Let’s cut to the chase. Is it a good game? Yes. Is it a great game? Mmm, well, not exactly.
Spider-Man’s big problem is it’s very (very) derivatory. There’s nothing new or exceptional here. In fact at some point someone is going to want to compare it to other standout Sony big budget offerings such as God Of War or Horizon: Zero Dawn and it’s always going to come back wanting.
Is it a really good Spider-Man game? Yes. Is it a fun open world game? Yes. Is it exactly what you’d imagine if Batman: Arkham City and #Watch_Dogs were mixed together in one game? Well, yes, yes it is. In fact if I hadn’t seen the Insomniac logo on the box cover I’d have sworn it was an off the peg UbiSoft open world.
While I don’t want to give the impression Spider-Man is a bad game, it’s not, it’s not a game without it’s issues. Two main issues do stand out.
The first is how the game falls apart at the ground level. It’s not a game to be played on the streets. Plenty of NPC’s and cars with little or no interaction. Loads of buildings, none of them enterable. Even the fast travel system is a pale head nod to the New York Subway. It’s a shame because during one scene with a secondary character your treated to a view how brilliant #Watch_Dogs or Sleeping Dogs like open world would be in this New York City.
The other is the use of cut scenes. In recent times there’s been a rallying cry against Quick Time Events. However this game shows that liberal, skillfull, use of QTE’s are important and can increase a players agency in a game. Spider-Man spends far too much time playing itself. Big set action pieces are regularly played out without any player involvement at all.