Spider-man 2

Spider-man 2

Spider-man 2 is out, featuring two Spider-mans… Spider-men. It’s only on Playstation 5, but luckily, I have one of those.

When the Playstation 5 came out, Spider-man: Miles Morales was one of the launch titles, featuring a remastered version of the Spider-man game from 2018 by Insomniac Games. Not ‘the original Spider-man video game’, because there have been some forty odd games over the years. But, the 2018 one was actually good.

I think the last Spider-man game I played was Spider-man and the X-men from the mid nineties, and that was a pretty horrible experience — at least for me. So, when I started the remaster of Spider-man on my shiny new Playstation 5, it was a treat.

Can this official Playstation 5 only sequel live up to the previous games?

Kraven and Venom

Given how the game opens and the glaring clues in the box art, I think I can safely spoil that this game features Kraven and Venom. If you don’t know who those are, well, I’ll not ruin the surprise.

I knew immediately. I have an entire shelf filled with old Spider-man comics in one of my bookcases. My teenage years were spent with my nose in Spider-man comics. Some of my favorites are Kraven’s Last Hunt and the initial symbiote/Venom stories in the Amazing Spider-man comic. So, this game featuring both was an immediate plus.

Of course, Spider-Man 2 deviates from ‘canon’ — as far as that exists in the Marvel Universe, which has numerous comics, TV shows, movies, and alternate timelines. I’ve read the comics, and I could predict some of what was going to happen, but a lot is new. I think that’s a good thing, because rehashing the same tired story time and again becomes boring.

As an example, how many times have you seen the Spider-man origin story? Five times? Twenty? Fifty? I’ve personally lost count how many times I’ve seen Uncle Ben die.

So, something new and fresh can be good. And, luckily, this game manages to spin a good yarn.

Peter and Miles

At the start of the game, the two Spider-men are each facing their own problems. Peter lost his job, has a house he can’t pay for, and has a girlfriend whose journalistic career took a nose dive. Miles is living with his mother, who is running for office, but he worries about college admissions and getting together with the girl he has a crush on.

Peter is struggling with things that young adults face, a job, a house, and whether or not to move in with his girlfriend. Miles is struggling with late teen problems, getting a girlfriend. going to college, finding out what’s really important to you.

Their two struggles intertwine, but are also separate. This gives them both more depth, as they have different goals, and their own lives and problems. They’re not just two hero suits swinging around New York, they’re two people in suits, trying to be heroic.

And their struggles build up to some well-written climactic scenes. It’s a video game, meaning action and gameplay is inserted everywhere, but that doesn’t make it less good (though seriously, the dialog in the Spider-man vs. Scream fight is… well… very awkward).

Spider-man 2 gameplay

Like most sequels, this game has new powers for the heroes. Meaning you get to play as both Spider-men, who each have a load of special powers. That works pretty well, but you do end up having to memorize a large set of button gymnastics to get the most out of your Spider-man. I suck at memorizing special moves and using them for the right situation, so I usually stick to a small set of moves that I can remember and forget the rest. But, luckily, that isn’t a problem.

Of course, the best part of the Insomniac Spider-man games is the web swinging. The web swinging was awesome in the previous games, and it still is here. There is one tiny stain on otherwise good gameplay, though: the web wings.

In this game, you have the power of flight! Or rather, the power of gliding. It’s okay for moving through the city, but I ended up gliding into stuff a lot; mostly the river. Worse, there are a number of side missions where you have to glide along a fixed trail and not hit stuff. Hitting something is not an auto-fail in these missions, but close to it. Even if you manage to regain the trail, you could be screwed at the end because time runs out. But you only find that out at the end of the entire course. I hated these missions.

Conclusion

Anyway, Spider-man 2 is a really great game. I love it.

If you like Spider-man, you really can’t go wrong with this one. If you like open-world action games, this is for you as well. Of course, if you think Spider-man is stupid, and you hate 3D open world games, yeah… maybe give this a pass.

And, until a PC port arrives (which could take a few years), you will have to own a Playstation 5.

Martin Stellinga Written by:

I'm a science fiction and fantasy author/blogger from the Netherlands