Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4: Everything you need to know

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Insomniac Games

Every now and then, game is announced at E3 that teases a fervent fandom. Two years ago, that was Marvel’s Spider-Man, a PlayStation 4-exclusive take on the iconic hero made by Insomniac Games — the studio behind Sunset Overdrive, Ratchet and Clank and the upcoming Spyro the Dragon remake. Now, the game is finally gearing up for release. We’re sure to see more at Sony’s E3 press conference, but here’s what we know so far

Insomniac’s new take on Spider-Man is all new — which is to say that it’s not directly connected to any Spider-Man story told in past video-games, comic books, or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When it was announced, however, there was some confusion: the E3 2016 reveal took place just a month after Tom Holland wore the Spidey-suit in Captain America: Civil War. Instead, Marvel is giving Insomniac the freedom to tell an all-new story about Peter Parker’s life as a hero.

And that’s a good thing, because…

This is an older, more experienced Spider-Man

If you’re tired of hearing about how much responsibility comes with great power, than this might be the Spider-Man game for you. Insomniac says Peter Parker’s origin story isn’t part of the new game — in fact, it’s ancient history. In Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4, our hero is 23 years old, and has been swinging through through downtown New York City for about eight years.

Insomniac is dedicated to getting web-swinging right

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Insomniac Games

Talk to any web-head about Spider-Man games, and a single title comes up: 2004’s Spider-Man 2. A tie-in for the Tobey Maguire film of the same name, the game nailed the feeling of web-swinging — and Spider-Man games have been chasing that dragon ever since. That’s why Insomniac Games has been adamant in interviews that it’s going to get this crucial feeling of movement right. Earlier this year, GameInformer asked creative director Bryan Intihar if webs would stick to buildings. His answer said it all: “They better if I want this game to sell at all.”  

The question and answer may be a gag, but the gameplay mechanics aren’t. Past Spidey games have shown that having semi-realistic physics is essential to giving a game an authentic Spider-Man feel. Webs have to attach to real points in the world, Spidey’s momentum needs to be dictated by how the player swings and when they let go of their webbing, and movement needs to be fast, fluid and non-stop. According to early impressions, Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 has all of that in spades — featuring a movement system that’s easy to learn, but offers players nuanced control of the game’s titular hero.

In short, movement might be enough fun to be a game itself. And it has to be.

The game has a photo mode. And a selfie mode.

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Insomniac Games

If you could climb the tallest building in New York, you’d probably snap a selfie, too. Now you can: Peter Parker’s day job has made the transition to an in-game photo mode — letting you compose carefully crafted pictures of the wall-crawler in action or stop and take a selfie with a civilian. Nice.

Spider-Man isn’t the only playable character

No, we’re not talking about the fact that you get to play as Spider-Man’s alter-ego, Peter Parker — according to a Game Informer interview, Spider-Man’s on-again/off-again girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson will also be playable. How the Mary Jane missions will shape up still haven’t been revealed yet, but creative director Bryan Intihar says she’ll be something of an investigative reporter. “Mary Jane’s going to surprise a lot of people in this game,” he says.

There might be one more playable character, too…

Miles Morales is in the game

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Insomniac Games

The game’s E3 2017 trailer ended by revealing a fan-favorite character: Miles Morales. This character hasn’t appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but in the comics, he takes on the role of a second, younger Spider-Man who’s originally from an alternative universe. Yes, comic books are weird and complicated. Insomniac hasn’t revealed if he’s going to be playable in the final game, or if this is just a fun Easter egg — but his presence in the trailer is definitely intriguing.

Spider-Man has a lot of costumes

Don’t like Spider-Man’s new look? No problem. Insomniac has confirmed that Parker will have a whole closet of alternative costumes to change into — including a punk rock Spider-Man outfit (complete with a denim vest and, apparently, an electric guitar) and a costume based on Tom Holland’s Iron Spider suit from Avengers: Infinity War.

Better still? You won’t have to pay for them, either. Intihar says the game has no microtransactions.

You’ll be able to play it this year

Marvel’s Spider-Man for PlayStation 4 hits stores on Sept. 7, 2018.

You can also check out GameSpot’s coverage of Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4) and Giant Bomb’s coverage of Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4).

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