Published on August 11th, 2022 | by Ali Arkani
Spider-Man Remastered Review #PC
Summary: Spider-Man Remastered has arrived on PC and even with the graphical hiccups, its gameplay is a pure Spider-man gaming experience.
I have been waiting for a chance to play Marvel’s Spider-Man on PC since 2018 and its announcement in Sony’s summer State of Play was a huge moment for me. After years of waiting, the time has come to meet my favorite superhero on my favorite gaming platform!
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered comes with all the story DLCs published for the original title and it’s a complete experience.
An experienced Peter Parker is faced with a new threat and needs to make difficult choices between doing the right thing and staying loyal to his loved ones. Though the main campaign ends in a sort of anticlimactic and predictable way, the general experience is nice and memorable with lots of familiar characters from the world of Spider-Man as well as a few original ones.
The attention to the details of Peter’s suits is mind-blowing. Each suit is so delicately designed that the difference in the material used in it can be distinguished with ease. The same amount of attention is dedicated to the creation of the buildings and landmarks of New York city. The only visual downside of the game is the character’s faces. Unfortunately, the face models of the characters look low resolution or soulless since their skin is too matte. Because of the matte nature of the skin, the shadows are not correctly reflected on the characters’ faces and that creates unrealistic visuals. I dug around and realized this was a problem with the remastered version and the original game had better facial Ambient Occlusion.
Nonetheless and thanks to the amazing swing mechanics and ongoing criminal activities, swinging around New York never gets boring. The swinging speed is not always the same and to swing faster, players need to time their jumps and dives accordingly. This small yet tangible feature makes swinging an active effort and prevents boredom while giving the feeling that you are really experiencing the challenges of being the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.
The criminal activities and side missions are also the best I have ever seen in any open-world game. Though they are categorized into different types, they rarely are the same. For example, helping Harry Osbourne with his science stations makes the players do totally different things; from swinging through polluted air for taking samples to hitting the ground with force, and creating seismic waves to discover leaking underground pipelines. Even non-creative activities like car chases sometimes end with a twist when the criminals call for backup and turn a chase mission into a combat scenario. This ingenious mission variety makes the game’s New-York city feel alive and kicking; not to mention the cute squirrels running around the sidewalk!
The combat of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is also well balanced. There are eight gadgets that Spider-Man can use in fights. Obviously, most gadgets are web-based and they cover the enemies with web. Webbed-up enemies can be thrown at solid surfaces like walls for the iconic Spider-Man incapacitation. There are other non-webbed gadgets such as anti-gravity bombs and spider robots that are useful for crowd control. All gadgets can be upgraded for more power and frequency of use.
The melee combat of the game is similar to the Batman Arkham series with added aerial combat. Some moves and combos can be unlocked from the skill tree but there aren’t many of them. Yet, the few existing ones really serve specific purposes for special situations. For example, shield-bearing enemies can’t be directly hit, thus, using aerial combo on them really changes the tides of the battle. There are also special abilities with cooldowns that can be acquired by unlocking new suits. Fortunately, the abilities are not tied to specific suits after they are unlocked.
However the PC version of the game has technical issues. Though the game is advertised to support 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (FPS) and Ray Tracing, it suffers from performance issues; namely, frame drops. For me, it was not possible to get a solid 60 FPS on the official recommended hardware. The frame drops are not only present in the crowded streets of the city, they are experienced even in small indoor locations such as Peter’s lab. It should be noted that Sony already acknowledged the situation and is working on it. I personally believe the technical issues can be fixed with a few patches and GPU drivers, however this is a challenge for any PC developer, given the complexities of different hardware configurations.
As a person who played all the Spider-Man games since Sega Genesis’ Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin, Insomniac’s version of the New-York city’s wall crawler is the best Spider-Man game ever released. The game holds up pretty well both in visuals and gameplay mechanics. Though there are some drawbacks and shortcomings, they are not game-breaking or in any way stop the players from enjoying the title. To make a long story short, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is a diamond in the rough.
Update: 15 August 2022 – Sony has released a new update / patch that has improved some of the graphical issues