In 2016, Insomniac Games revealed that Spider-Man was coming to the PS4. Needless to say, the hype was real – and for good reason too. Insomniac took inspiration from Spider-Man’s history, but they wanted to tell their own story, so PS4 Spider-Man got his own universe, Earth-1048. When the game released in 2018, it received well deserved praise – even we reviewed it pretty highly too.
Marvel’s Spider-Man became Sony’s fastest selling exclusive, and in 2019, it became the best selling superhero game in the US. The game followed up with a three-part DLC titled Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps, with each chapter released monthly. With the PS5 on the horizon, Sony announced that Miles Morales had his own video game in the works as a launch title, with the OG Spider-Man getting his own PS5 port, and with that Insomniac gave Peter a facelift. And now we hit present day, with Spider-Man Remastered finally releasing on PC for the first time. Now, non-PlayStation gamers get a chance to play this iconic game, along with fans who have an excuse to replay it again.
This is what you’ve missed
Peter Parker has been Spider-Man for 8 years now, and if you’ve seen any Spider-Man property you know how it goes. Went to a science fair as a teen and got bit by a radioactive spider, Peter is a crime fighting superhero of New York City. The thing I love about Insomniac Games interpretation of Spider-Man is that, we know the origin story by now. We don’t need to see Peter get bit, we don’t need to see his first encounter with his rouge gallery. You begin knowing the Spider-Man lore, of course; there is environmental storytelling about his origin. We see newspaper clippings of certain villains, or from one of the many collectables scattered around the city. And we can even visit Uncle Ben’s grave too.
With that said, we still get to watch Peter go through the woes of adulthood, finding his own place, working at a lab, living paycheck to paycheck. But, we still get to play as Spider-Man for a majority of the game. You begin the game by trying to take down Wilson Fisk, who tells us he kept the order of the city. That saying is something we’re going to regret, with Fisk put away behind bars in The Raft – a high security prison off of Ryker’s Island, more and more bad guys come out of the woodwork. While there’s still Fisk goons to web up, there’s also a new organisation called The Inner Demons (or The Demons) who take over Fisk’s domain.
Turn and face the strange
There isn’t any change to the plot, or how you begin, with gameplay pretty much the same as the previous PS4 and PS5 versions. Spider-Man’s gameplay gets its inspiration from Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series. Creative Director of the game, Bryan Intihar, mentioned how a lot of the ‘competitors’ are inspirations. Swinging from rooftop to rooftop, jumping from point to point, and even attacking bad guys feels so right. You don’t miss out if you don’t use the PS5 DualSense controller, as the Xbox controller or mouse and keyboard still feels pretty exciting to use. The graphics, however, have had the biggest upgrade.
Not being locked down to the PS4 and PS5 engines, Insomniac is able to really go out there with the optimisation of PC hardware. Ray tracing is used to its potential, even if you need to use lower graphics; of course, with the lower settings you might not be able to see Spider-Man’s reflection in a window, but it still offers a beautiful view of the game regardless. There’s also ultra-wide monitor support for those who have it. Due to Spider-Man migrating to PC, we get an unlocked Frame Rate, similar to other PlayStation games that have made the jump to PC previously. And it’s smooth; I was able to hit 60FPS pretty consistently, with it only dipping into the late 50s sparingly.
There were some smaller issues that aren’t bugs or glitches necessarily, is whenever Spider-Man is sneaking around, the small icons that’d show up while in stealth that shows the ability to do either a perch takedown or stealth takedown, have the same button colours as the DualSense controllers. Because I’m used to those controllers, I know exactly what buttons to use in that case, but for folks who don’t know them it could lead to a mistake. Along with that, the spectrograph in the lab where you test for substances, using an Xbox controller the movement speed of the cursor is fast, whereas using the DualSense controller it’s a bit slower. Just something to keep in mind when using different controller styles.
“Accessibility is something that is very important to Insomniac Games and PlayStation”
Insomniac’s accessibility options are great to see. As most of these have been carried over from Miles Morales’ game. Insomniac says in their article on accessibility in Spider-Man that it’s “something that is very important to Insomniac Games and PlayStation”. There are some slight differences between Peter’s game and Miles’ game, but there is no difference between the PS5 version and PC version. There isn’t captions that describe where the sound is coming from however, which is a downside for hard-of-hearing and D/deaf people. But it is still really cool to see Insomniac do everything they can for those of us who need a bit of help.
Even though there is nothing brand new, this version does include the 3 DLC’s automatically (much like the PS5 version). The game lets you play them after you craft the advanced suit, which is almost 2 hours into playing. I would recommend playing them once you’ve finished the story of Spider-Man, and the collectable quest Stakeout, as the DLC takes place after the story and introduces characters we meet throughout the game.
At the time of writing, Spider-Man Remastered retails for $94.95AUD, this might deter people to replay the game, due to the fact that there’s only graphical updates and the inclusion of 3 DLC’s. Overall, Spider-Man Remastered has been so much fun to pick up again after all these years. It’s awesome to see Sony bring so many of their fantastic console-exclusive games to the PC, and we won’t have a long wait for Miles Morales, which comes out later this year. Especially for those who haven’t swung through the city before, now is a great time to get those Spidey-senses tingling.