Sling us a web, you're the Spider-Man (PS4)


Spider-Man, also known as Marvel’s Spider-Man, was released exclusively for the PlayStation 4 in September 2018 to rave reviews. This latest installment in a long line of Spider-Man video games of varying quality was developed by Insomniac Games, and could basically be described as the wall-crawler’s Arkham moment as it’s finally a genuinely excellent Spider-Man game that nails the style and tone of the character while also being an absolute blast to play.

Insomniac’s take on Spider-Man doesn’t follow any existing continuity, so the writers (including comic writers Christos Gage and Dan Slott, who were brought in as a co-writer and a creative consultant respectively) were free to take the story into whatever direction they wanted without being shackled to existing stories. They also didn’t want to create yet another origin story with Uncle Ben dying and great power/great responsibility and all that stuff because we’ve already seen that a million times, so in the game Peter Parker (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal) has been Spider-Man for eight years and fought plenty of supervillains along the way.

At its core, Spider-Man is an open world beat 'em up action game. While the design takes many cues from Batman’s Arkham outings, this is very much its own beast and if you try to approach combat like Batman, you’ll get clobbered before you can say “radioactive blood”. Instead, making full use of Spidey’s movement and various gadgets such as his web shooters is the key to success, and as a result the fights in this game can be equally spectacular to watch as they are fun to play. There are also stealth sections that resemble Batman’s predator segments, although stealth usually isn’t as vital as it is for Bats because Spider-Man’s spider-sense allows him to dodge anything (of course, the player still has to get those dodges right, which is often easier said than done because the enemies here don’t politely wait for their turn to attack).

Obviously, this being an open world game, there’s plenty of collectibles for you to discover and random crimes to stop around Manhattan, and we will be doing all of that stuff. And webswinging, of course. Plenty of webswinging. The webs attach to buildings again, and while the swinging doesn’t quite have the realistic physics of Treyarch’s Spider-Man 2 it’s still a ton of fun, and you can perform some cool tricks if you master the movement system.

This LP is a 100% playthrough of the game and the three episodes of the City That Never Sleeps DLC on normal difficulty, with solo commentary and no talking over cutscenes or important dialogue. The “Untold Tales” episodes following the conclusion of the main story are the sidequest videos that would’ve normally slotted between episodes 27 and 28/28 and 29 but were pushed back for pacing reasons. The side content in this game sadly isn’t particularly exciting in general, so I chose to move on with the plot at that point instead of posting eight sidequest videos in a row.

This game normally has QTEs but there is an option to auto-complete them, which I’ve enabled so you don’t need to look at ugly button prompts during cutscenes (and also so I don’t have to press those buttons during cutscenes). I’m also rendering the episodes at 1440p (and 4K in some cases) despite originally recording them at 1080p, in order to to avoid the effects of YouTube’s shoddy compression algorithm. You can definitely see the difference to the 1080p playback there because the bitrate is so dramatically higher, so I highly recommend watching the videos at 1440p or 4K regardless of your screen’s actual resolution! I am playing this on a PS4 Pro which supports 4K output upscaled from a native dynamic resolution maxing out at 1900p, but sadly my recording equipment can only handle 1080p.

One thing that slightly annoys me about the presentation here is the fact the PAL release only supports UK English text even if your system language is set to US English. This is fine for dialogue subtitles, but looks a bit silly on all the in-universe elements such as various computer interfaces and Spider-Man’s social media feed.

But that’s enough yammering from me, let’s get this show on the road!

Main Game – 100% COMPLETE

Episode 01: King(pin)slayer
Episode 02: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Cop
Episode 03: W. Fisk’s Totally Legitimate Construction
Episode 04: F.E.A.S.T.
Episode 05: Spider-Cop Is Back, Just Accept It
Episode 06: Am I Demon
Episode 07: Shock Treatment
Episode 08: Financial Shock (alternate title: Schultz Shocks Again)
Episode 09: Demons on the Prey
Episode 10: Home Sweet Home?
Episode 11: The Network Is Down
Episode 12: Free Fallin’
Episode 13: Hell Is Empty
Episode 14: Crossfire
Episode 15: Hidden Agenda
Episode 16: Change the World
Episode 17: Down the Shaft
Episode 18: Castle Crashers
Episode 19: Spider-Men
Episode 20: I Remember Halloween
Episode 21: Uninvited
Episode 22: Connections
Episode 23: Trucking Hell
Episode 24: Off the Rails
Episode 25: Cat’s Cradle
Episode 26: Taken to Task
Episode 27: Just A Day
Episode 28: Tombstone Piledriver
Episode 29: Jailbreak
Episode 30: State of Emergency
Episode 30 BONUS: Two Missed Calls (I accidentally cut out a couple of fairly important phone calls from the episode proper, so they’re here instead)
Episode 31: Light Up The Sky
Episode 32: Running Through My Veins
Episode 33: A Friendlier Neighborhood
Episode 34: The Rhino and the Scorpion
Episode 35: Answers
Episode 36: Vanquish the Demon
Episode 37 (STORY FINALE): The Hardest Decisions
Episode 37 BONUS: Postgame Odds & Ends
Episode 38: Untold Tales, Part One
Episode 39: Untold Tales, Part Two
Episode 40: Untold Tales, Part Three
Episode 41: Untold Tales, Final Part

