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  • Writer's pictureCourt Lalonde

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Review

Is it game of the year?

Marvel's Spider-Man 2
Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 came swinging onto the PS5 on October 20th, and I feel it had some pressure to succeed. 2018's Marvel's Spider-Man was released on the PS4 but eventually released as a remaster on the PS5 sold 33 million copies as of May 2022. I'm sure that number will be even higher by now and was followed by Marvel's Spider-Man Miles Morales in Nov of 2020, released on PS4 and PS5. In July 2020, it was reported that Marvel's Spider-Man Miles Morales sold over 6.5 million copies but was also considered a small game and not a full game release in the series.

Insomniac Games was poised to release another blockbuster in the series and hopefully solidify itself as the maker of the best superhero game series ever, taking over the mantle from Batman Arkham.

A lot can be said about sequels of games because it's hard to make them feel different sometimes, especially in combat, character design, and world-building. I can safely say that Insomniac Games pulled this off and then some. At the end of the review, I hope to answer, "Is this the greatest superhero game ever made?"

I have finished Marvel's Spider-Man 2 and platinumed the game. It's a reasonably easy platinum, but it's fun to get. One of my favourite parts of this playthrough is sharing this platinum with my daughter, who played most of the game with me using the second controller feature on the PS5. She would follow along with the story and was my traversal from mission to mission in the game. She would try and handle some of the combat, but ultimately, I would have to take over. It was seamless using the second controller function of the PS5. There was even one mission, which I will talk about later in this review, that made her very sad, and I feel she saw how powerful video games can be. As the game crept closer to the final act, I decided not to let her play anymore, as the dark themes of the game I felt weren't appropriate for her. Once I finished the game, I let her jump back into the world, and she was still asking to swing around.


In this review, I will give a brief synopsis of the story but will stay spoiler-free, talking about the combat, world-building, the pace of the game, the changes from the previous versions, and my overall thoughts.

I will omit to talk about anything from the final act, which would include any powers or skills you receive in the game after that point, as I feel it would spoil the fun for everyone. Insomniac Games told an amazing story; I wouldn't want to ruin that for anyone who hasn't played the game. I will speak to the villains revealed in various game trailers and side characters we meet along the way.

Graphics and Photo-Mode

I played Marvel's Spider-Man 2 on performance mode, which uses upscaling to 4K but targets 60 fps. I did, though, turn on VRR to smoothed and set the 120 hz display to auto. The TV I played on supported this, so I used them. There is also a Fidelity mode, which is 4K 30 FPS, but for me, when a game has fast-paced action like Marvel's Spider-Man 2, I need the most FPS I can get.

When playing Marvel's Spider-Man 2, I suggest turning off fall damage and using the shortcut feature in the settings to add photo mode to the D-Pad. Photo mode was super addictive, and I used it the most in any game I have ever played since Ghost of Tsushima. One of the most significant changes to the photo mode in this version of Spider-Man is the character poses they have added, which we have seen in Horizon Forbidden West, allowing you to change your character's poses from a list of presets.

Spider-Man 2 Photo Mode
Spider-Man 2 Photo Mode

You could almost do a review on just the photo mode on the changes and options in the photo mode, but for this review, know that it's much more in-depth and a must-use during your playthrough. Who knows, you might become the next prominent digital photographer. Give Peter Parker a run for his money.

Spectacular Story

In Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Miles and Peter become a team of Spider-Men, saving New York from the evil villains in the city. It takes place 10 months after the conclusion of Marvel's Spider-Man Miles Morales, showing how much closer Peter and Miles have become. Both Peter and Miles are still trying to find their place in this world as Peter has been reunited with his friend Harry Osborne, and Miles is trying to finish school, deal with loss and figure out what to do in the future. Peter is still coping with loss, picking up the pieces from 2018's Marvel's Spider-Man and figuring out the next steps for him and MJ. Miles is coming to grips with juggling school and being a superhero. Harry has a life-debilitating disease that they never tell us, but the relationship between Peter and Harry will be one of the game's primary plots. Then, here comes Kraven, a focal point of the trailers and the game's plot. Kraven will add to the dark themes of Marvel's Spider-Man 2 and truly steals the scenes he is in. Kraven comes to New York. He is looking for a challenge because nothing satisfies his thirst. As we see in the trailers, he marks all the villains in New York and hunts them one by one, which will make Peter and Miles have to save those same villains they usually fight.

The struggle you watch Peter go through and how it affects everyone around him when he has the Symbiote suit on adds more layers to the story and brings Peter's character to a dark place. The actor who plays Peter which is Yuri Lowenthal, did a phenomenal job, and I wouldn't be surprised if he wins at the Game Awards.


The team at Insomniac does a great job of flushing out Kraven's back story and motivations, but I will keep that for you to play the game to learn. During the final act, we finally met Venom. Venom is a powerful and dark character who will be the ultimate foe for a fantastic story told by the team at Insomniac Games. I have to say this is one of the best portrayals of Venom I have ever seen in a video game.


Combat and Systems

You're dropped right into action right after the start screen and face off with the Sandman we saw in the game's launch trailer. This will serve as a refresher for combat systems and become an epic jumping-off point for the game. The boss fight will show Peter and Miles a new bond and the teamwork you must do throughout the game. Marvel's Spider-Man 2 does suffers from combat amnesia, and not all skills you learned from the previous game carry over. I could be nitpicking here, but it always bothers me when games do this.

