Exclusive Hands-on Preview: Spider-Man for the PS4
We got the chance to try out the upcoming PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game early. Is it all hype or is it actually worth looking forward to?
Exclusive Hands-on Preview: Spider-Man for the PS4
Not long ago, we received an invitation by the folks over at Sony Interactive Entertainment Singapore to try out the upcoming PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game. With absolutely zero shame, I replied “HECK YEAH”. Well, without spoiling the game for all of you, here’s what I got from the game.
What’s the Game About?
The new Spider-Man game for the PlayStation 4 is an action-adventure game set in a huge open-world environment in fictional New York City. In this iteration, Spider-Man is no longer a naïve youth trying to be a hero. Peter Parker, his true identiy, is now 23 years old, has graduated from college, and is currently working as a scientist in a laboratory.
Yes, Peter Parker is not a photographer for the Daily Bugle like we’ve always known and this is also not another origin story. It’s a brand new narrative which shows how he juggles his life as an average joe as well as being the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man at the same time. As a scientist, players will have to help Peter complete his tasks as well as technology-based puzzles.
Interestingly, Peter’s original Spider-Man suit was ripped to shreds during a fight with Fisk and thus, he used the laboratory to create the better, iconic Advanced Suit. Players will swing around New York City combatting villains, stopping crimes, and saving damsels in distress. Eventually, players will meet familiar faces, both friend and foe, with fates intertwined to shape up what could be the most exciting adventure for the web slinger.
Insomniac Games Community Director James Stevenson, who was present during the private demo session, has mentioned that the game has only a single ending. Meaning here that no matter what difficulty you play in or how extensively you play it, it will still result in the same ending.
It’s Like Putting Spider-Man into an Assassin’s Creed / Grand Theft Auto Hybrid
While the private demo session did have some spoilers with regards to the story, I will be making an analysis of the game as spoiler-free as possible so you can still enjoy the game with a brand new slate should you choose to purchase it.
When the game starts out, you will be web-slinging around New York City as the titular Spider-Man, getting a feel of the game’s mechanics as you go. Unlike any other Spider-Man game, this is arguably the most accurate feel of moving around the city as the superhero, just like how you see in the movies. You can easily pick up the pace in a swinging motion and it’s relatively easy to control.
The downside here is that because it’s reliant on tall buildings, you will have trouble connecting to another tower once you’ve reached a certain height. You will have to fall down a bit more before you can continue to swing. However, you can also boost yourself forward to keep the momentum going. This is simply a mechanic that people will need to get used to.
You can also run up walls which can serve as a useful alternative mean of travelling, especially when you need to go up a particular tower. While web-slinging is generally faster, you’ll have the tendency to overshoot the landing and thus, you may end up falling down to the ground. Not to worry though, Spider-Man strong so you won’t be receiving any fall damage.
The world map will be filled with all sorts of objective markers from collecting hidden items to taking part in missions, both optional and mandatory ones. It is actually worth investing time into these optional missions as it can yield you additional in-game items as well as experience points that can be used to level up the superhero. It’s also worth noting that fixing some communications towers will result in an Assassin’s Creed-esque cinematic view of the surrounding area with additional map points unlocked.
In moments where you turn into Peter Parker instead, you will have some tasks that will either be to move the story forward or solve some puzzles to unlock some upgrades for your Spider Suit at the laboratory. These tech puzzles are simply fitting in “puzzle pieces” in the circuit board to make the electricity flow properly. It’s generally easy but the difficulty is expected to bump up in late game portions.
Beating Up the Baddies
It wouldn’t be a proper Spider-Man game if you’re not beating up those villains and thugs. Generally speaking, the combat system is simple in nature but will require a bit of mastering to do. You can easily just mash the attack button to combo the enemies to oblivion but it’s not always the advisable course of action.
Holding the attack button will have launch the enemy, where you can proceed to pummel them mid-air or use your web to bring down either to the ground or towards an enemy. Speaking of web, you have a variety of uses for it. On enemies, you can use them as projectile to either temporarily stun them or render them immobile completely. You can also use it to swing around items such as barrels, trash cans, and more as a crowd control-based attack.
It’s important to consider staggering your opponents temporarily even if it means not being able to quickly take enemies down as it can feel overwhelming when there’s too many people attacking at once. This is especially true if they can do projectile-based attacks like guns, which can hurt a lot.
However, this is not how combat will be all the time. As you progress through the game’s story as well continue levelling up Spider-Man, you will gain access to more skills and new equipment. Players will have access to a skill tree with three different pathways for players to go through depending on their playstyle.
To learn a skill, you just need spend skill points which you normally earn by levelling up Spider-Man with the use of experience points. As for equipment, there are some that you will obtain just by playing through the game’s story while others will depend on specific quests / tasks such as the tech puzzles in the laboratory.
To Buy Or Not To Buy? That is the Question
Is the Spider-Man game for the PlayStation 4 all hype or is it actually worth investing in? This will solely depend on your interests. If you have found yourself enjoying games such as Assassin’s Creed, Grand Theft Auto, Watch Dogs, and other open-world action games, there is a very high chance you will love this one. It also counts if you’re just a fan of Spider-Man in general because from the demo I’ve experienced, this is by far the best, most accurate Spider-Man game there is thus far.
This Spider-Man game will be coming exclusively to the PlayStation 4 on 7th September 2018.