What can I say about Spider-Man 2 I didn’t already say in my review of it? Probably not much, but here we go. Spider-Man (1) and Spider-Man: Miles Morales (1.5) were both excellent games. They adapted the Spider-Man mythos without simply reiterating arcs beat for beat. They were also notable for their impressive web swinging, and for creating an open world game where the simple act of moving around the world was fun, where the physical geometry of the world wasn’t an impediment as it often is, but a playground. Bringing semi-realistic swing physics into a spider-man game for the first time in over a decade also helped.
There have been adaptations of the Spider-Man story across the world and in every medium since just after the comics started. In fact, if you include the years just before and after Insomniac’s Spider-Man came out, Spider-Man was featured in four live action theatrical movies, an animated theatrical movie, and two animated series. Despite all this the Insomniac series stood out. People liked the story just as much as they liked the gameplay. And they wanted more.
So where the heck could Spider-Man 2 go from what made Spider-Man 1 and 1.5 such narrative and mechanical successes? Honestly, not far, but then again, it didn’t have to. Spider-Man 2 didn’t need to radically reinvent the wheels, but it decided to improve the suspension, vulcanize the rubber on the tire, and make sure it had all weather tires anyways, if I may torture a metaphor.
Put simply, the game just feels right. There’s a lot of new content and mechanics, and even what isn’t knew just feels improved. One of the new movement options, Web Wings, is an excellent example. much like how just swinging around the city in Spider-Man and Spider-Miles was part of the fun on its own even without the fighting bad guys and saving civilians, using web wings to catch air tunnels and thermals and just zip around the map (especially the less built up Astoria) just feels fun, even if the mechanics really shouldn’t work. I won’t tell if you won’t.
Enough meandering. My point is that Insomniac have knocked it out of the park again and I eagerly await their next Marvel outings in the DLC, Wolverine, Spider-Man 3, and whatever licenses they can finagle off Marvel next.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is just one of GameLuster’s seven Game of the Year nominees for 2023. Make sure to check out our other nominations for this award and many more in the Lusties 2023!