Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man has been Spider-Manning for some time now, so it’s not another origin story thank god! (Thank you Spider-Man and Insomniac.) Of course, you play as Peter Parker – well as Spider-Man – as you fight for keeping the New York streets safe and even sometimes just help people out with finding what they have lost.
The world you are in is New York, the game is a modern open world game, the combat is very similar to the Batman Arkham games, and the story boils down to “fight the baddie bosses.” However, the way all of these are presented I something new and it’s done almost perfectly.
New York is the Marvel Cinematic Universe New York, so you will find Stark Tower among other landmarks which makes New York feel a little different. The combat is far faster, based around dodging, aerial combat, and using all your tools, as well as getting enemies separated from the group making the combat feel very different and flows in a way which feels totally different. Even the modern open-world trappings of “collect all the things” feels totally different. Collecting things doesn’t just give you XP, it gives you lots of backstory to the world, and characters (even if some of the things you find are totally stupid to find where they are).
The other thing that Spider-Man nails is the characterisation of Spider-Man. ETNL has had chats where people have mentioned it is the best representation of Spider-Man and Peter Parker in any media to date – arguably for sure but the fact it’s being talked about like that shows are well done it is. Even MJ turning up is fresh, in the way she pops up.
The story also goes places, and really leaves an impression, while some of it you can guess what’s going to happen (if you know the characters) the way it’s presented is amazing. The game also ends with multiple powerful moments which stay with you for a long time.
Spider-Man, by Insomniac, is something any PS4 owner must play it’s something truly special. That’s is why it is 2nd on the ETNL GotY list.