Marvel's Spider-Man[a] is a video game based on the Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man, developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was released worldwide on September 7, 2018 for the PlayStation 4, as the first licensed game developed by Insomniac. A PlayStation 5 remaster was announced to be included alongside its downloadable contents in the Ultimate Edition of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales under the name of Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered,which was made available as a standalone title by the end of 2020.  Remastered was later released for Microsoft Windows via Steam and the Epic Games Store on August 12, 2022. A sequel titled Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is set to release in 2023.
The game follows Peter Parker, a 23-year-old college graduate and research assistant who gained superhuman abilities after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Peter is in his eighth year of crime-fighting under his super heroic alter ego of Spider-Man, who has become highly experienced at this point, but struggles to balance his superhero and personal lives.
Marvel's Spider-Man is an open-world action-adventure title that allows the player to control Spider-Man throughout Manhattan, New York City. Spider-Man fights enemies with his brawler moveset and a wide array of web gadgets. At key points in the story, the player also controls Peter Parker (outside of his Spider-Man identity), Mary Jane Watson, and Miles Morales.
Marvel's Spider-Man is an open-world third-person action-adventure game, in which the player controls Peter Parker, under his superhero identity Spider-Man, through Manhattan, New York City to fight crime. Spider-Man's moveset allows him to swing through New York and climb buildings in fluid urban traversal, defeat enemies in improvisational combat with dynamic acrobatics, fight by interacting with various elements with his webs, and wield a variety of web gadgets to combat different opponents. Using tokens rewarded from objectives, Spider-Man can unlock and craft new gadgets, suits, and Suit Mods. By earning experience points, Spider-Man can level up to unlock new skills on the Skill Tree to enhance his combat and traversal. In certain parts of the game, the player also controls Peter Parker (outside of his Spider-Man suit) in various puzzle sections, as well as Mary Jane Watson and Miles Morales in stealth sections.
Spider-Man engages in a linear set of main story missions, begun once the player reaches its yellow icon on the map. Missions may make use of combat mechanics, require stealth either with Spider-Man or as Mary Jane or Miles, or involve completion of puzzles as Peter. Each mission advances the main story to the next stage, and certain advancements in the story unlock different objectives, such as new crimes against different organizations, or new types of citywide activities.
Aside from the main story, the player can complete many other objectives throughout New York City. Side missions, signified by a blue map icon, allow the player to complete short objectives offered by non-player characters, with a reward of XP towards new levels. While traversing through each district, crimes with one of the different organizations (thugs, Inner Demons, escaped prisoners, and Sable International) will appear, marked by a red map marker, to be completed for Crime Tokens. Districts may also be home to bases for one of the organizations, to be completed for Base Tokens. Districts also hold replayable Taskmaster Challenges, involving combat, stealth, stopping bombs, and chasing spy drones, which are scored on speed, in which achieving a gold rating for speed wins a maximum of three Challenge Tokens. Research Stations in each district involve short missions often based on traversal mechanics, to win Research Tokens. Black Cat Stakeouts require Spider-Man to reach a camera and photograph a hidden cat figure in order to find Black Cat. Finally, each district contains several of Peter's backpacks to pick up, landmarks to photograph, and Surveillance Towers to piece together a full map. Completing all activities in a district earns a 100% completion for that district.
Spider-Man can swing through neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York, using web-swinging mechanics, as well as running along buildings. Spider-Man can swing across buildings, and also interact with various elements to pull himself towards them and propel forward. Certain skills on the skill tree allow Spider-Man to traverse the city faster. Spider-Man can also drop to the ground below. Here, non-player characters will recognize Spider-Man, and react to him in different ways depending on the player's progression. Positive reactions include cheering, high-fiving, and taking selfies with him.
While traveling, Spider-Man can glimpse views of iconic Marvel and Manhattan landmarks all present throughout the city. Additionally, J. Jonah Jameson's radio show Just the Facts will sometimes play news updates, with reports based on recently completed missions and side missions.
Fast travel can also be used to reach certain locations, including police stations and Research Stations.
Spider-Man has access to eight gadgets, each upgradeable a number of times. The first gadget, the basic Web Shooter, is the default gadget unlocked from the start, and automatically replenishes ammunition. The Impact Web and Electric Web are unlocked in story missions. Five additional gadgets can be purchased with tokens upon leveling up or completing a story mission: the Spider-Drone, the Web Bomb, the Trip Mine, the Concussive Blast, and the Suspension Matrix. These gadgets can be used in combinations with one another in combat. Webbing enemies up near a wall or on the ground using gadgets will defeat an enemy.
