Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered
“Marvel’s Spider-Man makes you feel like Spider-Man” — it’s been four years since everyone and their favorite aunts have been muttering these words. People had been itching to get into the colorful spandex of the beloved Marvel character once again ever since Activision and their lackeys rightfully lost the license to the IP. I guess everyone at this point knows that Insomniac struck a home run with their 2018 webslinging adventure Marvel’s Spider-Man. It sold like hotcakes, won awards and even received a shiny new coat of paint with the remastered version that came out with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales in 2020. But let’s just keep all that aside and focus on the centerpiece of attention today – Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on the PC. As always, I’m late to the party but whattheheck, let’s see this one through.
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is an open-world superhero game developed by Insomniac Games, published by Playstation Studios and ported to PC by Nixxes Software on August 12, 2022.
Safest City in the World
Ah, comic book renditions of real-life cities, the safest place for any fine citizen to live in…except not. Marvel’s Manhattan has got to be one of the most crime-ridden shitholes you can find your little foot in. It’s no Gotham for sure, but there’s enough psychopaths and cosplay creeps inhabiting the city to make your stay much more “interesting”. Marvel’s Spider-Man is set in its own separate universe where our friendly neighborhood wallcreeper has been fighting crime for around 8 years. Peter Parker is still having trouble balancing his personal life with superhero stuff and struggles to make ends meet. The game starts with Spidey putting Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin behind bars, creating a power vacuum in NYC, leading to the rise of a new deadly threat.
Look, I’m not going to go over the whole script here. The lowdown is that the story is pretty good, has everything you’d ever want in a Spidey game (except a few forced linear stealth sections) and is enriched by cinematics worthy of big-screen release. A+ Spidey, A+. If you want to know more about how well the story is presented, read our original review of the game on the PS4 here.
Arkham Grapple Boosted So That Spidey Could Swing
Look, you can argue all you want about how Spider-Man is a successor to the classic PS2 games but the fact remains that the game takes a lot of inspirations from Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy. That’s not something to scoff at. The game is not a blatant reskin of the Arkham games but it borrows a few vital gameplay mechanics from it (as well as from everyone’s favorite open-world game series that keeps on giving) and refit them to suit the Spider-Man template. Hell, it even does some things better than the aforementioned games.
Make no mistake, Marvel’s Spider-Man is a child made with passion and it shows. From the highly detailed character models, to the extremely fluid animations, inspired but tight combat, a bustling NYC to explore, well-implemented fan service, and of course, the holy grail – the web swinging, Insomniac has shown the world how to make a proper Spider-Man game without sacrificing too much.
The free-flow combat, while not as punchy as the Arkham series, fits Spider-Man a lot better than the caped crusader. It’s easier to imagine the nimble Spider-Man leap 50 meters across the ground to hit an enemy on the other side than watch Bats do the same in his heavily armored suit. As one would expect, there are lots of new skills and combos to acquire. While a some of these are largely superficial and do not enrich the easy combat much, it “does make you feel like Spider-Man”(KMN). The boss fights are not amazing but their movie-like making does make them seem more epic than they actually are.
The open-world of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is also nothing revolutionary and follow the tried and tired Ubisoft template of being littered with collectibles and side activities. But unlike Ubisoft games, Insomniac succeeds in presenting these extra activities as non-chores (as if that’s a word. Is it?) Each activity, whether it’s collecting Peter’s old bag packs, doing research projects for Doc Octavius or Harry Osborne rewards the player with points to craft new suits, build new accessories and are used for fan-service in the form of Easter Eggs or trivia. The love of the devs for the IP is pretty evident here. Plus, the cherry on top is the fast, fluid and dynamic exploration aided by web swinging and other Spidey-like maneuvers. But people have made hours-worth of video essays on it and anything further I have to say about it will have the effect of drinking warm beer.
It’s on PEECEE
Right – so, how is Spider-Man Remastered on the PC? The short answer is that it’s pretty good. The long answer? It’s not perfect. Don’t get me wrong, this is largely the best looking version of the game. This comes with some minor caveats. At 1080p, using an RX 5600X, RTX 3070 and 16 gigs of dual-channel RAM without any upscaling and RTX at high to very high, the game runs around 50 to 70 fps. But while swinging across the city in full speed, the fps occasionally dips down to the 40s and climbs right back up after a few seconds. This can result in some stutters here and there. With Raytracing disabled, the game is able to run around 100+ fps and I, like any other sane man chose this option. I did hear reports of constant crashes and bugs but I did not run into any personally. The PC port is the complete package though, featuring ultrawide support from the get-go, full Dualsense support (as long as you use it wired), a host of quality of life features and of course, raytraced puddles. Wholesome.
Since it’s on PC, there’s also a chance for mods to show up. I wish someone would make a mod that lets you replace the “updated” Peter Parker model with the much better original one. Let’s face it, the new Tom Holland-lite version of Peter Parker is doing the fantastic voice acting by Yuri Lowenthal a disservice.
Then there’s the matter of pricing. It’s 2022 and Sony is still apparently indifferent of regional pricing for their games that aren’t even completely brand new. While the PC port is good, they are selling Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered for a full price of INR 3,999/-. Like, bruh! The price would have been justified if the release included the standalone DLC Miles Morales. Unsurprisingly, Sony is planning to release Miles Morales separately in the future, probably at the same hiked-at price.
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is great on PS4, PS5 and it’s greater on PC. If you have a decent RTX-friendly setup, this is how the game should be experienced. The lack of regional pricing and non-inclusion of Miles Morales did end up a sour taste in my mouth. The perks of living in an uber-captialist world I suppose. As for the game, it’s pure superhero bliss.
FINAL RATING: ESSENTIAL