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Marvel's Spider-Man 2 review - Spider-Man gaming done right

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 review - Spider-Man gaming done right
  • Spider-Man 2 is now available exclusively for PS5
  • It takes forward the story of Sony Playstations Spider-Man universe
  • The game is priced at ₹4,999
Ever since Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man had released in 2018 gamers and Marvel lore enthusiasts alike wanted a sequel. Especially after the roaring success of the spidey game, there were even more reasons for us to expect one. Insomniac took their sweet time, while releasing steady DLC’s and eventually releasing the Spider-Man Miles Morales in 2020. While that game was important to establish the character of this relatively unknown Spider-Man to casual Marvel fans, it didn’t do much for hardcore enthusiasts. Mostly because beyond the story, which also felt a bit rushed, it wasn’t innovative enough for a gamer to be excited. Insomniac took some lessons, and the result is Spider-Man 2. A true sequel which not only outshines the original game in story telling, but also gaming mechanics. I have finished the main story and side quests, and I can now tell you why it deserves to win the Game of the Year title.

Price & Availability
Marvel Spider-Man 2 is available at a price of ₹4,999 and can be bought digitally from Playstation store. There is also a hard copy available across multiple online websites, and select offline stores.

There is also an exclusive Marvel Spider-Man 2 special edition PS5 available at a price of ₹62,999.

Plot
Marvel Spider-Man 2’s story picks up after the events of the original Spider-Man and Spider-Man Miles Morales. The game starts with a scene from a lab where Harry Osbourne is being treated by the Symbiote under the supervision of concerned yet hopeful Norman.

Coming to the present day, Peter, now struggling to find a stable job, has visibly made peace with the passing of Aunt May. Practically alone, he is majorly dependent on Mary Jane for both emotional and sometimes financial support. Unlike what we have seen multiple times in Spider-Man universe, this version of the character doesn’t consider being Spider-Man a burden, but considers it the most important responsibility. It is seen in the opening act itself when he leaves his teaching interview to go and save New York from Sand-Man.

He is ofcourse joined by now a grown up and more comfortable in his skin, Miles Morales. Visibly more confident and balancing his life better than a younger Peter Parker, Miles is a very well written character. He balances out Peter's struggles with a much needed dose of youthfulness.

After saving the city from Sand-Man and showing us some new tricks up the sleeves of these characters - like gliding. The game picks up some solid speed. But before we jump back to New York the game quickly establishes Kraven the hunter somewhere in a forest hunting and looking for a real challenge. He is then notified by his team about New York and the possible challenges there.

Peter, now in Aunt May’s home with Mary Jane, is met with a returning Harry, who looks fit and hopeful. After a trip down the memory lane, Harry offers Peter a job at the newly found Emily-May foundation. An organization dedicated for development of medication apparently. Yes, even after finishing the game and side quests I am not sure what exactly this organization does.

Harry, MJ and Peter later meet at a circus, where Tomb-stone is attacked by the Kraven's hunters. Peter changing to Spider-Man tries and saves the day till he is outnumbered. In a climatic sequence when he is about to give up on civilians - even apologizing he is saved by Harry lifting up the entire Ferris Wheel with the help of Symbite arms revealing his identity. Unfortunately the tombstone is captured and taken hostage.

The adventures then move to Harry discovering more of the Symbiote's abilities. Everything seem to go well, until its revealed that Kraven has actively been killing super villains like Scorpion, Vulture and Rhyno. With TombStone in his captivity and Dr. Curt Connors/ Lizard his next hunt.

The duo then save tombstone, also revealing Symbiote's weakness to high frequency sounds. This is also where it’s revealed the first sign of Symbiotes strength, which so far is said to be a self learning exo-suit. To the point that it takes the shape of Agent-Venom costume, an iconic character which in canon is actually Flash Thomsons avatar in the symbiote.

You can see the symbiote's attraction to Peter here when it touches his hand and then projects the Spider symbol on Harry’s chest.

On the other end, Harry’s health starts deteriorating without the symbiote, and Miles is out with vengeance to defeat Mr. Negative. The man who killed his father.

Unfortunately, on the other end, Curt Connors is captured and turned into a lizard even after MJ’s attempts to save him. During this battle Peter is stabbed by Kraven, dropping to the ground and virtually dying. It is this moment when the first act ends and the symbiote gets off Harry and heals Peter.

The gameplay takes a jump here, with the Symbiote suit Peter visibly stronger and more ruthless in attitude defeats everyone in its way. Trying to find Connors, with the help of Miles, Peter eventually defeats the Lizard, helps Connor to get back to his true form.

