A week with Spider-Man on the PS4 Pro

Spider-ManIf you’re wondering why I haven’t been updating as much, well, honestly it’s not because of Spider-Man, although it could be.

My kid’s school has somehow consumed every single day’s free time. School ended up with me in a giant bird suit, so there’s that.

At night, I’ve become the Spider before bed to wind down from a hard day of bird suiting, or whatever I ended up doing.

I was a huge fan of Spider-Man back on the PS2, and as I have next to no opportunity to play online (kids man, try telling everyone on Fortnight to not kill you for 6 minutes while you change a diaper and sing Moon Moon Moon to a 3yo,) this seemed a good game to grab.

Install and update took about 54 minutes for 48 or so GB game data and a 5 or 8gb download. May be faster, realized I had positioned the PS4 Pro in the WiFi dead zone.

There are going to be some potential spoilers below and a near complete lack of pictures because I’m new to the PS4.

If you remember the fighting dynamics of the 2004 PS2 version you’ll quickly slip into them on the PS4. It’s punch punch remember a combo with the web and dodge when someone shoots. Repeat.

You’d think that would be meh, but it’s still pretty fun. They’ve mixed it up some. Waves of baddies, rocket launchers, electric whips, and a curiously underpowered melee Spider.

Seriously, lift a bus, get hit by a rocket, but a punch from an accountant in a demon mask can take off 20% damage and it takes 9 punches to knock him down.

New York isn’t exactly right, but it’s significantly right. Some landmarks are the wrong size, some are named Fisk instead of Trump, Osborn instead of … some are a little out of place, but it captures the spirit of what I remember when I worked up there, except a notable lack of traffic, busses, sidewalk vendors, and people looking at their phones.

Traversing between areas can be fun, you feel quite often like it’s just right. The movement, the swinging, just don’t examine it too much like I did or you’ll start wondering where the invisible air hooks 50 feet above the building you’re swinging next to are, or how you can go into a straight downward dive when you were doing about 45mph forward, and up.

The only real negative experience in the game is the story modes. Things such as being forced through a long cutscene with X in which he says in very drawn out fashion Y, then you get a voicemail with a condensed version of that later. I’m all for story building cinematically but they’re just too darn slow. It’s like if Sonic the Hedgehog were forced to sing mmmm mmmm mmmm at normal tempo.

There are portions where you play MJ and Miles. Both of these are sneaking around. Both were both easily conquerable and not particularly fun. I mean, I have no problem playing them, I got through each on two attempts, but going from a free-swinging wall crawler to a couple of people who can’t jump, have to sneak, and you lose if you’re discovered is kind of distracting.

In the case of MJ, at least where I’m at right now are both flashbacks. No danger. Just slog, talk, hide, sneak, take, solve a little puzzle, slog.

Along the game you’ll have menial tasks like finding the 54 backpacks with GPS/RFID transmitters you forgot about. If you’re wondering why Peter Parker is so broke, it’s because he placed $1,944 in backpacks containing probably $554 of tracking gear and simply forgot about them.

One man loses his pigeons and guess who can somehow recognize and grab them all over the city. Yeah, you web them up. The webbing that can stop a helicopter from falling doesn’t harm a bird. Meh, ok, believability isn’t what we’re going for here.

Challenge missions appear, we’re in a Spider story in which Peter doesn’t recognize Taskmaster, who plants a bunch of bombs around the city and keeps rattling off about how he’s gathering data on Spider-Man. Every challenge mission you don’t ace Spider-Man bemones not being better.

Because you know if some psycho is learning my every move I really want to impress him and show him the best I’ve got. OK, old gamer, get off my lawn.

At about a week in I’m about 60% through the base game according to the progress bar. There will be updates and DLC later on however.

This game has the one of the highest platinum trophy completion rates with one in ten players achieving it. This I’d say is probably due to an interesting balance of it being pretty fun even when you’re slogging through, and a bit too easy. OK, not a bit. A lot too easy. There’s only one mission I’ve failed more than twice.

So far the only real challenge has been in the Challenge missions to not get stuck on a fire escape or follow through a glowing blue dot in the sky. That said, it’s still quite fun, but I don’t feel like it’s a huge challenge.

Bugs

It’s got a few. I’ve gotten stuck in a warehouse between a steel beam and a box. Had to get hit with a missile to get out.

Had one mission where I was attempting to save a guy and had to mash square fast, it wouldn’t register more than one press a second. I had to kill the game to go back and do that mission again and that time it worked.

Crash on a character exiting a truck. Got to report that one to the developer.

I’d say at this point I expect a bug about once an hour but so far it’s not wasted more than about 10 minutes of playtime (for when the game hard crashes and has to restart).

Mehness

I’m seeing 2160p listed, you can look at the screen and tell it’s… not. I mean I don’t doubt the PS4 Pro is addressing all of that but Spider Man’s engine is not using it.Faces are not particularly sharp, hands are large and rubber. That’s ok, I wasn’t expecting hyper-realistic but it’s really not pushing a crapton of pixels unless I’m seeing things wrong.

Audio is. As you slowly turn you hear things slowly rotate around you until something has to go from left rear to right rear and then it jumps. I don’t know whether that’s my side or theirs but it feels like 335 degrees of sound.

I know being colorblind is and always will be my problem, but the red indicator outlines for enemies tend to blend in with red bricks. How hard is it to code the outline to be white, yellow, or something configurable for the 6% of colorblind gamers.

Can you do basic addition/subtraction? Congrats, you’ve solved all the circuit puzzles.

Overall

As far as casual games go, it’s great. If you’re looking for a real challenge, at least where I’m at right now it’s not that game.

You can grab Spider-Man at Amazon or pretty much anywhere.

Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Google+ | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts