First Impressions: Spiderman
I don’t know about you, but I was pretty shocked to see a gameplay trailer for Insomniac’s Spiderman. When it was announced last year, I made the false assumption that the game is a ways away from being completed. To be honest, I’m still hesitant to believe that it will be out in 2018, which they announced at the keynote. With a beloved character like Spiderman, I just assumed that they would take their time with development. Despite what I assumed, I was very happy to see the gameplay. And I was fortunate to be in the theater presentation to see Spiderman in person.
The footage I saw was exactly what was played during the Sony keynote. It was the same level, but with more detail in the fights with the basic enemies. In case you missed the trailer, I will put it at the bottom of the article. But for now, let’s focus on some the things that impressed me with Spiderman.
The combat reminded me of the fantastic combat system that was featured in the Batman Arkham series. It was very free flowing and fit the character perfectly. Spiderman was able to move from enemy to enemy with great ease and mobility that you would expect from the wall crawler. In some instances, button icons would pop up if you wanted to use environmental items to take out enemies. For example, you can web a bag of cement and fling it at an enemy. In Arkham, Batman had something to indicate if an enemy is about to attack. Of course, in Spiderman, you have his trusty Spider Sense that slows down time and lets you flip and avoid oncoming attacks.
The movement in Spiderman is fairly similar to previous Spiderman games. You have a icon that shows you where you can web to, and a button push sends you over there. A nice added feature is the option to take down enemies using stealth. The gadget that was prominently featured was the mini web bomb that you saw in the trailer. Spidey threw it on a wall, and when an enemy is near, it explodes and traps him in a giant web. I have a feeling that we will see many more gadgets when Spiderman is released.
Now lets talk about the quick time event that was featured in the trailer. In the demo, the developer hit the buttons perfectly, so we didn’t see what happens if you miss a button. I think it’s safe to assume that if you miss a button, you will either have another opportunity to hit it or you will restart at a checkpoint. While I’m not a huge fan of QTE, I can see why they added it in Spiderman. It was a blockbuster set piece, so I’m sure they wanted it to look as awesome as possible. Adding QTE gives it a cinematic feel as you try and stop the helicopter. In the demo, we saw the developer swing the wrong direction a few times, but he was still able to catch up.
The action looks fantastic, so I am very encouraged by what I saw. Spiderman is in great hands with Insomniac. They obviously understand what we want in a Spiderman game. Of course, we have to wait until 2018 to hopefully get the full game. But I can see from this small demo that Spiderman will be a Spiderman game that will make millions of gamers happy.