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First Impressions: Spiderman (PS4)

by on June 14, 2018

Editor’s Note:  Ryan attended the Playstation E3 2018 After Party on June 11th, where he had the chance to go hands-on with Spiderman.  Here are his thoughts –

Perfection is a very strong word, especially when discussing an E3 demo.  As you may or may not know, E3 is a place to show off the best demo you possibly can.  Impressions from your demo can either help sell your game or hinder it.   I try to keep my excitement in check when playing E3 demos because it may not be an accurate representation of the finished product.  But I cannot contain my excitement for Spiderman.  The demo was perfect, and Insomniac Games have perfectly transitioned Spiderman from the comics to console.

The demo started you off swinging through the buildings in New York City.  The swinging mechanic worked beautifully.  It felt so natural swinging between buildings and on light posts.  Spidey would do little flips and twists as he swung, which was very cool.  If you hit the ground or the building, then you can easily wall run or shoot a web out to start swinging again.  And New York is an open world, so there were plenty of places to find.

In the demo, there were indicators to show activities that you can accomplish.  There were bad guys to defeat (including Shocker, which I will get to in a minute).  There were backpacks to find and places that hold Harry Osborn’s research.  I’m curious if that will play a part in upgrading your suit and tech when the full game launches.  The indicators are bright and very easy to find.  My only complaint is the indicators would fade away after a while, requiring you to hit the button again to show them in the HUD.  I think this was a deliberate choice to make the game more immersive.

You’ve seen the trailers, so you have probably noticed that the combat is pretty similar to the Arkham series.  Yet it’s more natural in Spiderman.  Logically, it didn’t make sense to have Batman bounding from one point of the room to another as he countered enemies.  It’s fits better to Spiderman’s powers and skill set.  The combat is extremely satisfying.  You can easily button mash if you want.  But the best option is to hit attacks, counter moves, and use the environment to your advantage.  Webbing barrels and throwing them at enemies is amazing.  The movement and combat are so fluid and it looks amazing on screen.

The fight with Shocker featured a lot of things that I really liked.  Spiderman’s signature humor was on full display as he interacted with Shocker in the beginning cutscene.  The fight ended up being very challenging.  The fight required you to swing in a small room while avoiding Shocker’s blasts.  On top of that, you needed to throw objects to stun him before you can move in and properly attack.  It’s definitely easier to swing in the streets of New York as opposed to being trapped in a building.  It was a memorable fight, and hopefully there will be lots of encounters like that in the game.

As a comic fan, I loved how it looked exactly like the comic.  As a gamer, the mechanics and gameplay are so well done.  Overall, I cannot wait for September to arrive.  If the demo is any indicator of what’s to come, then Spiderman can easily be a game of the year candidate.

Let us know if you are excited for Spiderman in the comments below!

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