With Great Power Comes Great Gaming

Face it Cougars, “Marvel’s Spider-Man” hits the jackpot!


How’s it going, Cougars? Need a break from papers, homework, and work? Are you into video games? No? How about comic book movies or just comic books? Release all of your stress with the first videogame of the fall 2018 season, “Marvel’s Spider-Man” on PlayStation 4 (PS4). Swing your way to your nearest video game store and get your hands on this masterpiece. Everyone is talking about this “Marvel’s Spider-Man,” and here is what to expect to get your senses tingling for more.


Does Whatever a Spider Can

“Marvel’s Spider-Man” has swung its way onto PlayStation 4. Insomniac Games’ (creators of 2014’s “Sunset Overdrive”) new adventure makes you feel like the amazing web-slinger from the start. Insomniac Games succeeds in every swing across an open-world New York City. Not only does Insomniac Games deliver a spectacular 20-hour story mode, but a fresh and light-hearted Spider-Man/Peter Parker who’s been behind the mask for eight years when the game begins. Having an older Parker brings something new after being with the character in high school, or right after, in recent movies. That development gives gamers and fans an astonishingly deep story that portrays the difficulties of both Spider-Man and Parker to a great emotional success. Underneath that fascinating narrative is a handful of magnificent spider devices, witty puns, and web-swinging techniques that puts the player in even more action-packed sequences and stealthy moments in quiet, restricted warehouses. Insomniac Games’ first venture in the world of Marvel heroes spins a pretty big web for longtime fans and newcomers who want to explore this world about the kid from Queens.

  To make this universe feel much bigger, Insomniac Games has included other Marvel superhero references throughout the game — characters such as Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil, among others. Zipline swinging and hopping building-to-building, Spider-Man passing the Avengers tower makes the player wonder what else Insomniac Games has in store for the wallcrawler.

  Leaping from the very top of the Empire State Building and pressing down the R2 button at the last moment to thwip out a web-line, I couldn’t help but swing around New York because the power you have as Spider-Man feels so breathtakingly fresh. Constantly swinging, one would think it would become boring over time, but it doesn’t due to the ability to do “spider-dives” or backflips in midair. Never once did I fast-travel to my destination.

  Even when the game gives you side quests to play through, you are able to upgrade Spider-Man in any way you want. Let it be either combat moves, gadgets, or chances to change spider suits. Some suits are even familiar to fans of the movies, such as the Stark Suit from “Spider-Man Homecoming” (2017). The game wants you to become greater, as that is the tagline, which does deliver. Insomniac Games’ Director Bryan Intihar stated that “this is the beginning of our Marvel Universe. Spider-Man is only the beginning.”

  For fans of Spider-Man, Bryan and his team included collectable backpacks that call back to Parker’s earlier days in high school as the web-head and photos that bring the character full circle as a photographer. Swinging around the city and hearing Peter go “oh, I miss taking photos for the Bugle” while snapping a shot of the Statue of Liberty is a nice moment for any fan of Spidey’s.

  Insomniac Games also has “photo-mode” where you are able to pause the game and take a selfie as Spider-Man. There are other opportunities to capture Spidey in action whether he swings, runs around, or take on baddies. To make those pictures pop, or if you’re a comic book nerd like the most of us, you can switch between different frames. Photo-mode lets you be creative to show off skills as a photographer just like Spider-Man and snap that perfect photo for your background on your PlayStation platform or your phone’s wallpaper.


Take a Bite of This

While the gameplay surpasses all the expectations since the announcement back at the 2016 E3 conference, Insomniac Games spins a strong and mighty big web with its story mode. Players want to play as The Amazing Spider-Man by crawling up brick walls and running up the sides of buildings, but the developers give you a chance to play as Parker, too. As the game begins, you are on the move to take down The Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) who is the crime-lord over the city. After taking him down, Spider-Man is left with a new threat emerging in the city. With that new threat also comes more risk and danger for the life of Parker. Movies try to tackle many villains within one film but never seem to succeed because the characters never have time to develop well. However, the game gives the audience more time to know them with Easter eggs and dialogue in boss fights. One can say that’s not fair to the movies, but the game still gives them same amount of screen time.

   While we do get a more experienced Spider-Man, we also see Parker still live with the burden that comes with being a hero, such as being late on paying rent, having to be punctual for work, and dealing with difficult relationships. Parker has been that relatable character to us all for years. It’s the very reason Stan Lee created the character. Insomniac Games also delivered with making Parker a playable character, whether that means solving puzzles in his lab, or visiting his Aunt May at the homeless shelter called F.E.A.S.T. (Food, Emergency, Aid, Shelter, and Training). Parker has always felt soft and timid around his aunt with serious, but heartwarming conversations between them. The movies always gave us an inspiring line from her, and the game gives us more of that. This gives Parker the most powerful motivation to be a better Spider-Man each time he puts on the mask. The writing between these two comes full circle because they both live by Uncle Ben’s words, “With great power, there must also come great responsibility.” Parker being bit by the radioactive spider and Aunt May having the heart to comfort others in need creates a wonderful dynamic for the two characters.

