Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 released on Sony’s PlayStation 5 (PS5) to critical acclaim on Oct. 20th, 2023, selling 2.5 million copies in only 24 hours.
Announced in 2021, Spider-Man 2 is the sequel to Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018) and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (2020) has been developed by Insomniac Games, known for other PlayStation titles Ratchet & Clank and Spyro. The first Spider-Man is already one of Sony’s biggest hits, being the best selling game for the PS4. As a result, Spider-Man 2 had big shoes to fill for the PS5.
The story centers around Peter Parker and Miles Morales working in tandem to fight off against both the Venom symbiote and Kraven the Hunter before they can wreak havoc on New York City (NYC).
Game-wise, Spider-Man 2 has surpassed both Miles Morales and the first Spider-Man, which is easily seen at first glance. Being developed for only PS5 systems (instead of being made for both PS4 and PS5 like the past iterations) allows Insomniac to fully take advantage of stronger technology present only in more recent consoles to display stunning graphics that are leaps and bounds above past games. Examples of this include real-time reflections and a 4k resolution. Many models and textures have received major updates, even insignificant ones like rats on the street being modeled clearer.
The movement capabilities have been expanded upon from the original as well. On top of the normal wall-crawling and web-slinging that the first two perfected, the newest rendition adds features like flying using a cape made of webs to gain high speed and doing tricks when free-falling, such as solving a rubik’s cube in midair. These huge changes increase replayability and also tie in well into the characters of both Peter Parker and Miles Morales, being light-hearted characters at their core.
On that note, Spider-Man 2 allows players to use both titular characters side by side or separately utilizing an instantaneous fast travel system that can let players take control of either Peter or Miles across various spots in New York, with Spider-Man 2 adding sections of Brooklyn and Queens to the map that preceding games established of Manhattan, essentially doubling the playable space.
Spider-Man 2 only has a few errors that are easily missable. For instance, Miles Morales is of Puerto Rican descent, yet has a Cuban flag in his room. This error is very easy to make, seeing as the flags have the same designs with red and blue swapped. A slightly funnier glitch is one pertaining to character models, where the playable characters may inexplicably turn into a tiny white cube.
Despite the minor issues, the game has been widely acclaimed in just one short week. Critics and reviews tend to follow a score of 9/10. Based on fans’ hunger for more, another installment may soon follow. Similar to Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, a post-credits scene occurs. This particular scene hints at the Green Goblin, one of Spider-Man’s most notorious villains. Multiple people involved with production have chimed in on the topic, with senior narrative director Jon Paquette stating that the team will listen to what the fans want regarding a possible Venom related spinoff and senior creative director Brian Intihar saying that a possible Spider-Man 3 would be “pretty epic.”Overall, Spider-Man 2 has seen immense improvements over its predecessors. Tweaks to movement, graphics, and instant praise have solidified this game as one for the ages.