Review: Marvel's Spider-Man (PS4)

Spider-Man combines elements from plenty of other games to deliver a game with expansive combat, exciting traversal, and a solid, authentic story.

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Giant Bomb Review

368 Comments

Marvel's Spider-Man Review

4
  • PS4

Spider-Man combines elements from plenty of other games to deliver a game with expansive combat, exciting traversal, and a solid, authentic story.

Editor's note: An audio version of this review can be found right here.

No Caption Provided

Superhero movies have become synonymous with high budgets and extreme polish, and with Marvel’s Spider-Man, Insomniac Games has attempted to push superhero games in the same direction. The game pits Spider-Man against a rogue’s gallery of enemies all trying to assume power in the vacuum left by the capture of The Kingpin, the godfather of New York crime. The story is conventional in some ways, and surprising in others, but for the most part it handles the Spider-Man canon with a high level of care and attention to detail.

The first thing you'll notice about Spider-Man is how fun the traversal is. The game really nails the basic swinging mechanics, and offers a slew of upgrades to make it even more enjoyable. The same can be said for the combat, which plays like a modern take on the classic “Arkham-style” brawler. Through upgrades to Spidey’s suit, gadgets, and skill tree the combat blossoms from adequate to enthralling over the course of the game.

Some ill-conceived stealth sequences hold the game back a bit, but overall, Marvel’s Spider-Man raises the bar for what a licensed open-world game can be in the same way that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has reshaped superhero movies.

368 Comments

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Doctor_Mummy

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frytup

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frytup • 

Surprise review is surprising.

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SpecTackle

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Edited By SpecTackle • 

Huh.. accidental post?

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paugerot

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paugerot • 

This is a good idea. Numeric rating with a round table discussion/interview is extremely appropriate for giant bomb. Man, it's a really good idea!

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captubaplayer

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tahnit

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Edited By tahnit • 

I love this. Quick review but in depth discussion like a podcast.

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hassun

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hassun • 

A video review!?

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mak_wikus

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mak_wikus • 

Not having a full written review feels weird. Something to get used to I guess.

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Rhombus_Of_Terror

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I remember Jeff talking about this format on UPF(?) a couple of weeks ago and it sounded neat. Cool to see them have a go at it.

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Blacknight

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Overbite

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Overbite • 

I would much rather read a review than watch an hour long video

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Neghis

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Neghis • 

This is a really good idea

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Thoseposers

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Cool to see them try something new like this but i feel like it should be like 15 minutes, definitely not an hour.

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DiscountLlama

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csl316

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csl316 • 

Considering I still like numeric scores, I'm glad to see this. Reading reviews still works very well for me (during downtime at work, which is how I found GB. Or when I'm in a crowded place).

But it may be the shortest written review on the site. I like the idea of the discussion format but won't this overlap the Bombcast talk?

Anyway, I'm looking forward to Spider-Man. Indie platformers are great and all, but once in awhile it feels nice to play a super-expensive and polished AAA game.

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bluemorning104

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Feels like a cop out of writing an actual review. Instead of thinking out creative ways to illustrate the point that you're trying to make, just talk about it with some buds for an hour.

I'm disappointed, to say the least.

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Wemibelle

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Wemibelle • 

This is an interesting experiment, but considering how infrequently written content goes up on the site, I kinda still prefer to read a nicely-written review every so often.

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venomsnake6

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Really like the new format, great idea. Wouldn't mind a spoiler segment/discussion at the end in future videos.

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zzzzombi

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zzzzombi • 

Good idea. It's kinda like GOTY talks which I like.

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Jellybones

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Jellybones • 

I'm all for shorter reviews, but this feels too short to be of any real value, unfortunately. A roundtable discussion is a great idea for big releases though.

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zzzzombi

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zzzzombi • 

@bluemorning104: But do you really need that? There are tons of providers for that kind of stuff and I think one of the best things about GB is their "unprofessional" casual discussions, be it a review or a quick look. Written reviews are often one-sided and this is better for getting different opinions.

I don't know, I guess we'll see where they go from here.

