The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Review – A Symphonic Experience of Action, Emotion and Integrity


Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 features Insomniac Games’ amazing sequel to both “Spider-Man” (2018) and “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” (2020), giving fresh ideas in gameplay, and an expanded scope of the story with interesting turns and revelations. 

The game introduces you to both “Spider-Men,” Peter Parker and Miles Morales, trying to reach new milestones in their lives almost a year after the events of “Spider-Man: Miles Morales.” 

Peter is seeking to find a stable career after his fallout in the first game, while Miles is applying for college, and procrastinating on writing his acceptance essay.

Peter and Miles are regarded as equals, with them calling each other “Spider-Man” during the heat of battle. This decision is celebrated, as it could’ve been easy to diminish Miles because he is newer and has less experience than Peter. However, this story is ultimately about how both Spider-Men progress with balancing superhero work and their personal lives.

The game opens up more boroughs in The City That Never Sleeps, which provides more fun-filled and spectacular web-slinging action. There are points in the game where players alternate between playing as Peter or Miles, and players can even decide to roam the city and complete missions as their favorite Spider-Man. These liberties add to the open-world sandbox aspect of the game, especially when you can stop a robbery from happening as Peter, and see that Miles has already started apprehending the criminals and needs your help to stop them, showing the constant and live nature of New York.

But of course, this can’t be a Spider-Man story without villains making it hard for peace to stay in New York. Both Spider-Men have to deal with the likes of Kraven the Hunter, Venom and other villains awaiting to take over the city. 

Screenshot taken from the game.

The villains are carefully crafted to become entwined with our heroes, with Kraven being a brutish, stalking megalomaniac who is seeking the absolute prey. He pulls out all the stops when it comes to hunting in the concrete jungle. However, his backstory and motives are mentioned in passing, whereas a more carefully crafted villain could’ve been more emotional and had motives that may even rival our main characters. 

To briefly speak on the fan-favorite villain, Venom, the interesting new take Insomniac has with him gives an absolutely outstanding character that surpasses the already emotional and deep tones the first game gives with his story. The symbiotic powers these characters come in contact with provide a dark tone, which fans of previous Spider-Man iterations, whether comics or movies, will be more than delighted to see unfold.

The side content is given the same amount of love, with the side quest lines being wholeheartedly the essence of Spider-Man. From Miles helping recover stolen valuables for a jazz museum in Harlem, to Peter uncovering the secrets of a cult that kidnaps civilians, the side stories show the humility and outstanding character of Spider-Man.

The presentation of the beautiful landscapes of skyscrapers and neighborhoods in the Big Apple pushes the PlayStation 5 graphics to the absolute limit, especially at night, when the city’s bright lights enhance the beauty of modern-day New York. From the street graffiti to the vivid ads in Times Square, the game constantly encourages players to keep web-slinging across the city to get to the next mission. This time, players are given “Web-Wings” where the Spider-Men are able to glide using the momentum of high velocity wind tunnels, going through the city at high speeds if one doesn’t mind the sightseeing. From traversing through the city to putting bad guys away, the game surpasses the notion of “does whatever a spider can.”

Screenshot taken from the game.

The bulk of the game revolves around the combat, which Insomniac Games improved by adding most of the already familiar move sets from the previous games, while innovating with three mechanics; one being a shared web gadget system, where both Spider-Men can take care of enemies with their webs shooting, upshots which launch your enemies in the air, and web grabbers that group and stick surrounding enemies together; another being a specialized ability system, specific to each Spider-Man that utilizes their strengths, such as Peter’s mechanical arms and Miles’ electrical powers, which can take care of multiple enemies in an area; thirdly, the skill-tree now stems into three sections, one for Peter, one for Miles, and one that has shared skills between them, providing a bit of strategy to output upgrades when using the skill points you acquired through combat. 

When Peter comes in contact with the symbiote, the alien powers that engulf him in all black, it demonstrates the absolute power the player feels when defeating massive groups of enemies all at once. Miles receives his own electric upgrades, delivering a surge of power to vary the gameplay, which is crucial at times.

The constant variety does spice up the gameplay as you unlock these powers, allowing players just the right amount of time to give their new abilities a whirl. Right when you might think the game is becoming a bit repetitive, the story and missions keep progressing, making you forget that notion, to the credit of the developers. 

Spider-Man 2 is an outstanding sequel, and gives fans what they want with the story, more of the exciting gameplay. From web-slinging across boroughs, to fighting bad guys, and switching between Peter and Miles, this game gives Spider-Man fans the spectacular experience they are looking for.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 from Insomniac Games is available now exclusively on the PlayStation 5, and is sure to be a popular holiday game.

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