Spider-Man has access to up to 28 suits in the base game, which can be unlocked and crafted, and are based on classic appearances of Spider-Man throughout media. Most suits come with unique powers that can be activated for a brief period of time, though powers can be swapped between suits, making equipping a certain suit at a time purely an aesthetic difference. The currently equipped suit will be used throughout cutscenes and loading screens.
Up to three of 23 available suit mods can be equipped at once. Suit mods require tokens to craft and a level requirement to unlock, and provide slight bonuses to Spider-Man's abilities.
Mary Jane and Miles gameplay
On a few occasions in the main story, the player will control Mary Jane Watson, or Miles Morales, in linear stealth missions. These require the player to reach an objective without being seen. In earlier missions, the player is guided throughout the whole process with a marker, though later missions, while still linear, are more open in options for how to proceed. Later missions can provide Mary Jane or Miles with a gadget or elements of the environment to interact with in order to either distract or incapacitate enemies.
While playing as Peter Parker, the player is sometimes required to complete one of two minigame types. The first type requires Peter to complete a disconnected circuit by reattaching a few of the available pieces. The goal is to reattach the circuit without expending all available pieces, and to ensure the positive and negative voltage gives the current the required voltage in the end.
The second type of minigame requires Peter to analyze a substance, by matching the patterns. This requires Peter to match a few blocks on screen, and a few pieces that cancel out other blocks, until all blocks match the patterns required.
Peter Parker is a 23-year-old college graduate who has held the secret identity of Spider-Man for eight years and has settled into his role as protector of New York City. In addition, he is working at a laboratory as a research assistant. After recently defeating criminal Wilson Fisk, Peter must now investigate as a new gang known as the Inner Demons emerges taking over Fisk's territory.
Peter Parker / Spider-Man assists Yuri Watanabe and the NYPD in arresting Wilson Fisk, with the authorities finally having enough evidence to serve a warrant. Afterwards, Peter investigates a possible break-in at an auction house storing Fisk's art collection, where he runs into his ex-girlfriend Mary Jane Watson as well as masked gunmen searching for a file. Mary Jane finds the file, which details a secret project named "Devil's Breath", but the gunmen seize the file from her and escape. Despite being estranged, Peter and Mary Jane decide to work together to investigate the theft. Peter consults with Martin Li about the origin of the masks, and Li remarks they are involved with a group called the "Inner Demons" and warns Peter not to investigate further. Peter, who helps Dr. Otto Octavius in his lab, returns to finish work on their artificial arm, but Mayor Norman Osborn forcibly shuts down the lab, seizes Octavius' research, and terminates his grant.
Meanwhile, the Inner Demons continue to attack Fisk's properties and holdings. After several victories against them with the help of Officer Jefferson Davis, Peter attends a rally for Osborn's re-election campaign with Davis, Mary Jane, Miles Morales, and Rio Morales also in attendance. However, Mayor Osborn receives an anonymous threat, promising to destroy him and his city, causing him to leave the rally early. The Inner Demons then attack the rally with suicide bombers, killing many of the attendees including Davis, who is Miles' father. Peter witnesses Li, taking the alternate form of "Mr. Negative", leading the attack on the rally. However, he is knocked out by the blast.
In the aftermath of the attack, Miles joins F.E.A.S.T. as a volunteer, meets Peter, and quickly befriends him. At the same time, Osborn hires mercenary Silver Sable and her private military company, Sable International, to take down the Inner Demons. Sable doesn't trust Peter and constantly makes things difficult for him. Peter continues to pursue Mister Negative and the Inner Demons, discovering that Li has a grudge against Osborn and seeks to steal the Devil's Breath, a bioweapon Osborn inadvertently created while searching for a universal cure for disease. Li manages to steal the Devil's Breath and attempts to deploy it in Grand Central Station, but is foiled by the efforts of both Peter and Mary Jane. He is subsequently arrested and sent to the Raft, a high-security prison. Meanwhile, Octavius becomes more obsessed with getting revenge on Osborn and begins further developing his artificial arms, turning them into large tentacle-like constructs and controlling them via an untested neural implant. Peter quickly grows concerned that the implant may negatively affect Octavius' mental state.
