Spider-Man, One Month Later

Screenshot: Kotaku, Spider-Man

Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 doesn’t have an online mode, or microtransactions. For a game of its size, it’s gotten surprisingly few patches since it first game out. Still, it turned out to be one of the more exciting releases of the year and had an active first month.

  • A few days before the game came out, a minor scandal arose regarding the game’s puddles. Yes, you read that right. People got hold of a new screenshot from the game showing Spider-Man confronting thugs at a construction site where the puddles appeared scant compared to earlier trailer footage. The developers swore this was not the case. “No. We have plenty of other places with tons of puddles,” the studio tweeted. There was outrage, mockery and memes.

  • Spider-Man came out on Friday, September 7. Bungie’s Forsaken expansion for Destiny 2 was the other major release that week, beating Spider-Man by a few days. Reviews ran the Monday before and were very positive. Ours was too for the most part, praising the web-slinging, but lamenting the lack of down-to-earth Peter Parker stuff. The game was widely considered another stellar first-party exclusive for Sony, whose PS4 has been home to several recently, most notably last year’s Horizon Zero Dawn and this spring’s God of War.

  • Like some recent games, Spider-Man launched with a robust photo mode. Even the game’s fish-eye lens effect, seemingly useless, was employed by at least one person to amazing effect.

  • Two features that were supposed to be in the game’s day-one patch didn’t get in there. A spokesperson for Sony had said that a new game plus and ultimate difficulty setting would be added.

    “The team is working on polishing the new addition to ensure the best possible experience,” the spokesperson said back on September 6. “We are targeting to release another update within the first weeks of launch which will add New Game Plus.” A month later there’s still no new update yet on when it’s coming.

  • The game had its fair share of easter eggs, including a wedding proposal that turned into a harassment-filled debacle when it turned out to have involved two people who had not broken up amicably. The drama there was exacerbated by Kotaku’s and other outlet’s regrettably one-sided initial reports about the easter egg, which were followed by harassment of the woman being proposed to. It’s unclear if Insomniac is eventually going to delete the proposal or just let it lie.

  • Some people took issue with the game’s portrayal of cops and Spider-Man’s relationship to them. Kotaku’s Heather Alexandra critiqued the game’s black and white approach to law enforcement as predominantly unimpeachable good guys and criminals as violent anarchists, but she wasn’t alone.

    The Ringer, Deadspin, and Dot Esports also called out Spidey’s overwhelming affinity for the NYPD as something that felt tonally off for players cognisant of current political climate, in which police brutality is increasingly a topic of scrutiny and condemnation.

    Others disagreed, calling complaints over the game’s treatment of the cops overblown.

  • Meanwhile many players, including those at Kotaku, proceeded to fall in love with the game’s collectibles, including the dozens of backpacks littered around its version of Manhattan. One in 10 even platinumed it, meaning they collected all of the game’s trophies, an unusually high completion rate among comparable big PS4 exclusives where it’s often lower than 5%.

  • Players tested the game’s limits and broke it where possible. IGN published a video of the polygonal block people loitering in boats along the East Bay, while others tried to see if they could visit the outer boroughs.

    While nobody made it to Brooklyn, they discovered it was possible to visit the Statue of Liberty using a glitch that gets Spider-Man on the other side of an invisible barrier surrounding Manhattan. From there, it’s possible to spin across the water with Spidey wrapped up like a ball. Not satisfied, one player continued to swim out into the sea until everything disappeared.

Overall, the game’s had a lively first few weeks but has taken to the background as it awaits the first instalment of its episodic “The City That Never Sleeps.” The first involves a heist with Black Cat and is still weeks away, releasing on October 23.


    I feel like the lack of side missions dealing with strawberry spiking was "tonally off". It's a big issue in society and it should be addressed in every game regardless of the theme because video games are serious and gamers definitely want to be dragged into political debates by bored games journalists.

      If you think about it though, Spiderman wears red, which is the colour of strawberries and Electro causes surges of electricity, also known as "spikes". So really, Spiderman fighting Electro and winning is a cleverly disguised metaphor for combating strawberry spiking.