The City That Never Sleeps DLC – 100% COMPLETE

Episode 42: The Heist, Part One
Episode 43: The Heist, Part Two
Episode 44: The Heist, Part Three
Episode 45: The Heist, Part Four
Episode 46: Turf Wars, Part One
Episode 47: Turf Wars, Part Two
Episode 48: Turf Wars, Part Three
Episode 49: Turf Wars, Part Four
Episode 50: Turf Wars, Part Five
Episode 51: Silver Lining, Part One
Episode 52: Silver Lining, Part Two
Episode 53: Silver Lining, Part Three
Episode 54: Silver Lining, Part Four
Episode 55 (FINAL): Silver Lining, Part Five

Click here for YouTube playlist (warning: YT’s related videos sidebar is likely to have endgame spoilers, so if you’re worried about that I recommend watching the episodes using the Polsy links above)

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Episode 01: King(pin)slayer

Good old Wilson Fisk is finally about to head to prison, and your friendly neighborhood wallcrawler is going to make sure that the crime lord doesn’t escape this time.

On a technical note, there should be a 1440p quality option for this video. The actual footage was recorded at 1080p, but I rendered the episode at 1440p in order to prevent YouTube’s compression from screwing up the bitrate. I recommend using the 1440p option because YT’s heavily compressed 1080p simply doesn’t do this gorgeous-looking game any justice. I also used a Polsy link because some morons are spoiling the ending in the related videos.

Episode 02: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Cop

After the big setpiece mission at the beginning of the game, things slow down a little. We perform some tech support for Yuri, stop some random crimes around town. and help out at work by completing rather tedious minigames. Oh, and we find out who Peter’s boss is. If you thought the game was intentionally trying to avoid revealing his identity before you actually meet him, you’d be absolutely correct.

I also meant to explain in the video why I had five extra skill points, but I guess that part was left on the cutting room floor. That’s just one of the pre-order bonuses, and while it gives you an early advantage it doesn’t really break progression or anything. You just get a few more tools to play with.

This time I decided to wait until YouTube finishes processing the 1440p version, so it’s available as of this post.

I have to admit, I did not at all expect Peter’s boss to be who he is. Very curious to see where they take that particular story thread, especially once shit starts hitting the fan.

Episode 03: W. Fisk’s Totally Legitimate Construction

Well, the Kingpin himself may be in jail, but his construction company still has plenty of locations around Manhattan and that means plenty of Fisk mooks to beat into submission.

Episode 04: F.E.A.S.T.

This Martin Li fellow seems nice. Also, reading a lot of old Spider-Man comics recently has really reminded me how back then, Aunt May primarily existed to treat Peter like a particularly fragile child, occasionally get kidnapped by villains, and end up in the hospital every five minutes because she’s 900 years old (and also might drop dead if she ever found out her nephew was Spider-Man).

I’ve been kinda late posting these episode here on the LPZ side, so let’s fix that and catch up with a double update.

Episode 05: Spider-Cop Is Back, Just Accept It

Today we’re taking a short break from story missions in order to fix up the rest of the towers and grab a few collectibles, and of course we’ll beat up more thugs along the way. This episode isn’t really required viewing if all you care about is the story, but it does feature some of the absolute best JJJ podcasts in the whole game!

Episode 06: Am I Demon

As it turns out, the reason for that silent alarm at the Fisk auction was a bunch of masked weirdos taking people hostage as they search for a certain file Fisk had in his possession. Time for some stealth action! Along with the creepy masked dudes, we also encounter some familiar faces…

Another double update because I’m still a lazy bum.

Episode 07: Shock Treatment

Oh hey there, Shocker. Of course good old Herman Schultz would be here, he’s in just about every Spider-Man game ever because since he’s just a guy who robs banks and stuff, he’s a good fit for an early game boss fight or two. Now, while nobody takes the Shocker seriously at this point, he’s actually got a pretty decent track record against Spider-Man and has beaten the wallcrawler on a number of occasions.

In this episode, we also perform some detective work, and finish up with another Fisk hideout. Oh yeah, and The Amazing Spider-Man #31 (which one of the backpack collectibles referenced) was the first appearance of Harry Osborn (and Gwen Stacy, and also the beginning of the classic “If This Be My Destiny” arc).

Episode 08: Financial Shock (alternate title: Schultz Shocks Again)

Did you think we were actually getting rid of Shocker without having a proper boss fight with him? Instead of being happy about getting busted out of jail, Herman actually turns out to be scared and desperate because his new employers do not tolerate failure. Meanwhile, Mayor Norman Osborn decides to show us exactly what kind of man he is by doing what he does best – screwing over those he deems beneath him.

Hope you like the new style of title card, by the way! I thought the earlier ones were a bit bland, so I got the idea to try something a little different from this episode onward. Getting these action shots can be kinda tough sometimes due to the in-game motion blur (which can be turned off, but I kinda like the effect in this game because it’s very well implemented), but I’ll see how it works out.