With his new arms, Octavius attacks both Ryker's Island and the Raft as "Doctor Octopus", releasing all of the prisoners within including Mister Negative, Electro, Vulture, Rhino, and Scorpion, with whom he forms the Sinister Six. He also steals the Devil's Breath from police custody and releases it in Times Square, infecting hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, including Peter's Aunt May. With the combination of the outbreak and the mass escape of criminals, New York quickly falls into chaos, and Osborn declares martial law. Peter goes to apprehend his escaped enemies, quickly rounding up Electro, Vulture, Rhino, and Scorpion while Mary Jane searches for the Devil's Breath cure Oscorp is seemingly working on. She breaks into Osborn's penthouse and learns that his son Harry – Peter and Mary Jane's best friend – is terminally ill and that the Devil’s Breath was actually designed as a cure for his condition. After discovering his secret lab, Mary Jane learns that Martin Li was one of the test subjects for the Devil's Breath which granted him his powers. This, however, ended in tragedy as Li had accidentally killed his parents, sparking his grudge against Osborn. Mary Jane soon learns the location of the cure and informs Peter. After convincing Sable that he's trustworthy, Peter heads to the lab and defeats Li, but Octavius arrives and takes both Osborn and the cure, leaving Peter critically wounded.
With no other choice, Peter builds himself a new armored suit and goes after Doctor Octopus, who reveals he knew Peter was Spider-Man, defeating him atop Oscorp Tower while saving both Osborn and the cure. The amount of cure recovered, however, is too small to save everyone infected and Peter is faced with the choice of either using the limited amount to save Aunt May, who is on the verge of death, or allowing the doctors to study it and mass produce a cure to save everyone else. Peter ultimately chooses the latter and has a tearful farewell with Aunt May, who reveals she already knows he is Spider-Man before passing away. Silver Sable leaves New York to rethink her life choices following her encounter with Peter. Meanwhile, Miles is bitten by a spider that escaped Osborn's personal lab. A funeral is held for Aunt May, who is buried next to Uncle Ben. Three months later, New York has largely returned to normal and Peter and Mary Jane decide to rekindle their relationship.
In a mid-credits scene, Miles reveals to Peter that he has gained spider-like powers, prompting Peter to reveal that he is Spider-Man. In a post-credits scene, Osborn, who has resigned as mayor in disgrace, returns to his lab where he has Harry kept in a holding tank with a black web-like substance until a cure can be found for his condition. As Osborn places his hand on the tank, the substance reacts and copies him.
Marvel Games approached Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) wanting them to publish a Marvel game and to treat the game like a first party SIE title. Sony discussed with Insomniac Games which Marvel property they wished to adapt, and both agreed on Spider-Man. The game was the first licensed game developed by Insomniac after 22 years of developing original properties, such as Spyro, Ratchet & Clank and Resistance. Bryan Intihar, the producer of Sunset Overdrive and former community manager of Insomniac Games, served as the creative director of the project, with Ryan Smith serving as the game director. It was Intihar's first time working in that role on a game. The game uses a modified version of the game engine first used in Sunset Overdrive, and features the largest production team for an Insomniac game. It is intended to be the first in a series of games made by Insomniac and Sony, marking the start of Marvel Games' new strategy to work with the "best game companies" who are passionate about their characters.
Marvel's Spider-Man was announced during Sony's E3 2016 press conference on June 13. In April 2017, Ryan Penagos, Vice President and Executive Editor of Marvel Digital Media, stated that the game would be released in 2017. At Sony's E3 2017 conference, the first gameplay demo was shown and it was announced that the game would be released in 2018. Shawn Layden, the president of SIE America and chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios later confirmed that Spider-Man, and SIE's other games announced for 2018 at the conference, would be released in the first half of 2018. The game went gold on July 30, 2018, and was released on September 7, 2018.
Yuri Lowenthal is the voice and motion-capture actor for Spider-Man in the game. In early 2015, Lowenthal gained the role after some initial pushback within Insomniac due to him voicing one of the main playable characters for Insomniac's most recently released game at the time, Sunset Overdrive, but ultimately the game's lead writer Jon Paquette convinced the studio to cast him in the role due to his trust in Lowenthal's acting ability. Lowenthal worked with two stunt people throughout the game's development. He tried to differentiate between his voices for Peter Parker and Spider-Man but thought that they could not be totally different and as a result spent a large amount of time "finessing and massaging" his performance to achieve a balance.
The soundtrack contains most of the music that is featured in the game. It was composed by John Paesano and released on September 21, 2018 with 27 tracks.
|2||Eight Years in the Making||2:02|
|3||Inside the Numbers||3:32|
|4||The Golden Age||3:07|
|6||Shocking Turn of Events||4:08|
|7||All the King's Men||2:02|
|8||City of Hope||1:42|
|9||The Man He Was||3:37|
|10||Webbed from the Shadows||2:11|
|12||City on Alert||2:49|
|14||The Demon He Became||4:44|
|16||Anything for a Story||3:05|
|17||Chasing Down the Devil||2:38|
|19||The Sinister Six||3:02|
|22||No Going Back||2:16|
|24||Destroying Your Own Creation||2:30|
|25||The Final Lesson||4:08|
|27||Behind the Mask||2:20|
Marvel's Spider-Man was released worldwide on September 7, 2018. Alongside it released a Season Pass, which would unlock downloadable content as it released.