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Y2Ken

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Y2Ken • 

I'm into this concept, especially given that the site's mostly moved away from written reviews anyway. I would like to see some longer words on the big games, but if I had to pick I'd definitely take the discussion as I think I get more out of that these days (and audio is a little easier to fit in to my schedule, personally). Would alternatively be neat to see them combined, such as the way Waypoint has been doing review reads followed by a discussion.

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MustardDragon

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Edited By MustardDragon • 

Hmm, this does seem a bit too in-depth. Chatting about the game for 15min on a podcast is way more digestible. If you have a 1 hour video discussing your feelings on the game, then why even have a numbered score? Mixing the two ideas in this manner diminishes both pieces of media.

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Peebsxsicle

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Edited By Peebsxsicle • 

I think this style fits in completely with what Giant Bomb is all about. Releasing it in podcast form would be awesome as well if it isn't already.

Edit: Oh and I see it is already, that's great!

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Kamui97

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Edited By Kamui97 • 

10 years later, theyre back to focusing on reviews, huh.

Video/Audio component seems neat. Like an extended bombcast segment thats more formal and informative about the game. I assume QL is still coming and they're not just gonna stop talking about it on the bombcast, but having a dedicated extended feature focused on just talking about the game seems nice and worthwhile. Could address different needs vs what i want out of a QL.

Considering the way GB has always chosen what they want to review, dedicating more time and energy focused and producing more content dedicated specifically to the games they're reviewing makes sense.

My only concern would be how much extra time this takes then, and whether that would limit them doing reviews during busier periods when more games are coming out close together. For example, if CoD and BFV had released in the same week, would they still have time to review both like this?

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dandyshlonglegs

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"New format" feels like existing content repackaged in the lowest effort way to take the place of something the audience actually want. I came to Giant Bomb when the Spider Man embargo dropped expecting some content and there was nothing on the front page. Still doing a lot of things right, but increasingly becoming an entertainment product more than a journalistic one. Might just have to shift my expectations.

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evvan337

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evvan337 • 

I love in depth discussions on video games, especially new ones. This seems like a great idea, I hope there are more in the future!

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morkins324

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Edited By morkins324 • 

Feels like a cop out of writing an actual review. Instead of thinking out creative ways to illustrate the point that you're trying to make, just talk about it with some buds for an hour.

I'm disappointed, to say the least.

There are literally 100 websites that do that. Giant Bomb has always been a lot stronger with the discussion/podcast format. This could help to condense the Bombcast a bit by having a more detailed, in depth discussion in this format, so that big games don't end up taking up an hour of the podcast(instead they could do like 10-15 minutes in the Bombcast and then refer to something like this as a bigger focus in on it)

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Ares42

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Ares42 • 

I like the idea, but I feel like it's just an inferior approach compared to a QL for me. I'm sure there's a different audience for this though.

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leroytirebiter

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love this, it's like taking a podcast discussion about a game and giving it it's own segment and more focus. Having both versions available is great too. If this is how reviews are going to be done going forward, it'd be great to see some more smaller, written articles about games that might not necessarily be reviews, but if you guys feel like the community already kinda fills that role that would make sense. Keep on keepin on.

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NTM

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Edited By NTM • 

Wow. This new format is unexpected. While I'm slightly disappointed (kind of? Maybe?) that the written review is super short, I don't mind that they're doing the video review that way. That's really cool.

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JohnJamieson

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lanerobertlane

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Edited By lanerobertlane • 

I get that this will probably fit the more video focused ‘Netflix style’ site redesign coming up, and like the idea of discussing a game and giving the score but I feel like it doesn’t need to be in vision.

I think playing the game at the same time, or having relevant b-roll would help with that.

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free583

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free583 • 

Holy shit what an awesome format. I love love love the idea of having the review in podcast/discussion form. I find myself listening to videos like quick looks more than actually watching them, because I'm usually doing other stuff (like desk jockeying, pencil pushing, dishes, etc). I'll end up listening to reviews of stuff I don't necessarily have any interest in just because I enjoy listening to the conversation. Way to go GB.

