Spider-Man 2 is a significant improvement in every way from its predecessors. From the improved graphics of New York City to the gripping side stories that encourage the player to do everything the game offers. Alongside these improvements are playing both Peter Parker and Miles Morales, bringing the theme of the game “Be Greater Together” to the spotlight.
The main story of the game is also more engaging than the previous games. Venom is one of the most iconic Spider-Man villains and he does not disappoint in Spider-Man 2. The buildup to his introduction in the main story alone is incredible. Spider-Man 2 is a must-play for any fan of New York’s famous superhero and is an easy nomination for Game of the Year in a stacked 2023 class.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is available on PlayStation 5 for $69.99 USD.
Story: Venemous Infection
The intro to Spider-Man 2 draws the player in very quickly. It is a fight against Sand-Man while switching between both Miles and Peter throughout. It is a great showcase of everything new, on top of a stellar boss fight. Once the battle concludes and Peter is fired from another job to save the day, Kraven the Hunter is introduced. As the main villain for the game alongside Venom, Kraven is terrific. Jim Pirri’s voice acting makes the Hunter menacing when on screen and his attack on New York drives Peter and Miles crazy. Peter Parker especially is driven to defeat Kraven after wearing the black suit.
Both Spider-Men have different stories to follow, but they both intertwine in the end. Peter is struggling with the death of Aunt May and keeping a job while also being a hero. Miles is applying to college and hunting down Martin Li, also known as Mr. Negative, who killed Miles’ father and escaped from prison thanks to Kraven. Both heroes support each other in their struggles in the main story, while the side missions are unique to each of them. Miles’ missions involve finding Prowler stashes, whilst Peter helps with different science experiments from his new job.
Peter finally finds a new job thanks to his newly healthy friend, Harry Osborn. However, his health comes from the symbiote that gives him a hint of Venom’s powers. But, after a climactic moment, the powers transfer over to Peter, who slowly becomes brainwashed as time goes on. The Venom storyline takes a backseat while Kraven takes the spotlight, but when both intertwine at the climax of the game, it is marvelous. The story is simply a great Spider-Man storyline and does every major and minor character perfectly.
Gameplay: An Absolute Marvel
The PlayStation 5 is on full display in Spider-Man 2. Swinging around New York feels just as great as the previous titles, but a few welcome additions add even more to the traversal. Peter’s newest invention, the web wings, allows both Spider-Men to glide through the city. Both web swinging and the web wings together allow you to carry the momentum of a swing into gliding. This lets you hit some extremely fast speeds with no lag thanks to the PS5. There is also seamless fast travel, with no loading screens as you go to any part of New York. When hunting down those last couple of side missions, this addition is incredible. Going from one end of the map to the other in an instant is hopefully going to become a staple in gaming.
Combat in Spider-Man 2 is more seamless as well. In the previous titles, combat would slow down as you would choose a gadget from a wheel menu. Now, abilities and gadgets are attached to the shoulder buttons. Although this cuts down on the amount of gadgets and abilities available during combat, it keeps combat from slowing down. Besides this simple change though, the game’s combat is almost exactly like the previous titles. There are a few new abilities, especially with the black suit, but besides that, there isn’t much new.
The map now includes a few more areas in New York City, such as Downtown Queens. New York City is massive, and although most iconic locations are in, more would’ve been incredible. The difference in the map between the first Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 isn’t very significant, which is a letdown after such a long wait time. But, this is a minor critique of a game that is extremely polished for an initial release.
Graphics and Sound: The Stunning City That Never Sleeps
Spider-Man 2‘s graphics are something to behold at times. Running at 60 FPS with ray tracing is unheard of until now, and Spider-Man 2 delivers exceptionally. The photo mode is also the best photo mode in gaming today, beating out Ghost of Tsushima. New York City is as bustling as ever, with many streets filled with cars and NPCs to add life. Alongside this, each corner of the city has small details that no one would notice swinging through the city. But, they were added anyway to make the city feel alive and not just a swinging playground. Looking through windows and seeing people make food or finding Daredevil’s law offices are just a few of the minute details in Spider-Man 2.
The music is simply grand. Swinging through New York City with an epic superhero soundtrack in the background offers plenty of dopamine while playing. When playing as Miles, there is a beat behind the music, paying homage to his music-mixing background. Each voice actor delivers in the game as well, especially Peter and Miles, who I never got tired of hearing quips from. The emotional moments truly hit as well, making some cutscenes feel cut straight out of a Spider-Man film.