Alongside the standard edition, the Limited Edition PS4 Pro Bundle was released, which consists of the base game, a Spider-Man themed PS4 Pro, and controller. The Digital Deluxe Edition includes the full game with the Marvel's Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps DLC chapters. The Collector's Edition includes The City That Never Sleeps DLC, a custom steelbook case for the game, an artbook containing concept and unreleased art, a white spider sticker, and a Spider-Man statue. A Game of the Year Edition containing the game and The City That Never Sleeps DLC was released on August 28, 2019.
Users who pre-ordered any version of the game before September 7, 2018 via the PlayStation Store also received the following:
- A custom, one-of-a-kind physical pin
- Exclusive PS4 theme and avatar
- Spidey Suit Pack – includes instant in-game access to the Iron Spider Suit, the Spider-Punk Suit, and the Velocity Suit
- 5 extra skill points
- Early unlock of the Spider-Drone gadget
Post-launch Downloadable contents (DLC) for the game were announced following its launch:
- Marvel's Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps adds a new single-player experience in which the story unfolds in a series of three episodic expansion packs and features the first full appearance of Spider-Man's ex-girlfriend Black Cat in the game. In addition to new story missions, each episode includes new crimes, challenges, suits, as well as trophies. The first episode, called "The Heist", was released on October 23, 2018, followed by "Turf Wars" on November 20, 2018, and then "Silver Lining" on December 21, 2018. The City That Never Sleeps storyline is also available in PlayStation 5 Remastered by default.
- Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales was announced on June 11, 2020 as a standalone expansion to the game's main story and The City That Never Sleeps DLC. It chronicles the rise of Miles Morales as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Spider-Man and become a costumed crimefighter in his own right. The title is being developed for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The original game and its The City That Never Sleeps downloadable contents were announced at September 16, 2020 to be remastered in PlayStation 5, as part of the PlayStation 5 Ultimate Edition’s contents of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
- Each update patches of the game receives new free suits. However, PlayStation 4 ends with eight new free suits.
|GameRankings||89.24% (based on 58 reviews)|
|Metacritic||87/100 (based on 116 reviews)|
Marvel's Spider-Man received positive reviews from critics. Reviewers praised the web-slinging and exploration mechanic, the combat with web gadgets, the storytelling, presentation, and boss battles, while criticizing the pacing, repetition in side missions, and sometimes familiar story beats.
Critics broadly praised the web-slinging mechanic, and the exploration around New York City. Edmond Tran of GameSpot called the web-slinging mechanic "sensational", describing swinging around New York as "endlessly fulfilling", due to not being demanding on button inputs yet still feeling "satisfyingly manual" thanks to the weight feel of Spider-Man and adjustments that need to be made in motion. Chelsea Stark writing for Polygon also praised the web-slinging around Manhattan, claiming that the "breezy" movement flinging through the sky "never gets old", and that she would swing with webs to reach distant locations even after fast travel unlocked. Chris Carter writing for Destructoid described web-slinging as "arguably the most important element of [developing] a Spider-Man game", and said that Insomniac Games "nailed" the mechanics, comparing it to "arcade realism".
Combat was praised, particularly in regards to the variety of web gadgets and combat techniques, and compared favorable to the Batman: Arkham series. Jonathon Dornbush of IGN praised the "methodical thrill" of choosing orders in which to web up enemies and which web gadgets to use, as well as the enemy variety that involved strategy, calling the combat an "improvisational delight" while also saying it owes a lot to the Arkham series. Chelsea Stark of Polygon praised the variety of techniques, moves, and gadgets, and stating that the real challenge lies with finding the players' favorite arsenal and implementing it, calling the combat "rewarding". Edmond Tran of GameSpot said the "Arkham Asylum-inspired crowd fighting system suitably characterizes Spidey's acrobatic nature", stating that mixing up web gadgets, combat techniques, and timing actions right kept combat interesting.