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illmatic19

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North6

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Edited By North6 • 

@morkins324: Always?

Nah, just recently. I've enjoyed reading their reviews over the years, and would rather not listen to an hour podcast of rambling rather than someone's concise take on a game. They can do better.

That said, I appreciate the attempts at something new. Keep throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks.

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Sil3n7

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Edited By Sil3n7 • 

Seems odd that both Giant Bomb and Polygon changed their review format at the same time (albeit in different ways).

This isn't to say there's any reason to distrust either. It is to say that people at GB would do well to guard against being influenced even innocuously through conversation when reviewing actual games as Jeff has mentioned in the past.

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Parsnip

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Parsnip • 

Saw this pop on the gb presents podcast feed and was surprised and almost kind of weirded out to say the least.

But truth be told, I don't read reviews a ton anymore and a more in depth discussion focusing on a single game in an audio format might just work out great for me personally. However, I didn't listen to it because I kind of don't care about this game in particular, but I'm looking forward to future installments and will judge the format properly then.

But I do wonder how much overlap this kind of content has with the podcast and quick look. I also wonder if this means more reviews overall.

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L1fef0rm

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Edited By L1fef0rm • 

4 out of 5? Garbage, I'll pass. ;) Actually, I can't pass. My kids are so excited for this, I am a bit too, even though I hold no reverence toward super hero stuff. Looks fun as hell.

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RerunAway

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RerunAway • 

Guys, this sucks. As someone who has followed the site since its inception, who has been a member since memberships were available, I'm going to say that this is the first time I've been unimpressed with your content. I'm yet to watch the discussion video (which, I guess, is the point) but why put up a barely three paragraph review? It just comes across as lazy. I, personally, want to see the written reviews because I trust the Giantbomb staff's opinion over any other entity on the internet (and I always have) but if you're going to go with the video, just do the video. This is so underwhelming.

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NickFoley

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Edited By NickFoley • 

Interesting change to the review style. We have a score and shorter written review and the bulk is in video (with complimentary audio). I'll need to watch the video review to see if it offers a deeper dive into the subject of the review vs what we heard during a slice of the podcast. Looking forward to watching this later and seeing how it evolves over time. Maybe we'll get a cross coast video review with some other games...

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LoktarOgar

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LoktarOgar • 

Either read a review that takes less time to read than it would to listen to aJeff's Gaming Minute on Spiderman, or go for a 60 minute review instead.

Kinda going for extremes here.

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avenged22

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avenged22 • 

Eh...I had a feeling it wouldn't turn out. Ah well...guess i'll wait for a discount

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morkins324

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Edited By morkins324 • 

@north6 said:

@morkins324: Always?

Nah, just recently. I've enjoyed reading their reviews over the years, and would rather not listen to an hour podcast of rambling rather than someone's concise take on a game. They can do better.

That said, I appreciate the attempts at something new.

I feel like the podcast has always been the strongest piece of content that the site has produced, from Day 0. Quick Looks are also great, but they serve a different purpose from this. The written reviews aren't bad, but I also feel like they are pretty antiquated.

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skinnyluigi

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No Venom or Carnage? What were they thinking, lmao

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bigwinnerx

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bigwinnerx • 

This is good stuff. Love the format.

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daltimond

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Edited By daltimond • 

Ive been hoping you guys would do this kinda format for reviews. I thought it was a great idea when Greg Miller did it for kinda funny for some game a year or so ago. Just talk into the camera and you dont have to worry about editing together a "video review" with scenes to emphasize what you were talking about and people like me get a video review and you dont have to do as much work as you did in the old traditional video reviews. Great stuff.

Honestly doing it as a round table type format is something I didnt think about but considering Jeff knows what he wants out of a review and is really good at interviewing people, he's going to get all the relevant points out of the reviewer which is great because if it was just a talking head video they might miss some stuff in the review.

I definitely welcome more reviews like this and good on you guys for trying something different that make reviews more palatable for a modern audience.

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Silver-Streak

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Edited By Silver-Streak • 

Just for reference, Mr. Negative as presented in the game is based off an existing character/villain arc from the comics.