superhero spandex instead of mechanizing it.

      2. shoeboxjeddy says:

        Taskmaster has a series of amazing gimmicks and should NOT be overlooked by any Marvel fan out there.
        1) He’s immoral but not evil. This means he’s one of those fun villains who will “nope” out of a bad situation or even attack other bad guys if the situation is dire enough. He will NOT be helping you destroy the world… all his stuff is there.
        2) He just wears a skull mask but doesn’t have all the edge lord “my real face was burned off by negative energy” baloney that guys like Black Mask from Batman have.
        3) And best of all, he has that comic book memory power where he can analyze and replicate any fighting style it’s possible for a human body to pull off. So he can’t fly or lift a bus, but he can use a sword as well as Valkyrie could or throw Cap’s shield with similar accuracy to Cap himself.

  12. Mikey says:

    I’d been debating whether to spend my latest gaming dollars on Spider-man, the new Mega Man, the new Dragon Quest, or the prequel to and remake of the original Yakuza. Now that you’ve officially got a Spider-man analysis coming, that’s that decision made for me.

    And I’m with you on the ‘stop trying to change Spidey’s suit’ thing. I’m usually the sort of player who messes around with cosmetic options in games (I spent as much of Arkham City as possible in the Batman Beyond suit,) but with Spider-man’s suit? It ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  13. Nessus says:

    Is there a site that shows sceencaps of all the different costumes in the game? I don’t have the game myself (don’t have a console otherwise I would, ’cause of fond memories of SM2/USM on PS2), and I’m not versed in all the comic lore so I have no idea what most of these costumes people are citing are.

    …Except Spider Gwen. Of the spider family costumes I am aware of, it’s definitely my favorite. They really hit it out of the park with that one.

    *Edit* Nevermind. Found the link someone else posted in the comments above.

    1. Nessus says:

      Man, most of those are… really bad. I can see why lots of people would end up sticking to the “classic” and “advanced” suits, and I’m not even that attached to the classic suit design those are based on.

      I think the MK.II is maybe the least offensive of the bunch: a better black suit than the more familiar one one that became Venom, but looks way more Black Panther than Spider Man. Like if you told me that suit was basically like the Iron Spider, only made by Shuri instead of Tony, I’d believe it way more than that meh description of where it’s actually from.

      OMG, and now out of the random blue I’m shipping MCU Peter and MCU Shuri. I’ve never respected or gave a damn about fan shipping before, IS THIS HOW IT BEGINS? WHAT DID MARVEL DO TO MY BRAIN? SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR ABOUT THIS?

      *Edit* Okay, I’m over it now. Whew, that was a weird experience.

      1. Redrock says:

        Don’t blame Marvel. That’s the Tumblr virus burrowing into your brain. It’s subtle, but unstoppable.

        That said, I’d rather ship comic book Peter (or the game Peter) with MCU Shuri. MCU Peter isn’t nerdy enough.

  14. ElementalAlchemist says:

    I posted this in the other Experienced Points article, which I guess was a tad premature. Repost:

    Shamus, an aspect you touched on in this week’s Experienced Points column that might be useful to expound on as a full article here in the future: interior mapping.

    http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JoostVanDongen/20180925/327159/Interior_Mapping_rendering_real_rooms_without_geometry.php

    http://interiormapping.oogst3d.net/

  15. JDMM says:

    Something that I’ve been wondering having completed the game is just how much explanation does a game villain from an adaptation need?
    One of the more interesting recent Spiderman villains (although perhaps that’s simply bias) is Morlun but Morlun really only works as a villain in a serial where the lore for him to show up can be shown across some twenty other villains and allies
    I think Morlun would make an interesting game boss however I’m not sure how you’d include him while at the same time not fully explaining him as a full explanation would make the game about him and really only Harry, Norman, certain versions of the symbiote and (Spiderman scientific mentor figure, Connors or Octavius generally) have the emotional connection to carry that

    1. Redrock says:

      I think it’s a comic book thing primarily. Big scary unknown villain lurking as a shadowy menace in the last panel hinting that the baddie of the latest arc was actually working for them. Even TV can’t do it without seeming cheesy. It is cheesy, but cheesy works in comics. I think Insomniac’s approach with Doc Ock is better: emphasis on building a connection between the hero and the villain over the course of the game. I may just be a sappy sucker, but it really worked on me. I knew where it was going and it still felt like a gut punch.

    2. guy says:

      I think any villain who shows up in an adaption needs to be able to hold up with just what’s in the adaption, but you don’t need to get into their background. The player needs to know their abilities, their goals, their plans, and enough of their personality to understand why they’re using those plans for those goals. But that can fit in a one-page bio, pretty much, and at that point the villain is ready for any plotline where they’re an appropriate villain.

  16. Hal says:

    I only just started the game last night. A few thoughts:

    -The combat is fun, but I’m not very good at it. I had the same problem in Arkham Asylum. It’s too much input at times. I don’t think about my arsenal of moves and how to respond to the dozen guys around me. I think, “There’s a bunch of guys, so I need to start mashing the buttons really hard.”

    -The game goes out of its way to keep things PG-rated friendly and safe. Despite falling from above the skyscrapers, Peter lands on his feet. You can finish off a bad guy with a kick to the face that sends him flying off of a multi-story balcony, but he just goes away off screen. I guess this is appropriately “comic bookish” but it does take away some tension from the world to not have to worry about these things.

    -There are a lot of controls that aren’t really introduced early on that I think are going to be important later on. Oh well.

    1. guy says:

      There’s a lot of fiddly gadgets and powers, but as of a good chunk of the way in you just need to dodge, punch, web people, and throw things. That’s enough to let you avoid taking damage and defeat any enemy, though shield guys are annoying. Everything else is a bonus as far as simply winning a fight is concerned.

      Punch the guys who can be punched, dodge shots, render unpunchable people punchable and punch them. Once you have that down, start working on using the other gadgets for crowd control. Even for that, you can basically pick one at random, point it at a cluster of enemies, and fire and it will accomplish something useful.

  17. Mephane says:

    Damn Shamus, stop making me wish they’d make this game for PC. :P

  18. Mousazz says:

    As a PC gamer, the only Spider-Man game I played is Ultimate Spider-Man. And that game’s webslinging contrasts heavily with this new game’s:

    In Ultimate Spider-Man, the developers really put a lot of emphasis that Spidey’s webs stick to buildings. It tries to attach itself to the highest point of the nearest building slightly ahead of you. Also, they made the swinging arc heavily dependent on where the web attached itself.

    What this meant was that in areas with low buildings, like Queens, if Spidey was on the right side of the road, and the nearest building was a 5 story on the left side of the road, Spidey would shoot the web almost horizontally to the left. This would also make his swinging arc horizontal – he gains no height, and he starts going left real fast. In fact, sometimes Spidey’s swings were him constantly being pulled from one side of the street to the other.

    It was somewhat intuitive, but much more janky and difficult. However, it was also extremely rewarding once you mastered it.

    This new Spider-Man game’s web-swinging mechanic just seems… sterile. Like it has a very low skill ceiling. It’s convenient and comfy, but not very engaging.
    Heh. I guess it does make you feel like Spider-Man, though.

  19. Grey Rook says:

    Now, this might just be me, but the Escapist article doesn’t seem to load. Do I need a new browser or something to access the new Escapist site?

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