Critics were divided on the boss battles and set pieces during the main story. Edmond Tran of GameSpot claimed that the "intensely chaotic" boss battles helped break the "monotony" of combat, praising the "unique takedowns" and "bombastic set pieces". Jonathon Dornbush of IGN called the fights "big and exciting" and "full of tense action", though also stating the first few bosses "boil down to round-based pattern recognition". Chelsea Stark of Polygon similarly said that the boss battles for some core villains involve merely a "sequence of moves", and that the challenge was disappointing for some given the legendary status of the characters.
The segments involving gameplay as Peter Parker and Mary Jane were mostly well-received, with some criticism. Chelsea Stark of Polygon said that segments as Peter were some of the most entertaining of the game's varied segments, though also criticizing the lost agency in some cinematic elements during these segments, saying the player feels more like a "witness" during them. Edward Tran of GameSpot said that the stealth mechanics featured in Mary Jane's segments aren't used enough to "wear out their welcome", and feature "memorably tense scenarios" while creating a stronger attachment to the characters. Chris Carter of Destructoid similarly called Mary Jane's stealth segments "short and sweet". However, Leon Hurley of GamesRadar+ stated that the puzzles as Peter Parker, while enjoyable enough, "smack of an attempt to give him some gameplay purpose beyond playable cutscenes", stating that Mary Jane's stealth segments were better executed for expanding the story and not overstaying their welcome.
The storytelling was mostly praised, with some citing pacing issues. Leon Hurley of GamesRader+ said that this incarnation of Spider-Man was "instantly likeable and a worthy addition to the Spider-Man canon", praising him as "charming but human" which led to comedic moments, while praising the rest of the cast. Jonathon Dornbush of IGN stated that the story consistently delivers a "sense of weight and impact", praising the time for villains to "believably develop", and giving particular praise to Peter's mentor relationship with Miles Morales and romantic relationship with Mary Jane, which he called one of his "favorite romances in a game ever". However, he criticized the "slow start" and "odd pacing issues". Edward Tran of GameSpot compared the story to Marvel Cinematic Universe films and praised Insomniac's focus on the "human side of the tale", calling it "emotionally charged", and saying that it is "shocking how devastating the events can feel" even though they are familiar to fans of the comic book series.
The game was mostly criticized for adhering to open world cliches, mostly referring to side missions, and radio towers. Leon Hurley of GamesRadar+ said that the challenges felt "lifted straight out of the Open World Side Mission Handbook", saying that these challenges felt fun due to the underlying mechanics, though the narrative side missions and Research Stations were a "mixed bag". Edward Tran of GameSpot said that the side quests "don't have the same narrative energy as the main throughline, which makes them much less compelling", and that they felt "uninspired", "strange at best", and "menial at worst", calling them "repetitive". Jonathan Durnbush of IGN said that side missions "helped bring the world of Spider-Man and its open New York City to life", but "don't quite live up to the heft of the main story", and said that stopping crimes and fighting hordes of enemies eventually began to feel like a "repetitive, going-through-the-motions activity" and a nuisance during progress to the next main activity.
Marvel's Spider-Man became the first game given permission by Marvel to use the Marvel Flipbook logo in the game and at the beginning of trailers, signifying Marvel's seal of approval and a seal of quality.
Marvel's Spider-Man sold a record 3.3 million copies in its first three days of release, making it the fastest selling first-party release published by Sony Interactive Entertainment at the time,[b] surpassing 2018's God of War which sold 3.1 million in the same timeframe. One million copies were pre-ordered, giving it the highest pre-orders of a title from Sony.
The game also became the fastest selling superhero game in the United States. In Japan, it spent three weeks at the top of the charts, and became one of the best-selling Western-developed games in the country, and the best-selling Western-developed Sony exclusive since Crash Bandicoot: Warped. In the United States, Marvel's Spider-Man stands as the best-selling superhero video game of all time.
|Peter Parker / Spider-Man||Yuri Lowenthal|
|Yuri Watanabe||Tara Platt|
|Wilson Fisk||Travis Willingham|
|Otto Octavius||William Salyers|
|J. Jonah Jameson||Darin de Paul|
|May Parker||Nancy Linari|
|Martin Li / Mister Negative||Stephen Oyoung|
|Mary Jane Watson||Laura Bailey|
|Shocker||Dave B. Mitchell|
|Norman Osborn||Mark Rolston|
|Jefferson Davis||Russell Richardson|
|Miles Morales||Nadji Jeter|
|Rio Morales||Jacqueline Pinol|
|Silver Sable||Nichole Elise|
|Dr. Morgan Michaels||Phil Morris|
|Harry Osborn||Scott Porter|
|Black Cat||Erica Lindbeck|
|Short Order Cook||Stan Lee|
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