Connors, now fine, tells Peter to get rid of the symbiote, and tells him how it is actually a living being from space. What I liked here is how well knit the story is, since in this universe, the Symbiote is the reason Dr. Connors lost his arm.

Fast forward to the Symbiote infused Peter, the Spider-Man character is well versed with Symbiotes rage and the influence is clear. Within these events Miles is abducted, fights with Lee and eventually wins.

This leads to the confrontation between Peter and Kraven where Peter loses control, and is stopped by Miles. Miles then defeats Peter and helps him get rid of the symbiote. Back in the lab the symbiote bonds with Harry and becomes Venom.

Now, in full form it kills Kraven, and make a play to control the world. Now Miles, Peter and MJ go out on the mission to stop them. In the aftermath with Peter now rocking the Anti-venom suit eliminates Venom leaving Harry presumingly brain dead.

The after credits show Norman workinging on a ‘G-Serum’ teasing Green Goblin and also meeting with Doctor Octavius at the Raft.

Peter is now out of action, working on Emily-May foundation confirming that Miles Morales is indeed the main Spider-Man in this universe.

Plot Review
Spider-Man 2 has done a very good job in establishing the why’s and then solving them. My biggest concern with the game was how they would convince me for a Venom without Eddit Brock but they got it right. Harry Osborn is actually Venom's first host in Ultimate Spider-Man universe and that's where they get this influence. The motivation of the character and the logic behind it is also fairly convincing given, Harry’s love for his mother was established in the first game itself.

Venom’s design, to the detailing of just how the symbiote takes over is also impressive. Starting with a very basic Agent Venom like suit to Spider-Man black suit once it bonds with Peter and eventually becoming a Symbiote suit with menacing eyes. The game helps you quantify just how Peter is adapting to it.

You become completely mesmerized by it once the game lets you play as Venom, which shows you how much of a threat he is. Making the challenge worth it and Venom defeating Kraven easily looks convincing.

What I also came to appreciate was the role of Mary Jane, unlike the ‘Save-me’ female characters we generally see, this version had a major role to play. Kudos to Insomniac for actually making the missions involving her challenging and interesting at the same time. However the plot armor around her was too strong especially in the final act, where she is defeating symbiotes with just a shot from her buzz gun. I felt at the time, it's better being Mary Jane than Spider-Man to beat the game.

Miles’ story has been also done justice to, his vengeance arc eventually becoming one of forgiveness and what makes him a different Spider-Man is wholesome. What I didn’t like in particular was his new suit. I get it that this character is finding its way in the universe, but the design for me is a big turn off. It’s way off the mark from original design and definitely not as impressive.

Parallel plot points like Mysterium, Sand-Man’s crystal, and Black-Cats chase are quite interesting. However the one you must watch out for is involving the cult. The team responsible for Fires across NYC. Once you finish it, it’s revealed there is indeed another symbiote in this universe - Carnage. Which is established for the next installment.

Overall the Spider-Man 2 has done a good job in taking forward this universe, leaving plenty to be left explored. Personally as a Spider-Man fan, I am glad Peter is temporarily out of action after this one, because I am convinced that the next game might be Peter's last appearance. Since across universes in Spider-Man lore a Peter sharing Miles’ Universe dies by the hand of Green Goblin.

GamePlay Review

What I liked -
Spider-Man 2 builds upon the gameplay set-up from the first game. With controls being pretty much the same but giving us added special abilities. While most of the finishing moves animation is the same from the previous 2 games we do get to see some tag team action when both the characters are together.

There are new shared gadgets that we see in the game between Peter and Miles which are efficient. However if you want to beat the game quickly I suggest play side quests before reaching the grand finale. It's important to upgrade the gadgets on time.

I also like the GTA-like character switching in the game, however, I wish we could switch the characters mid-fight sometimes.

Out of the new upgrades in weapons, I feel the best update is the introduction of gliding in the franchise. Insomniac has designed air channels in the game in which the players can funnel through the city. It’s so much fun that you won’t need to fast travel either. And this brings me to the most fun part of the game - Web swinging.

Ever since the Spider-Man 2 movie game came out in the early 2000’s swinging in Spider-Man games has been a paramount standard to judge its ultimate fate. Spider-Man 2 sets a new benchmark with its swinging animation, and even now in my free time I just turn on my PS5 to just swing around in NYC. If you are a nerd like me, then you are in for a treat

The animation combined with PS5’s blazing fast SSD makes the loading time next to nil, and you can jump back and forth between the action in split seconds.

Verdict
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 shows just how far interactive entertainment has come. The game delivers on the standards you expect from a title of this size and does justice to the legendary characters as well. If you are holding back on buying it, I suggest don’t and remember, with great powers comes great responsibility.







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