The battle is epic but serves as an excellent refresh for all the combat systems and a pre-cursor to more epic battles you face later in the game. You learn new skills during the battle, like Spider arm abilities and a parry system, which is handy during combat. Miles has his venom abilities, and you do learn more as the game progresses, but I don't want to give them away.

The combat feels fluid, and the dual sense functionality adds to the immersion, letting you feel every web swing and parry. With the parry system, the combat feels more refined and fresh. You have much to upgrade in Marvel's Spider-Man 2 for Miles and Peter and abilities for both characters. You can upgrade abilities, gadgets, and skills by making the upgrade system feel more rewarding. Upgrading Miles and Peter's punch to hit harder helps the enemies feel less spongy as the game progresses. The new powers each Spider-Man has as you upgrade them are powerful and rewarding to use.


The webline they have brought into the game makes being stealthy and clearing out enemies a breeze and fun. You can clear out Hunter dens by using the web line and other gadgets in your arsenal once you have fully upgraded your Spider-Man. Cleaning out a room and seeing that most enemies are now hanging in your webs is very satisfying.

They have perfected the Arkham-style combat system and added other elements I didn't know I needed.

By completing side missions, you earn rewards that you can use to upgrade your Spider-Men. I will go more in-depth into the side missions later in the review.

The traversal has been changed, and for the better, adding the use of the web wings, which quickly help you navigate this larger map of New York. The web wings are a feature I didn't know I needed in a Spider-Man game, and don't take anything away from the web swinging and work. You will quickly learn how to use both the web wings and your swing to move swiftly from one side of the map to the other. You will see gusts throughout the city that can lift Spider-Man or Miles higher into the air or even give you a fast tunnel to whip through the city.

You can instantly drop anywhere on the map once you unlock fast travel by completing tasks in that burrow. The fast travel is nothing like I have used in any other video game, and Insomniac promises it's not hiding a loading screen. You need to experience it for yourself, but it's incredible.

One type of combat that has returned is the Mary Jane missions, but this time, she isn't defenceless. These missions do add to the story this time around and, for me, not something to complain about in this game. I enjoyed the stealth aspect of them, and it was nice to have a stun gun.

Using the Symbiote Spider-Man added more dimension to the combat as this version of Spider-Man is very powerful and packs some attitude. The powers that come with the suit add force to the character, and you feel unstoppable.

Symbiote Spider-Man
Symbiote Spider-Man

World Building

The map of New York has added Brooklyn, Queens, and Coney Island, and the city feels alive. MPCs are having random conversations, and you can even run into your fellow Spider-Men as you traverse the city as either Peter or Miles. They have a ton of iconic New York City landmarks and landmarks from the Marvel world, including Avengers Tower, Sanctum Sanctorum, and the raft. Some new ones weren't in the previous games, but I will let you find them.

The attention to detail and draw distance is unmatched by any previous Insomniac Spider-Man games. Make sure to look out for some familiar faces in the city and some familiar felines, and you can run into anyone as you traverse New York City.

The detail you see at Coney Island shouldn't be missed, and keep an eye out for easter eggs there because there is plenty to see.

Don't skip out on the side missions.

The side missions shine and don't feel like filler at all. There are some for Miles and Peter, and switching between the Spider-Men is seamless. A simple swipe of the touchpad and press square, and you're dropped into whatever Spider-Men you chose in mid-swing. The side missions throughout New York to the story and all are relevant to the story. Some can't be completed unless you have progressed in the main story further. The side missions even bring back characters from previous games. One in particular features Howard from 2018's Marvel's Spider-Man, which, in the end, brought my daughter to tears and me. It was a powerful little mini-story that I was glad to share with my daughter.

Spider-Man and Howard
Spider-Man and Howard

The side missions help you unlock suits, skills, and upgrades for Peter, Miles, and your gadgets. I don't want to give too much away because these side missions are impactful and help with world-building.

There is a particular one with Miles friend Hailey that is unlike anything I have ever played in a video game and truly puts me in the shoes of the character.

The side missions help flush out every character in the game and help build to the end of the game.

Don't be surprised, though, if you are completing a mission or stopping a crime and receive help from a friend out of nowhere.


At the beginning of the review, I asked, "Is this the greatest superhero game ever made?" In short, Yes, but here is why. The team over at Insomniac didn't only give us a beat'em up and have the good win in the end. They gave a city that felt alive and depth to all the characters we met or played as, and most importantly, that made you feel something for the struggle each character is faced with. It took just under 30 hours to complete, but in the end, I didn't feel like I didn't get my money's worth.

I felt satisfied and blown away by how they could pack so much storytelling into the game. The fact they could take a combat system that I thought was perfect and make it even better has me thinking that Insomniac Games is a cheat code for Sony.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is the best game I have played all year, and it gives me goosebumps to think about what Insomniac Games is going to do with Wolverine or where they will take the Spider-Men story next.

I couldn't recommend this game more, and I hope that everyone who enjoys this genre of video games gets to experience this game.

Score 9/10


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