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Episode 09: Demons on the Prey

As the Demons make their presence known in the city, we go on a buddy cop adventure with our new best bro, Officer Jefferson Davis. Unfortunately, Spider-Cop doesn’t make an appearance.

Episode 10: Home Sweet Home?

As it turns out, not paying your rent can lead to a variety of problems, especially if you don’t make backups of all your superhero gadget designs.

Episode 11: The Network Is Down

Somebody’s been screwing with the network towers, and this time it’s not us! Apparently, someone screwed with the towers before us, taking them offline in the first place, and now they are at it again. Let’s find out who these guys are and what they are doing.

Peter’s whole reaction to suddenly becoming homeless was pretty relatable, particularly his reluctance to turn to his family for help. Having just recently been in a similar situation myself, I definitely get where he’s coming from.

Oh, absolutely. I’ve had to ask my folks for financial help on quite a few occasions over the years, and pretty much felt like Peter here every time.

Episode 12: Free Fallin’

Some Demons are causing mayhem at a Fisk construction site, so even though Fisk isn’t our favorite guy we should probably do something about that before someone gets hurt. This is the mission they showed off at E3 2017, and things have changed a little bit since then. No, I’m not talking about any reflection cube maps. They actually changed the cutscenes and dialog for the final release.

Episode 13: Hell Is Empty

In which things go very wrong.

(spoilers for episode) When I played this part for the first time, I was pretty surprised they killed Jefferson and a bunch of other people just like that. Obviously, Peter wasn’t going to die here, because we kinda need a Spider-Man for the rest of this Spider-Man game and Miles can’t be a replacement because we’ve seen he doesn’t have any powers. Still, that shot of MJ and Peter made for a pretty dramatic if somewhat misleading comic book cover!

EDIT: Are you kidding me right now? I’m trying to post a new update, and the forum greets me with an error message saying “No more than 3 consecutive replies are allowed. Please edit your previous reply instead, or wait for someone to reply to you.” I’ve been able to post more than three updates in a row just fine until now! Is this a glitch or a feature? Anyway, here’s the stupid update:

Episode 14: Crossfire

As the Demons continue their assault on the city following the events at City Hall last episode, we’re trying to hunt down Martin Li based on the few leads we’ve got. Seems simple enough, but of course nothing is ever that simple in the life of Spider-Man…

This is the first episode rendered in fake 4K rather than fake 1440p, and I recommend using the 4K option regardless of the actual resolution of your screen to get the most detail. While the difference is subtle (the temporal AA softens things up a lot, and the source video is still just 1080p so there’s only so much a higher bitrate can do), you’re now getting these in full source video quality! On an unrelated note, yes, I accidentally call an AC unit a fuse box at one point in this episode. I couldn’t quite make out what it was in the preview video.

“Last time, bad things happened.” Yeah, that just about sums it up, huh.

Episode 15: Hidden Agenda

Just what is Mr. Li hiding in his office?

Now, even though I say I’m leaving the lab stuff for the next video in order to keep this one from running overly long, the main reason for that is actually the fact we already have plenty of Peter Parker action in this episode and I didn’t want to end it with a lengthy lab segment.

Episode 16: Change the World

Resolved not to let Norman Osborn break his spirit, Dr. Octavius is continuing his work despite the earlier setback. This time, things will be better. They must be.

We also visit one of the Demons’ warehouse hideouts, and it would be impolite not to dress for the occasion. Despite its appearance, the Negative Suit doesn’t actually have anything to do with Mister Negative and the Demons, and originally appeared in a 1998 comic where Spider-Man ended up in the Negative Zone and his suit lost all its color. The hideout itself has been edited down to the highlights because you don’t need to see me fight six waves of dudes at this point.

Oh yeah, I completely mispronounce A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics, not AOL Instant Messenger) in the episode. It’s an acronym and should be pronounced “aim”, not letter by letter. Peter even pronounces it correctly right there in the video, so I was just being an idiot for some reason. Sorry about that!

Episode 17: Down the Shaft

Well, of course in order to get down the shaft, first we have to go up the shaft and make our way through a gauntlet of Demons. The way down is much quicker, although I don’t think Mr. Standish here appreciates that fact too much.

Also in this episode, MJ tells us all of the exciting details of her visit to Pale Horse Ridez.

Episode 18: Castle Crashers

Alright, let’s get back to it. Today, we’re doing some more side content and showing off a few of the suits and suit powers we’ve unlocked. I was unfamiliar with Spider-Armor Mk.II and had to look up its origin, and apparently it is a Dan Slott creation that first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #656. Peter had lost his spider-sense for some reason and there was a villain named Massacre running around, so Peter built this armored suit to compensate for the lack of spider-sense. Obviously, suit powers aside, the suits in the game only differ in appearance so the Spider-Armor and Iron Spider suits don’t actually offer any extra protection.

Oh, and In case you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about when I call the Spider-Armor Mk.II’s color scheme the “JPS Lotus” colors, that is a reference to the classic Team Lotus Formula One cars from the 70s and 80s that ran in black and gold/yellow, starting with this one.