Re-enter the City that Never Sleeps as both Peter Parker and Miles Morales, trying to keep the city safe and uphold their beliefs as heroes in Marvel’s Spider-Man. Here is our Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Review.
Be Greater, Together. The Tag team of Spider-Men continues to do good for the people of New York until their responsibilities are pushed and tested, each in unique ways. Pete is tested by being granted greater power and Miles is conflicted by his heroic responsibilities and personal quest for revenge. Both have an intertwined story making the game so unique and exciting, not knowing what will come next and surprising the player.
Developed by Insomniac Games and Published as a PS5 exclusive title on October 20th, 2023 this game really has something of everything, built on the success of the previous 2 instalments in the Marvel’s Spider-Man series.
Kicking things off Insomniac doesn’t do things by half, and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is no exception. Introducing you to Harry Osborne before entering into the vat with what looks like the symbiote is just the icing on the cake, but where things get interesting is when Pete walks in as Miles’s new physics teacher at Brooklyn Visions Academy and subsequently gets pulled out on Spider-Man business. The moral of the story is don’t be a superhero with a day job as a teacher I guess. Anyway just as the previous titles in the Marvel’s Spider-Man games have done you are thrown into a pretty intensive battle to teach you the ropes, this one is with the man of sand himself, Sandman and it is an impressive way to start a game.
It doesn’t stop there, after beating Sandman you get introduced to a bunch of new characters in the game. One prominent figure is Kraven the Hunter. Out of all the villains who are introduced in what you would call Act 1 of the game, Sandman probably leaves the biggest impact as he is in such an impressive battle. That being said the later sections with Kraven are nothing short of spectacular, and a worthy fight for such an imposing character. Returning characters like Norman, Dr. Connors, and even Aaron Davis help push the characters in the direction that they need to head. Even villains like Tombstone and Martin Li become useful assets in the Spider-Men’s quest to save the city from burning among the carnage that is brought upon it.
As the game enters into its final act, or what can only be described as the Endgame, things start to sink in that there will be a cost, but if Miles and Pete can actually pay that cost is another matter which we won’t spoil. Overall the story is an incredible tale of not just owning up to the responsibility for one’s actions but having the power to protect and do right for no single individual. The first game touched on this with the Devil’s Breath incident, which cost the life of May Parker, Pete knew as the protector of the city he couldn’t sacrifice the city for one life, and the second game hints at this throughout that both Spider-Men must sacrifice something for the greater good and because they are the heroes.
Playing the same as Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has a few new tricks like the Web-Glider and the Spider arms. Both of which are introduced in the first mission against Sandman. Other than these the mechanical side of the game plays the same as the others, there is a levelling system, adding modifications to the characters to empower them and of course the FNSP app from Miles Morales makes a comeback.
Even the Pete (None Spider-Man) parts of the game have been smoothed out and made to feel more natural, whereas before playing as Pete, MJ, or Miles it felt almost forced to progress the game, which isn’t a bad thing, now it feels fluid and less of a progression but more of a part that is to remind the player that even a superhero is human.
Some of the more interesting mechanics are the traversal things but the team really went above and beyond the other 2 games to make Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 the best it could be and a thrilling adventure that is worthy of being called the sequel. That being said you are still “locked” into a play zone, you can’t actually leave the confines of the game’s map, and if you try you get a warning that you are leaving the Playable Area. There are also some new additions to the combat, like the Parry system, which will let you parry or block and deflect attacks thrown your way. This means that you don’t just have to dodge, you can actually utilise your fighting prowess and battle more effectively, in addition, if you parry an attack you can destabilise enemies making them susceptible to attack. This one addition to the combat might be better than most of the rest, that you are accustomed to as you could just parry attacks and then beat on enemies when they are vulnerable.
One of the most interesting side things to do is the Genetic Sequencing type minigame. Although there is not a great deal of these throughout the game there are two main ones that caught my attention, which are the DNA type analysis, and the other is a growth analysis. If you played Marvel’s Spider-Man you might be thinking about the Octavius Industries’s Substance Patterns, however, they are way more interesting than them.
