Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (PS5) Review: The Top of the Superhero Pedestal ForthMGN

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (PS5) Review: The Top of the Superhero Pedestal ForthMGN

With both Peter Parker and Miles Morales featured as heroes in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, you might expect New York City to be relatively safe. But the city is still rife with criminals, and the villains our dynamic duo must face grow more challenging and more numerous. Developer Insomniac Games packs quite a lot of content in its third installment of the Spider-Man franchise, and this PS5 exclusive spares no expense in showing off the game’s gorgeous visuals and slick performance. The result is yet another solid, impressive outing, though the narrative comes up short due to the number of characters it tries to juggle.

Spider-Man 2 tugs on the familiar thread of our superheroes having to deal with everyday human struggles when it’s sometimes easier and more thrilling to put on a mask and hit bad guys instead. Peter has an overdue mortgage and is coping with the death of Aunt May, while Miles is procrastinating on a college admissions essay and hasn’t gotten over his father’s death at the hands of Mister Negative. Meanwhile, Kraven the Hunter has his sights on testing his strength against supervillains in the city, and Peter’s childhood friend Harry Osborn has suddenly recovered from his illness by way of an unusual black mass that Spider-Man fans will immediately identify.

Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment/Marvel

The story has plenty of variety throughout the 30-hour adventure but feels rushed toward the back third. You’ll encounter numerous supervillains from past games and side quests that involve a Harlem museum, a fire-obsessed cult, the Brooklyn Visions Academy which Miles attends, and much more. Thankfully, a few story beats that delve into the minds of the heroes help to focus the main storyline. That said, the relationship between Peter Parker and Harry Osborn becomes a melodramatic soap opera, and the third act hurries itself rather quickly when compared to the lengthy second act.

Where Spider-Man 2 excels most is in its dynamic fights and the sense of freedom that comes from swinging between the skyscrapers of the Big Apple. Whether you choose Peter or Miles, your Spider-Man of choice has the gadgets, the abilities, and the swiftness to deal with crowds of enemies and dodge away with nary a scratch. Though the camera occasionally gets caught in close corridors, combat feels otherwise fluid and speedy. With the ability to heal using the focus bar, fights aren’t difficult on the average setting, but you’re free to change the various difficulty settings and accessibility options to your liking.

Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment/Marvel

Gaining skill points for the three skill trees is easy enough by gaining experience points from completing one of numerous side activities or just by doing tricks in the air. With the exception of car chases, all of the optional tasks have enough variation to keep your attention without becoming too repetitive. Even the main missions like to throw in a wrench or two, like using a Spider-Bot for infiltration and controlling MJ in improved stealth sections that thankfully give her a stun gun.

Some minor quibbles aside, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 continues the hot streak by delivering an action-packed plot and a beautifully realized city with a wealth of diversions. Veterans of the series will appreciate the callbacks to earlier games and the vast array of Spider-Man collectibles and suits, while newcomers will find the controls and the story accessible. While there were a few crashes near the end of my playthrough, several updates within the first week of launch should take care of the bugs. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is an easy recommendation and keeps Insomniac Games at the top of the superhero pedestal.

Score: 9 – Excellent

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 9 equates to ”Excellent”. Entertainment that reaches this level is at the top of its type. The gold standard that every creator aims to reach.

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