Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is exclusively available for PS5 and is arguably the best superhero game. It feels like a sharp up compared to its 2018 and 2020 siblings. A subtle and neat upgrade to the traversal also plays a pivotal role down the line.
Under the hood, the sequel does improve on many of the original underlying mechanics. However, it also doubles down on the first game’s weaker points and even takes a few steps backward on a few great concepts that the first game had.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 still manages to be a pretty good game, mainly because of just how well it captures the spirit of Spider-Man 2. Cliché as it sounds, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 does a fantastic job of making you feel like you’re actually one of the web slingers, even more so than the high bar set by Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018).
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Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Walkthrough
A Little Swing
Swinging around the city is still an absolute joy. Not many games capture the sense of speed and high-flying excitement the same way that Spider-Man 2 does. If you have seen Spider-Man do it in a movie, you can probably recreate it here.
New to Spider-Man 2 is the web wings, or wing suit, which combos exceptionally well with Spider-Man’s web-slinging abilities. It’s not one or the other. You can flow between them in a spectacular display of fluid grace that makes simply traveling between A & B something of an art form.
Getting into the flow is something shared between both, the traversal and combat system in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. However, swinging around the city is different in that anyone can pick up a controller and look and doing it. It’s exceptionally easy to just grab and go. However, there is room for mastery there that exists for no reason other than to make yourself look even cooler as you swing around.
Anyone can just swing from point to point. But it takes practice to truly make use of every single traversal mechanism to truly amplify that Spider-Man feeling. There’s no gameplay benefit for doing so, which is something I’d normally criticize.
However, it’s like a minigame you played as you travel. The reward is the incredible feeling of precise control that almost no other game delivers. It simply never gets old and makes the technical marvel of the near instant fast travel system almost worthless.
Beating the Bad Guys
The combat shares the same kind of unbelievable flow that the traversal does, but it doesn’t come quite as easily. To get some out of the combat, you have to utilize the variety of moves available to you instead of just smashing the punch button. The best way to do that is to jack up the difficulty as high as you handle, as harder difficulties incentivize optimal play, makes you look the coolest.
I was disappointed to find that just like the first game, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’s hardest difficulty is locked behind the completing the game. I could have used it. After a few hours, I began to blow through combat very easily, and only a few boss fights made it a struggle.
Combat itself, if you actually choose to engage with it, is incredible. Engaging with it means making your actions deliberate, not spammy because just like swinging around New York, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 combat offers you a precision that’s almost never heard of.
Spider-Man can and will react as quickly as you think, and the combat is really an on-the-fly- ballroom blitz of flying kicks, sticky webs, and strategy. It’s not about just striking everyone until they are knocked out. It’s about managing the situation and executing well time dodges.
The physical nature of the combat means you can send bad guys flying, off the ledges, into walls, or the environment. There is a satisfaction of web throwing a dude into a nearby mailbox and watching him flip over it realistically. You can web up one threat, kick the other one, pull down a shelf on another group, then fluidly zip to another guy across the room to kick him into the air. Pull him down with a web slam, and then stick him there with webbing.