A PC remaster of a game always has a lot to live up to. And when said game is critically-acclaimed, universally-lauded by fans and industry members, multi-time Game of The Year (2018) recipient Marvel’s Spider-Man you know you’ve got some big webby shoes to fill. At minimum, PC punters are hankering for the exact marvellous experience that PlayStation loyalists were given all those years ago. But also, it has been four years; so does Insomniac Games have anything new in store for gamers?
This review might run a little different to most of our traditional reviews. You can read our original review of the 2018 release here, but we’ll do our best to cover the improvements and adjustments in terms of general performance and the overall quality of the transition to PC. That being said, we’ll also look to comment on the overall experience four years later, and how the title stands up in today’s ever-increasing landscape of superhero games.
New Platform, Same Spidey
For those of you that hadn’t gotten around to playing the 2018 original release on the PlayStation 4, Marvel’s Spider-Man is a third person action-adventure game set in the iconic world of the world’s most well-known and well-loved web slinging superhero sensation. While the storyline is an original piece, many elements are naturally heavily inspired by the comic book source material as well as subsequent Spidey media such as the last few films. Without venturing into spoiler territory the game follows Spider-Man as he overcomes a medley of villains (some very familiar faces) and attempt to save New York from a lethal bioweapon.
Players take the role of a seasoned Spidey, with eight years behind the mask and all the bells and whistles you’d commonly associate with the superhero. This means skipping the fairly tired origin story and having cool abilities straight from the get go. It’s also possible to beef up our boy through the game’s upgrade system that improves combat skills and web swinging.
Aside from the main storyline, there are also side missions and things you can collect around the city all of which will keep you busy and immersed in the open world. As someone who didn’t get around to the original 2018 release, I was truly blown away by the cinematic nature of both the story and general gameplay. It felt like an interactive movie as cut scenes melded beautifully into gameplay without loading screens that would disrupt the immersion.
Thanks to the power of newer RTX graphics cards, Marvel’s Spider-Man looks better than it ever has, and arguably better than the PlayStation 5 remaster. A bunch of sliders allow you to fine-tune the balance between performance and graphical fidelity, and ultrawide resolutions, ranging from 16:9 to a whopping 48:9, allowing you to swing across the city with a wider field of view than ever before. Ray-traced reflections and improved shadows also help bring the city to life, rivalling the PS5’s admittedly gorgeous fidelity mode. That being said, support for the DualSense has also been added, allowing PlayStation and PC gamers alike to jump on board with the same solid experience the may have encountered on the console; trust us, it’s still the best way to play this.
Does Whatever a Spider Can
Web swinging was probably one of my favourite aspects of the game. It took me back to my very first Spider-Man game, the 2000 release for the original PlayStation, but naturally far more enhanced. I managed fine on a pretty standard sized computer monitor but I wonder if playing on a wider screen would heighten the experience or cause motion sickness. There is quite a lot of movement happening so just be mindful of that during this segment of the game.
Combat was tricky for me, even though I had the game set to Friendly (the second easiest option at the menu). The game prompts you, at least in the earlier missions, on the most effective way to disarm and take out the enemies in your path. This can range from standard combat to momentarily paralysing them through web binding, aerial attacks or taking advantage of elements in the environment and web throwing garbage cans onto villains. Through various key-clicks, you can in theory formulate some exciting combos, some which will see Spider-Man web sliding between legs to take them out from behind. However, I struggled to remember what to do and while figuring it out, would end up getting clobbered instead. There is some auto-targeting but again, unless you know what you’re doing you’ll end up tying someone up that you didn’t mean to or half punching everyone and not really knocking anybody out. I choose to play on a keyboard rather than my usual controller setup, so I would chalk this one up to skill, or lack thereof.
On top of including all original content and included subsequently released DLC chapters, it’s hard to argue with more Spidey. Especially for PC, graphics are now optimised which means gamers can enjoy a variety of graphics quality options to tailor to your build. For controller players, haptic feedback and dynamic trigger effects keep your head in the game when playing through a PlayStation Dual Sense controller on a wired USB connection. The ultrawide monitor support here is astounding, and a true spectacle for those who wish to invest in the tech at this point in time. And for those of us on mouse and keyboard, there’s also a variety of customisable options too. Marvel’s Spider-Man is now also available on Steam Deck so you can take the titular wall crawler with you on the go. If you’re a fan of the original 2018 release, there’s really only more to love with this remaster, so jump on board.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Highlights: Immersive landscapes; Same, solid gameplay; Extra points for Spider-Man’s snarky comments; Graphical fidelity, Ultrawide monitor support
Lowlights: Combat is still tricky, but that’s probably my fault
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Review conducted on PC with a pre-release code provided by the publisher.