The last time I played a Spider-Man video game was about 14 years ago when Treyarch (yes, that Treyarch) and Activision released Spider-Man 2 on the PC, GameCube, PS2 and original Xbox. It… wasn’t pretty and was probably at its worst on the PC version. At the time, however, there wasn’t exactly a glut of superhero video games, so Spider-Man 2 scratched an itch that had been around for a long, long time. A few years later it was followed up with the creatively named Spider-Man 3, which didn’t fare too well either. Treyarch wasn’t the only dev team to take a stab at putting out a decent Spidey game, but it’s safe to say that nobody has really managed to nail a Spider-Man video game in the same way that Rocksteady has nailed Batman video games.
Let’s just get this out of the way right from the start: comparisons between Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man and Rocksteady Studios’ Batman Arkham series are inevitable. It’s inevitable because Rocksteady’s work has become the benchmark for comic book character video games. Spider-Man hasn’t had a decent video game release in years, so with Rocksteady’s seminal Batman series still fresh in people’s minds, the hype surrounding Insomniac and Sony’s Spider-Man has become substantial.
Does it deliver? Absolutely. But it stumbles ever so slightly in the same area that many open-world games do as well.