The game is impressive, and the graphics are stunning from the damage to the city all the way to the characters in how they function, it feels like immense care has been taken to make any Spider-Man fan happy. The fact that the map has been expanded to encompass 5 new areas and it still feels like a nice scale to just mess around in is something else. The only thing that threw me off was the Fog Of War system. This might be a simple concept but after a while, I found that the Fog Of War was a little irritating as I had to revisit the area to find more things to do, this was only in selected cases. This, unlike the original games, made a collection run semi-tedious as they weren’t marked on the map for ease right from unlocking the ability to collect them. Having to swing around areas once I cleared the Fog Of War wasn’t a bad thing its irritating to have to do it in every area and having to do it to find more to do in the area.
One of the things that caught my attention was the fact of the memorial for the legendary Stan Lee still being in the game and hasn’t changed. This to me was the best thing about exploring the city, because without the creator the creation wouldn’t work. Although it was a trophy in Miles Morales, it was left out of the trophies in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, which I find strange, and kinda insulting. I would have liked something like “As Pete, Visit the site of the first Date” or something, just so Pete got to see the statue and pay his respects.
On this note, there are some other things like being able to visit Jefferson Davis, Ben and May Parker’s graves as both Miles and Pete in Freeroam. This was interesting as there is a single trophy for it but the fact that you can actually have Miles Pay respects to May and Pete pay respects to Jeff is a nice feature.
In conclusion, the game is an “Amazing” work that deserves its time in the spotlight much like Marvel’s Spider-Man. Insomniac once again did such an amazing job on the game, from story to mechanics to graphics the game looks, feels, and even breathes a true adventure worthy of Spider-Man. There are things that were bad, like crashing errors, missing audio and some Streaming errors when the quality drops, but overall they are minuscule and easy to overlook. I played a total of 19 hours and still finding things within the game, from little random encounters with Miles/ Pete while going around the city, to the sub-quests which bring a prominent figure into the Spider-Man universe, to even finding out that you can ski along the water for a short time.
The game is full of things even if you don’t notice them there is easily a million times more life in New York this time around than there was in the previous titles. From a Personal standpoint, I would love to see another Trilogy DLC set like the first game had with the CTNS DLC just to expand some of the smaller storylines like The Flame. Other things that I would have liked to see would have been changes to the Map making everything pinged on the map like the other games, however, this is an artistic critique, and it would have been nice to have the map lit up like a Christmas tree with icons so everything was easy to find. The Fog Of War system is good but, as stated, irritating.
The Most irritating thing that I find about Marvel’s Spider-Man games is the fact that you are set in the HUB of basically all Heroes within the MCU, and yet other heroes who should make an appearance, don’t. The likes of Dr. Strange, the Avengers, Daredevil, the X-Men, and even the Fantastic Four, are nowhere to be seen. Granted that they have their own adventures, and with the improvements in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, I would have liked to see them even in little cameo roles, especially with Wolverine on the horizon. We do have a Mission involving the Sanctum Sanctorum where Wong sends a note to Miles at the end of the mission, so I guess we are moving closer to the goal we as fans deserve. But the fact that we have the bases for these heroes in the game, without them gets a little irritating. I would like to see other hero crossovers in the later game, like having side missions where you can meet the other heroes and work with them on threats to the city because having Pete and Miles work together was something else.
One final thing is the fact that, presently there is no New Game+ or mission replay functionality. This is surprising as Miles Morales has this from the start, and where it is a little irritating, it’s not the end of the world. Insomniac has already confirmed a New Game + update dropping by the end of the year so it’s just a patience game, along with the mission replay. Personally, it would be nice to replay the story with the abilities and skills that I have purchased throughout the story, however playing through it again from scratch is just as enjoyable. In regards to the Mission Replay, there are some missions that I would love to revisit just because of how incredible they are but waiting to experience that will just make it all the sweeter when the update lands.
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