    One of the best games of the year, which is fucking impressive in a year that's so far contained Monster Hunter World, God of War, and BattleTech (shut up, it was the best), and is yet to produce Read Dead Redemption 2.

    Sadly, I'm probably going to be playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey for... er, the rest of my natural lifespan at this point, with a 'brief' (HAH) interruption from RDR2. That DLC's gonna have to wait.

      Yeh the game was amazing and brought a big chunk of new interest into my Twitch channel, Amazing visuals, great story, some of the best writting in a comic book game ever, and just the sheer number of little things added up to an awesome experience... and OMG the ending... holy hell so well done.

      In my opinion ACO is more entertaining than Spider-Man. I know ACO is a long game but that's what you want from single player. Bring on RDR2!

      Last edited 09/10/18 10:50 pm

    Unbelievable, how has it already been a month since this game came out?

    I remember laughing myself silly when I first heard of Puddlegate. To this day, it still triggers much wry amusement. Oh gaming culture, how I love thee!

    Still haven't actually played Spiderman, though. I want to save it up for a Christmas break game-a-thon. Though I'll likely break down and play it before then.

    5 trophies away from the platinum, and 3 are story related. Will be my second this year after GOW. Great game. Bring on RDR2!

    That cop stuff is nonsense. It’s an American issue and doesn’t need to be mimicked in a product designed for worldwide release. Why politicise it just for the less intelligent (American) part of the market?
    Also, in a world with Avengers and so forth, the cops would experience a Darwinian process where super heroics eliminate the crooked cop sorts and leave a group of peeps in the profession that are more agreeable to work of costumed freaks.
    It’s a non-point.

    Just finished the game, and I stuck around to complete some of the collectible stuff because just swinging around in New York is so damn fun. The characterization of Spider Man / Peter Parker was perfect, and I really liked the story as well. Fantastic game, and I'm looking forward to the sequel, though I think they're going to have a hell of a time topping this one.

    Believe the hype. Amidst a crappy day last week I impulse bought this after all the headlines it was getting. Loving it.

    Last edited 09/10/18 5:18 pm

    Of course, Heather was 110% wrong with her assessment of the police in Spiderman as she decided to exist purely in an echochamber of her own creation and not consider properly the fact the police were shown as corruptable a few times in Spiderman...

    What did she honestly want? Spiderman going around beating the crap out of the police regularly? It's almost like they were portrayed in a sense of police = good criminals = bad due to the fact *it's derived from a comic*

      Heather was 110% wrong

      I disagreed with her article. that doesn't mean I think she was 110% off. It never ceases to amaze me how binary some people's brains work these. "I dont like X, so therefore X is wrong, bad blah blah". I can read things i fundamentally think are flawed without dismissing everything they are saying.

        And if I read the article, weighed it up and came to the conclusion I believed it was wrong? It never ceases to amaze me how binary some people's brains are... thinking people must alwayd react in only one or two ways... almost as if those people were assuming...

          now you called it

          110% wrong

          nothing is 110% wrong, hyperbolic maths aside, no article is ever truly 110%. Even the greats of misdirection, Fox News, actually has elements of truth within their stories. if you are saying something is 110% wrong, it has nothing to do with the source its more to do with you making a point about yourself.

            Just wondering, do you ever feel like you're trying to champion a cause that doesn't exist?

    I really don't see what all the fuss is about with this game, it's good but great is a very strong word.
    I found the story really predictable.
    The boss fights very repetitive.
    Odd mission choices.
    And difficulty settings didn't seem to change anything.
    Extremely, easy platinum.
    In my opinion the game is very overhyped but it is Marvel after all.

    Last edited 09/10/18 9:28 pm

    I come to these comments sections to see the ridiculously petty back and forth between the ‘old guard’. Never ceases to amaze.
    “I’m the best pseudo intellectual nerd - NO, I am! - WELL ACTUALLY that’s a straw man argument, NO actually, you didn’t split hairs enough for me - SNARK SNARK SNARK” hahaha

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