  Speaking of the homeless shelter (F.E.A.S.T.) where Aunt May volunteers, there is Martin Li. Martin Li is not a well-known character from the comics, but the game does justice for Li’s alter ego, Mister Negative. Li runs the shelter, and Aunt May is his right hand in the workplace. Little does she know, Li is part of a bigger organization known as Devil’s Breath. To see the shelter play an integral part of the story is done amazingly well. F.E.A.S.T. shows Spider-Man’s heroic side as Parker by helping out the homeless and bringing them in to find a place to call home. That is until Spider-Man uncovers the truth about Li later in the story. Behind the controller, Devil’s Breath gives the player new villains to come in contact with for side missions, while still playing a bigger part in the campaign.

   Uncle Ben, Peter’s uncle and mentor throughout the game, also transforms Peter into being a mentor. Not going much into detail because players are in for a surprise, but Miles Morales (Ultimate Spider-Man) develops a caring and lovable relationship with Peter and Spider-Man. After Miles experiences a tragic death, it’s up to him to work with Spider-Man to bring justice. Their storyline isn’t rushed and gives Miles so much to do, such as working for Aunt May at the shelter. Miles and Parker both want to save the world, but are also living in two different worlds. Miles’s story is different than in the comics, but Insomniac Games changes him to make him fit their take on this universe.

   Relationships play a significant role in the lives of Spider-Man, his allies, and even his villains. The game is set years after Parker has taken on the Scorpion, Vulture, Shocker, Electro, and the Rhino. Even though these characters are sidelined within the story as many fans thought they would be important, you still feel their presence lurking in the corners of New York. The side missions from within the game also give you familiar villains to take down, such as Tombstone and Taskmaster. Their missions are more spread out to receive skill points and upgrades, but their stories are just as intriguing as the main story. Spidey’s villains have played such a major role in his heroic life, and Insomniac Games doesn’t forget it. To top that off, they give each villain a callback at the very beginning of the game when you’re in Parker’s apartment. There are even Easter eggs hidden if you look close enough.

   While the relationships among family members and villains are truly important to Spider-Man, so is Mary Jane Watson (MJ), the love interest in the story. MJ is no ordinary love interest, though. Parker and MJ are broken up due to her new job as a reporter at the Daily Bugle. Parker sees MJ endangering herself as she wants to help Peter and Spider-Man to take down Fisk. MJ calls it quits on their relationships and takes control of her personal life while Parker learns to control his. That’s the life of Peter Parker. The weight and impact of being Spider-Man can be troublesome while being in love. The game opens up with MJ leaning in closer with her investigation and starting to make her way back into Parker’s life. Insomniac Games’ reimagines MJ from the famous “party girl” fashion model, who is totally out of Peter’s league, to a person who decides to take charge in a city that continuously crawls with criminals with abilities and crime-lords like Fisk.

  MJ is back in Parker’s life, but what makes their relationship interesting is that Peter and her put aside their differences to solve cases across the city. Even better, MJ is a playable character in the game. When it was announced she would be playable, gamers thought it would be only for one mission or some side missions. No, MJ is part of story as much as Spider-Man is. Sneaking your way into Demon warehouses and Norman Osborn’s Oscorp, you dive deep into what makes MJ a great journalist. More importantly, you grasp a more grounded perspective in a world of superheroes. Turning MJ into not only Spider-Man’s partner, but his brains on the ground is magnificent to watch unfold. Some who play won’t enjoy the slowing down of the pace of the game, but it’s still fascinating to see the two have a heart-to-heart conversation over dinner or discuss whether they still love each other during fighting scenes that make our senses tingle. Yuri Lowenthal (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) and Laura Bailey (Mary Jane) are two very relatable characters that Insomniac Games make their own.


Responsibility and Being Greater

After three years of waiting for “Spider-Man” on PlayStation 4, Insomniac Games promised they would make all players feel like Spider-Man. Skydiving off skyscrapers and parkouring off flagpoles, you will never feel more like Spidey. Even better, they made us live in Peter Parker’s world, too by showing the weight of not only being a superhero, but a superhero who lives by a responsibility to use that power to become someone greater than himself. Even if that means giving up the things you love most. Being greater is not the story’s only main focus; so is just being…good. Doing what you can to the best of your ability. This Spider-Man story will hold up just as well as any Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. It will go down as one of Spidey’s greatest stories in his mythology. Check out the references to this game in recent comics and the upcoming movie, “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.” As Stan “The Man” Lee puts it… “EXCELSIOR.” So, take a break from all of your hard work and get a copy of “Marvel’s Spider-Man” today! Adventure awaits.