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Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Review: A Web-Slinging Masterpiece

  • Electrifying dual-protagonist narrative
  • Phenomenal traversal system
  • Detailed and alive open-world
  • Lofty expectations are well met, but the "fresh" feeling that came with the original "Marvel's Spider-Man" is a bit more subdued

A PS5 review code for "Marvel's Spider-Man 2" was purchased by the writer for this review. The game is available now on PS5.

Marvel's latest offering for the PS5, "Marvel's Spider-Man 2," is nothing short of a sensational masterpiece — that being a matter-of-fact statement, given it is the Sensational Spider-Man. It's the third installment in a critically acclaimed series that has consistently raised the bar from the original to the "Miles Morales" follow-up. Here, players are treated to an electrifying adventure, weaving together an intricate narrative, spectacular visuals, and gameplay mechanics that are as smooth as they are exhilarating.


At the heart of this title are its dual protagonists, Peter Parker and Miles Morales. Both Spider-Men have previously etched their marks on New York, but this game allows for a more intricate exploration of their unique narratives and skills. The seamless transition between the two characters offers players a more dynamic experience, never before seen in the series, although there are plenty of familiar experiences for those who have lived and breathed "Into" and "Across the Spiderverse." Peter brings the seasoned expertise we've come to expect, while Miles represents the newer, rawer power, which becomes especially evident over the course of the game.

Traversal: elegance in motion

"Marvel's Spider-Man 2" is perfect as a whole, but if there's just one thing that it undoubtedly perfects, it's the joy of movement. The game's traversal system is wildly satisfying, turning the act of web-swinging through the New York skyline into a balletic experience — somehow, even more than the previous games. The addition of Web Wings adds another layer of complexity and fun, allowing for even grander aerial stunts, especially when chained along with electric-based abilities.


The magnificence of the game is also embedded in its setting. Marvel's New York feels alive, larger, and more detailed than ever before. Beyond the iconic skyscrapers of Manhattan, players can explore the bustling neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Queens, and Coney Island, not to mention taking in Avenger's Tower and paying homage to Chadwick Bosman's Black Panther.

The meticulous attention to detail is staggering. One can't help but marvel (pun intended) at the intricacies like being able to peek inside windows and witnessing city dwellers in their daily routines. This organic atmosphere is further enriched with the support of side characters like Hailey Cooper, who add depth, representation, and layers to the overarching narrative.


A symphony of villains

The heart of any superhero tale is in its antagonists, and "Marvel's Spider-Man 2" does not disappoint. The game offers an original take on Venom, presenting him not just as a formidable opponent but as a force that tests the very soul of our heroes. Joining Venom are classic villains like the cunning Kraven the Hunter and the unpredictable Lizard, all of whom contribute to the grandeur of the storyline and provide pulse-pounding confrontations that will stay with you long after you finish playing.


The symbiote's storyline, in particular, is woven into the story with precision. It forces Peter and Miles to confront their inner demons, pushing them to (and beyond) their limits. As the narrative unfolds, players witness the duality of the Spider-Men's existence, capturing the essence of the struggle inherent in every Marvel story: the balance between personal lives, friendships, and the overarching duty and commitment to protect.

A commitment to characters and completionists

The "Marvel's Spider-Man" series has presented us with characters that evolve and mature, and this game is no exception. Miles, in particular, undergoes significant growth, showcasing the progression from his initial tentative steps in "Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales" to becoming a powerhouse capable of taking on formidable foes. Peter, on the other hand, continues his journey, reminding us why he has been a beloved character for over 50 years.


The "Marvel's Spider-Man" series has always been lauded for its inclusive approach, catering not just to long-standing fans but also to newcomers with more limited knowledge of the web-slinger. These games stand as gateways, welcoming both casual players and those who lean towards the completionist side of gaming.

"Marvel's Spider-Man 2," in particular, exemplifies this. Its intuitive and fluid gameplay mechanics, combined with the meticulously crafted open-world design, invites exploration and mastery. Whether you're aiming to simply complete the main narrative or dive deep into every side quest, collectible, and challenge the game has to offer, it's structured in a way that ensures every player feels accomplished. The game perfectly balances its depth and accessibility, making it an irresistible title for both seasoned Spider-Man enthusiasts and those new to the web-slinging world.


Insomniac delivers another masterpiece

"Marvel's Spider-Man 2" is an absolute triumph. It is a culmination of years of development, story-telling, and a deep understanding of what makes Spider-Man such an enduring character. With its unmatched gameplay, heart-wrenching narrative, and visuals that push the PS5 to its limits, it's clear that this game not only carries the torch for "Spider-Man" titles but for video games as a whole.


And that's great news for comic book fans since Insomniac Games is also heading up development of "Marvel's Wolverine," which is slated to launch sometime in late 2024. Given how meticulous (and incredible) "Marvel's Spider-Man 2" is, though, it's hard to imagine that any gamer would truly begrudge a delayed release if it meant improving upon the final product. Insomniac has arguably shown that anything it releases in this realm is well worth the wait.

If there was ever a doubt about which "Spider-Man" game reigns supreme, "Marvel's Spider-Man 2" puts that debate to rest and deserves its resounding score of 10 out of 10.