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February 12, 2024

Spider-Man 2: Insomniac Swings in With Another Spectacular Hit

Spider-Man 2: Insomniac Swings in With Another Spectacular Hit

The hunt is on in the long awaited sequel to Insomniac Games’ 2018 hit, Spider-Man. Building upon the acclaimed and award winning mechanics and storytelling that made the original an instant classic, Spider-Man 2 is an exciting and immersive follow up that escalates the scale and deepens the plot while expanding on everything gamers love about the developer’s take on the web-slinging superhero.

When the relentless Kraven the Hunter and his army of mercenaries come to New York in search of its most dangerous game, Peter Parker and his protege, Miles Morales team up to track down the menacing huntsman taking out the city’s rogues. The plot thickens when an alien “symbiote” keeping Parker’s friend, Harry Osborn, alive bonds with Spider-Man, creating a new black suit that provides game changing powers while making the hero more aggressive and erratic.

From the thrilling opening mission where you face off against a colossal Sandman in the middle of New York’s Financial District, the increase in scale and spectacle in both the story and spectacle of Spider-Man 2 is quickly made clear. The game’s vivid visuals and smooth gameplay take full advantage of everything the Playstation 5 is capable of, making use of all of the console’s features. Combat is fast, fluid, and exciting, and enemies are more perceptive and hit harder as you take on legions of menacing mercenaries, crazed cultists, deadly drones, and sinister symbiotes.

The boss battles are thrilling as well, with heavyweights like The Lizard and Mister Negative that will prove to be worthy opponents for the player to duke it out with. The villain everyone will be talking about however is Venom, brought to life by horror legend Tony Todd (Candyman.) Reimagined with a new host, this hulking monstrosity dominates the game’s third act as he seeks to overtake the world with his symbiote spawn.

But Spider-Man 2 is about more than thrilling action. The strong performances of Yuri Lowenthal (Mortal Kombat 1) and Nadji Jeter (Spider-Man: Miles Morales) anchor the sequel’s story, taking the Spider-Men to new depths as they battle addiction and grief as well as their colorful rogues gallery. The story goes deeper and darker than either of Insomniac’s previous outings with Spider-Man, drawing from iconic storylines from the comics like Birth of Venom and Kraven’s Last Hunt.

The Map is incredible. Doubling the scale of the previous entries, you can now explore Queens and Brooklyn as well as the boroughs of Manhattan. Miles can take on missions around his school, Visions Academy while Venom brings the fight to Peter’s doorstep in Astoria. The game’s fast travel system is incredible, taking you across the city instantaneously with no discernible loading time. Many will miss this feature however, as getting to your mission is half the fun. Web swinging is as exciting  as ever, with new tricks and skills to propel you across the city, and Spider-Man’s new “Web Wings” will have players gliding through wind tunnels and weaving around buildings at high speeds.

One issue player’s had with 2018’s Spider-Man were the tedious stealth missions as Mary Jane Watson. These segments are drastically improved in Spider-Man 2. Having spent time as a war journalist in the war torn nation of Symkaria, Watson has turned from a defenseless reporter into a certifiable action heroine able to stealthily take down Kraven’s hunters and Venom’s symbiotes with her high tech taser that later gets upgraded with a web-shooter attachment. These missions are tense and thrilling, especially with the sequel’s smarter and more observant goons.

If there is one thing holding Spider-Man 2 back, it’s the bugs. Like many games now, Spider-Man 2 launched with several frustrating bugs and game breaking glitches that can suddenly bring your session to a screeching halt. Another flaw players might take issue with is the game’s lack of a “New Game+” feature after completing the game’s campaign.

Overall Spider-Man 2 is another triumph for Insomniac Studios. Exciting, immersive, and a visual spectacle to behold. Taking everything great about the previous games and elevating them even higher, this amazing and spectacular game truly lives up to the franchise’s tagline to “Be Greater” and provides players with the ultimate Spider-Man experience.

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