Spider-Man Remastered – Review

Spider-Man was originally released on the PlayStation 4 back in 2018 and now PC gamers get a chance to have fun swinging through the streets of New York City.  As one would expect, Spider-Man Remastered on the PC looks better than ever and certainly runs better than it did when it was initially released on PlayStation 4.  Another advantage of this version is that PC players will get the full experience for one price.  That means that they will receive the full game, as well as the three downloadable content packs that help to expand the story which will, hopefully, continue in the upcoming Spider-Man 2.  You are almost immediately thrown into the action after an opening cut-scene as you race through the city to try and take down William Fisk.  Once you are done with that the world opens up to you and you can explore Manhattan at your leisure. Even though this game has been out for years, I won’t be spoiling the story here because there are certainly people who haven’t played this yet, especially if you haven’t owned a PlayStation console.

I have gone through Spider-Man at least a couple of times since its initial release so I knew what to expect as I booted up this version on Steam.  I recently picked up a new PC and I was excited for this to be the first test and the game passed with flying colors.  The gameplay for me was incredibly smooth and New York has never really looked better as I was swinging through Manhattan.  I was able to run the game on “very high” settings and the game didn’t slow down for me at all, even during some of the more chaotic scenes.    It should also be noted that Spider-Man Remastered is also a Steam Deck verified game.  I spent some time with the Steam Deck version as well and it is remarkable how well the game worked on Steam’s portable platform.  The game performed better on my gaming PC obviously, however, I didn’t have any problems with the Steam Deck version.  The gameplay was super smooth, the audio was great and New York still looked fantastic.  I’m not the biggest fan of the button placement on the Steam Deck, however, the combat in the game felt great, and overall it is a really great portable experience.  If you have a Steam Deck and want a fun open-world game to play on it, be sure to give Spider-Man Remastered a chance.

For those who haven’t played this game before, Spider-Man essentially has to protect Manhattan from some of his biggest enemies.  After fighting one of them at the beginning of the game a void is left in the criminal underworld and no shortage of people that want to try and take over.  In addition to the main campaign, there are a bunch of things for you to do in the city.  For starters, there are collectibles such as backpacks to find throughout the city.  There are landmarks to be photographed, enemy warehouses to clear out, research stations that will help with the quality of life in the city, pigeons to track down, and much more.  It is a pretty big city and will take you a few minutes to swing from one end to the other, at least until you get to the part of the game where fast travel becomes available.  There are also a variety of optional side missions for you to tackle with one of those storylines involving another big Spider-Man villain that isn’t included in the main campaign missions.  Almost everything you do in the city is being recorded in some fashion and earning you experience.  There are benchmarks such as using a finisher 250 times or perfectly dodging 500 enemy attacks.  Hitting these benchmarks gives you experience, which will help you unlock skills you might need later in the game.

One big thing about Spider-Man is that there are a variety of suits that you can wear.  There is the advanced suit which helps to generate Focus more rapidly, the Noir suit which comes with the sound of silence so enemies can’t call for backup when alerted, the Stark suit which can call in a Spider-Bro to temporarily aid you in combat and many more I won’t spoil.  These suits all come with different powers and different modifications that you can unlock and use.  You can have up to three suit modifications active at any time.  The three that I seemed to use the most were Silent Step where it takes enemies longer to detect you in stealth, Long Range Scanner which increased the range to show enemies and items that were farther away, and Bio Scanner which made scanned enemies remain highlighted until combat started.  There are other modifications you can use as well such as First Aid which increases the amount you are healed from Focus, and Blast Plates which will reduce the damage from incoming rockets and blasts.

Spider-Man also has a number of different gadgets to use such as web-shooters, spider drones, web bombs, and more.  Each can and will play a crucial role in certain situations and could be a key part in completing your current objective.  I briefly mentioned the skills earlier that you can unlock with experience points that you get from playing the game and completing objectives.  There are three different skill categories such as Innovator, Defender, and Webslinger and it will be up to you to decide what is most important and what you should unlock first to help you out on your journey.  Then of course there are different collections for you to complete if you want to do so such as finding all of the backpacks, audio recordings, newspapers, and more.  If you aren’t very familiar with the Spider-Man lore there is also a character menu where you can get a little bit of info about Spider-Man himself as well as some of his friends and foes.  Then of course you have the aforementioned DLC that should pick up where the main campaign leaves off so you will definitely not want to play these expansions until you complete the main story.

I have always been someone that prefers a controller in their hand instead of a keyboard when it comes to the majority of games.  With that being the case I played Spider-Man Remastered with a DualSense controller plugged into my PC and it worked really well.  As soon as I plugged the controller into one of my USB slots the computer almost immediately recognized it, as well as the game.  I was able to scroll through the game and play it as if I was playing it on my PlayStation 5.  I was also able to scroll through the accessibility options in the game which made it really easy to tune the game to how I wanted it.  Some of the options here include the option to skip puzzles, have QTEs auto-complete, have chase assist on, enhanced auto aim, and more.  Of course, you don’t have to use any of these if you don’t want to but I do appreciate the options being there for people who might not want to do QTEs, for example.  If you are using a DualSense controller you can also control whether or not you want the haptic feedback or adaptive triggers to be on.  If you are someone who doesn’t like those features, you don’t have to use them here.

The team over at Insomniac, as well Nexxes who helped with this PC version, also wanted you to be in control of how the game runs.  You can determine the texture quality in the game, the shadow quality, how you want the ray-traced reflections done, whether lens flare is on, the weather particle quality, and so much more.  You can use one of the pre-determined profiles or customize the settings to get the most you can out of your PC.  Something I really appreciated here was the explanations that go with each choice.  Not everyone is familiar with all of the terms surrounding graphical decisions.  For example, I bet there are quite a few people that have no clue what ray-traced reflections are all about.  If you go to that selection there is a small description on the right that tells you what it does and how it will affect the game, and potentially your computer.

My only minor complaint with Spider-Man Remastered is that when I go into the legend to turn an icon off, it doesn’t save.  What I mean by that is when I quit the game and then come back later, I have to turn those icons off again.  It isn’t a huge deal but it was an annoyance.  As I was traversing Manhattan through the air and going from mission to mission, I am continually impressed by how good it feels to swing through a neighborhood and the different ways you can do it whether it is just basic swinging, or zipping from point to point, running up the wall of a building, or hanging there so I can get a great picture.  There are plenty of options so you can control your own experience.  For me, this is definitely the definitive way to experience this Spider-Man adventure and one can only hope that Miles Morales and Spider-Man 2 arrive on PC much quicker than Spider-Man Remastered.

Score: 9/10

Originally posted on Gaming Target

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