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17 April, 2024
Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2 is the Sequel that Sony Needed


When developer Insomniac Games released Marvel’s Spider-Man on PlayStation 4, it was immediately hailed as one of the best action-adventure games of its kind. For the sequel, simply titled Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Insomniac went above and beyond fan expectations, delivering a follow-up that expanded on an already amazing experience. With a narrative that features tons of fan-favorite characters and villains, a huge map littered with exciting activities, and some supremely cinematic action, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a perfect example of how to make a successful sequel.

Spider-Man 2 is the Sequel That Sony Needed

In short, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 packs a lot of content into its narrative, serving as a sequel to both the original Marvel’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Set 10 months after the latter web-swinging adventure, Spider-Man 2 follows both Peter Parker and Miles Morales as they contend with life as a superhero living in New York City. While Peter struggles to hold down a job and continues to battle with the stress of adult life, Miles Morales prepares to enter college and leave childhood behind.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Spider-Man game without a significant helping of superhero drama, and Spider-Man 2 delivers that in droves. Another batch of supervillains has touched down in New York to wreak havoc, leaving a wake of mayhem for the Spider-Men to clean up. Although plenty of familiar foes make a return, including Mister Negative, Scorpion, and Black Cat, there are more than a few new faces on the block as well. While Kraven the Hunter uses New York as a literal hunting ground, other villains rise from the shadows, including the beloved beast, Venom, the deranged Cletus Kasaday, and more.

Spider-Man 2
Spider Man 2

However, Spider-Man 2 is rarely content with simply retelling the same stories we’ve seen in comics and films. While Venom, Cletus, and other characters are prominent in the story, their motivations, origins, and even superpowers have been altered to fit in this new story. Some Spider-Man purists might cry foul at the alterations, but in truth, these unexpected changes go a long way in making the story in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 feel fresh.

Two Spiders, One City

Taking inspiration from games like Grand Theft Auto V and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 takes its dual-hero situation and puts it to great use. Most of the time, you are free to switch between either Peter Parker or Miles Morales, and explore the city as your favorite web-swinger. As you gain experience from completing missions and side content, you can upgrade both heroes, but decisions must be made. Although somewhat similar in terms of control and movement, Peter and Miles both boast unique abilities, making it essential that you master both characters.

Regardless of which character you favor, the combat system has received a big boost and is more fluid than ever before. Thanks to a wide range of upgrades, both Peter and Miles can earn powerful new moves like the frenzied Spider-Barrage ability, while also utilizing new gadgets as well. To spice things up further, Miles is now imbued with “Venom Blast” powers, which provide large bursts of electric energy to stun and defeat enemies.

Spider-Man 2 PS5
Spider-Man 2 PS5

Combat upgrades aren’t the only notable change in moment-to-moment gameplay, as traversing New York City is also far easier in the sequel, thanks to a new gadget called “web wings”. While swinging high over skyscrapers, both Peter and Miles can deploy an impromptu wingsuit, soaring through the skies with relative ease. For even faster transport, you can enter natural wind tunnels, which will send you speeding across the city at unbelievable speeds. Worry not, though, as fast travel is still available for players looking to get right into the action.

Big Activities in the Big Apple

If you’re just looking to wrap up the main story and call it a day, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 will take you around 20 hours or so to complete. However, like many other open-world games, there’s an excess of additional content for you to discover around the map. In addition to a slew of collectibles, you can also find tough combat challenges, environmental scavenger hunts, and even some traditional puzzle-solving. Thankfully, these activities are unlocked as you make progress in the main story, so the city never feels too overwhelming to explore.

Of course, you’ll earn rewards for completing these missions, including valuable character experience, components for upgrades, and more. One of the best features of the original game – the ability to change your suit color at any given time – returns in the sequel, but with a slightly different approach. There are dozens of alternate suits to unlock, each with a variety of colorways, and unlike the first game, you’re encouraged to swap your look without worrying about losing any suit-specific powers. This makes it a joy to customize your hero throughout the game, as I was always excited to don the next unlockable costume in my arsenal.

Spider Man 2 Miles Morales
Image 6 logo

To be fair, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is not without a few flaws. At times, the side activities can feel a bit repetitive and the web wing system makes normal swinging feel underpowered, but these are minor gripes. Overall, this sequel exceeds expectations across the board, delivering a powerful story that both fans and newcomers will enjoy. It’s utterly packed with extra content that encourages you to play until you hit 100% completion, and unlike some of its competitors, it stays entertaining until the very end. If you own a PlayStation 5 and haven’t picked up Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 yet, you might be missing out on one of the best superhero games of all time.

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