We've swung our way through Insomniac's latest Spidey adventure and have our rating ready to go.
"Sometimes, a sequel should be more. It should reinvent the wheel, but in most cases, there's no reason why a sequel can't just be more of what we love. Insomniac absolutely nailed making you feel like Spider-Man in its first game, and so it would be of little sense to risk that success. Instead, what we're given in Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is a spectacular addition to the roster of amazing Spidey content we've seen over the last five years."
"The similarities are clear from minute one. Like in the first game, it doesn't take long for the action to start and you're immediately sent swinging toward danger as the thumping soundtrack accompanies your journey through New York. In the first game, a feeling of shock took over during the first few minutes as you realise what Insomniac has accomplished."
"In the sequel, a familiar smile will likely creep up your face as you're just so glad to be back in the saddle, less a feeling of oh my god they've done it and more something like they've only gone and done it again as you smoothly swing from skyscraper to skyscraper.We're then thrown back in with our Spider-Men, free to plough on with the story or take in the sights of New York. There's a lot to accomplish with the narrative, with focuses placed on Peter, Miles and MJ as they all deal with their own personal problems while also never getting enough time to properly sort them out thanks to the duties of being and or being the girlfriend of Spider-Man. The pacing is fast, but not blindingly so, and there are plenty of moments where the game is telling you it's okay to slow down, do a few side objectives, then return to the story."
"In its narrative, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is spinning a lot of plates. Miles' essay, MJ moving to Pete's house, Peter trying to land a steady job, Venom, Kraven and much more, yet none of them clatter to the floor. Whenever you take on a story mission they feel like neat episodes of a TV series, brilliantly cinematic while also allowing enough cool and unique gameplay to stop you from feeling like you can just put your controller down to enjoy the pretty visuals. It consistently reels you in, and that's in no small part to the phenomenal performances of our main cast."
"Yuri Lowenthal wasn't lying when he said we'd only seen the thwip of the Spider-Berg during the summer. He brings a depth and realism to Peter Parker, while also giving that perfect blend of cringe and edge when Peter wears the symbiote suit. I'd also like to highlight Najee Jeter as Miles Morales. It's hard to compete with the charisma that Shameik Moore brings to the table in the Spider-Verse films, but I think in this game Jeter really finds his own niche for Miles and the character comes across as effortlessly likeable."
"To juggle so much and not feel overburdened by it is an outstanding success for Marvel's Spider-Man 2's story. It's not flawless, but without spoiling anything I can say that Sony has once again delivered an enthralling, cinematic story that'll appeal to casual and hardcore fans alike."
"Narrative aside, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is a technical masterwork. Traversal is nothing short of a dream and I found myself in awe at this game while swinging and gliding my way around New York.The web wings make for a stellar addition, especially considering we're dealing with a much larger map this time around. The space never feels empty though, nor is it a chore to travel around. I didn't use fast travel once, as you move so quickly and excellently in Marvel's Spider-Man 2 that it feels like a disservice not to make your way across the map the good old fashioned way."
"Evolution is the name of the game here. Marvel's Spider-Man 2 isn't so different that I can't conceive of playing the first game again, but it consistently adds small but meaningful surprises like a breath mint being popped into your mouth every five minutes. Combat is by no means missed in this and we get numerous new abilities adding another layer of depth to the otherwise dodge-then-mash attack rhythm you'd get into in past games."
"Boss battles spice things up as well, and they occur much more frequently than you might guess. You're not running into a member of Spidey's rogues gallery whenever you turn down the wrong alleyway, but there is a diverse cast of bosses in the game giving you some great action. I can't say any of them are amazingly difficult, but they offer a superior challenge to the otherwise constant hordes of goons."
"Speaking of the biggest baddies you'll meet in the game, it's time to talk villains.Incredibly imposing, with the mental capacity to stay one step ahead of both Spider-Men, he feels like a villain who has anticipated our heroes better than any adversary yet.As we learn more about his character, it becomes difficult even not to admire the hunter in some way. Plus, he has a killer theme, so that's always a win."
"Venom, on the other hand, well, he's an absolute monster as expected. Glorious in his own gooey, terrifying way, Venom feels like an absolute beast both in how he looks and how he's portrayed in the game. It's almost a shame both of these villains have to share the same spotlight, because even though it makes sense from a narrative perspective, it can feel like they devour each other's presence slightly."
"Amazing, spectacular, superior, ultimate. All words that have been used to describe Spider-Man in his comic run, and adjectives I could use to describe Marvel's Spider-Man 2. Insomniac's second major superhero effort easily swings into being one of the best games in its genre. For the majority of my time playing, I wondered what more I could ask for, and while I wish the story had hit more of a home run and the combat had evolved a little more, these are small complaints when faced with the terrific achievement of Marvel's Spider-Man 2 as a whole."