Spiderman Video Game: Just Your Friendly, Neighborhood Review

Brian Nguyen, Staff Writer

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Many fans of video games head to one of the most famous conventions, E3, in order to have fun and see what new games will come in the future. When Sony announced at their press conference in 2016 that a new Spider-Man game was in the works, fans all over the internet exploded with excitement, fans blew up Twitter with the news and some people cosplayed as the Superhero. Gamers couldn’t wait for the release.

The wait for the game would end on September 7 of this year, with people all over playing to their heart’s content. For the voice of Spider-Man, Insomniac Games, the developers of the game, chose Yuri Lowenthal to play the role since he has played many character from different hero shows. Insomniac chose other actors from various cartoon shows to play the rest of the cast.

Insomniac has stated that the game will take place after 8 years from when Peter first donned the Spider Mantle, and focus more on him balancing his life rather then learning how to be a hero. The story for the game really shows this, with the intro of the game showcasing his apartment room that reveals through his possessions all his past experiences from the 8 years and Spider-Man quickly leaping out the window to start the game, since no introduction is needed.

The story, as fans would expect, is about defeating supervillains in this superhero centered game. The game however, reveals that there are much more complex stories being played out. Players play as Spider-Man, but also Peter Parker, which is focused upon greatly and weaves a story the has him struggle with problems like losing his job, breaking up with his girlfriend, possibly losing his family and friends altogether. All the characters in the game play a significant role in the story, and are clearly distinct from each other. Players will find themselves being absorbed into the story and wanting more.

While developing the game, Insomniac wanted players to be able to play the game smoothly, without having to deal with any obstructive mechanics that would slow down the gameplay, or in the worst case, just stop it dead in its tracks for no reason. Developers kept that reason in mind and made a system that would satisfy anyone. Web Swinging is one of the most iconic things about Spider-Man, so it needed to be simple for extended use. Insomniac looked at previous games and made a system that had a lot of freedom and intuitive decision-making, simple enough that it felt like breathing. The fighting system in the game also implements fast-paced decision making, where players can mix in fighting and dodging. Players are rewarded if they can accomplish this without having to stop for a long period of time. In short, simple is better.

The appearance and aesthetic of the game are amazingly detailed. Developers studied the geography and architecture of New York City to be sure nothing was left out or incorrect. Famous landmarks can be found in the game, for example, the World Trade Center, Madison Square Garden, Empire State, and much more. Besides the real life locations of the city, since the game is set in the Marvel Universe, famous areas in the fictional version of NYC were placed in as well, like the Avengers Tower. Many details are included, from random apartment rooms that only function to develop the realism, down to specifically designed patterns on exteriors and sidewalks. Players will truly feel that they are moving through New York.

The most important element in any type of media, immersion. Developers asked themselves when developing the game overall, “Will players feel like they’re really Spider-Man?” With that in mind, the company made sure to maintain that core identity in the game. For example, one of the in-game menus has a section dedicated to Spider-Man’s Twitter. Random tweets will be generated and sent to the page, ranging from fans, haters, and random people just talking. They come at random times, but if the player does something, say, stops a robbery, civilians will immediately react on the Twitter. These small features that helps supports his identity. The voice acting and character development has been the defining points of its success. There are moments in the story where danger occur that express a sense that the characters fans love could actually die, rather than temporarily injured so they can heal back up in time for some fluff happy ending. If anything pulls an audience in, it would most definitely be something that they care about.

Overall, fans of Spider-Man and fans of this genre of games in general will enjoy this, as this game is one of the best in the world. Honestly, the price-tag doesn’t do the amazing experience of the game justice.