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Stimulating mechanics and heartfelt lore in ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’ 

Screenshot from ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’ video game | Sony Interactive Entertainment

Insomniac Games’ “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2” swung onto the PlayStation 5 on Oct. 20. 

The PlayStation 5 exclusive contains much excitement in the realms of storytelling and gameplay, spoiling players with endless features that enhance the game. Spider-Man 2 delivers many pros in its debut season. 

The story follows Spider-Men Peter Parker and Miles Morales as they juggle their civilian lives with their superhero personas. In Parker’s case, the red and blue Spider-Man is slowly battling an enemy within himself as well as an external one. 

The heroes find themselves taking on new foes like Sergei Kravinoff, better known to comic fans as Kraven The Hunter and the iconic Venom, a science experiment gone wrong with personal connections to Parker.

Insomniac did a fantastic job ensuring that both heroes stand out in their own right. While it is easy to be captivated by the action sequences displayed throughout the game, the game’s humanizing storytelling must be addressed.

The game squeezes in powerful themes that are not so foreign to the Spider-Man franchise. Humanity is an underlying theme throughout. In the game, players witness characters deal with relatable issues, where Morales writes a college entrance essay and Parker adjusts to life after the death of his Aunt May. 

Players see the heroes deal with love as well. While Parker solidifies his relationship with Mary Jane Watson, Morales is building his relationship with a deaf classmate and artist named Hailey.

Like the 2020 spinoff “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales,” the game manages to pull in a subtle but terrific representation. Morales’ mother, Rio, speaks Spanish at least 40 percent of the time throughout the game, making Morales’ Puerto Rican roots shine. 

The most noteworthy sign of representation in the game is in a side mission where Morales is investigating a robbery at a Harlem arts center. 

It’s common for superhero gaming franchises to sneak in subtle references to other heroes and Spider-Man 2 followed the rule effortlessly. This game delivers numerous easter eggs, similar to the previous installments. The most notable ones include references to fellow Marvel heroes Black Panther, Doctor Strange and the Fantastic Four. 

In an unexpected move, game designers decided to kill off significant villains from the Spider-Man mythos. 

On the technical side, new features have been introduced, including gliding through New York City with web wings. It was a necessary feature added to an expanded city map, shortening Spider-Man’s commute time between Queens and Manhattan.

But for everything good about the game, there are also a few hiccups. Minor glitches, including players unintentionally entering buildings, are few in between.

Another downside is that the game does not have a New Game Plus feature, allowing players to replay the entire storyline without losing completed character upgrades. According to Insomniac Games’ community and marketing director James Stevenson, that feature may come in the future.

However, these errors do not impinge upon the game’s greatness.

While the game has been out for less than a month, it is safe to call “Spider-Man 2” a gaming masterpiece. It is arguably the best PlayStation-exclusive game for 2023. To not complete the franchise with an entire trilogy would be a huge, missed opportunity for developers to further explore the “Spider-Man” lore.

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Jahlil Rush
Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant
Jahlil Rush is a Production Assistant for The Ticker.
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