Just in time for my parental leave, a buddy of mine tracked down a PS5 for me and I was able to dive right in to the newest Spider-Man game. I loved the first one, so I was really looking forward to this.

I’m mostly going to complain about this game, but don’t get me wrong: I really enjoyed this game. Swinging through New York, doing flips, and generally loving life is tons of fun. I love the Miles Morales character and he has some new powers (invisibility and venom shock) in this game. There are cool new villains and heroes. And it’s just a gorgeous and fun experience.

Complaint #1: It’s too short! As mentioned, I’m on parental leave, so I don’t have a TON of time to play. I’m definitely not sitting around gaming all day. But even with just an hour or so each day, I’ve finished the game in less than a week. Every side mission, every main story item, every training task, every scavenger item. I should check the system to see how long I spent playing, but if I had to estimate, I’d say it was well less than 8 hours.

Complaint #2: There’s not a lot new here. I mentioned that Miles has a couple of new powers compared to the original Spider-Man, but these powers don’t change the game mechanics in a significant way. And, overall, everything is pretty much the same setup as the first Spider-Man game. The controls are the same. The missions work pretty much the same. The baddies are basically the same. Etc.

My heart goes out to the designers and developers, though. The first game was so fun and so cool. It really captured the spirit of Spider-Man. And when making this game, there was undoubtedly a bit of concern about deviating from the original. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So, I get it. They were in a tough spot and didn’t want to try to re-invent things toooo much. But the end result was that this game didn’t contain very many delightful surprises.

Complaint 3: It’s repetitious. I think this is related to complaint #2. Once you get used to the controls, this game is cake. The “puzzles” aren’t all that puzzling. The baddies don’t evolve much — probably because the game is so short. It’s pretty much the same start to finish.

Complaint 4: You expect me to play this game again? I played on the default mode. I’m not a serious gamer. I like a slight challenge but a solid story and fun gameplay. Those are my priorities. And I don’t re-play games. Why would I? I’ve already seen the story! But in this game if you want to unlock certain suits or get the highest level powers on the skill tree, you have to replay the game. (I do like that you get to taste the powers in the final mission.) So, that was annoying.

Having said all that, I want to come back to what I loved. It’s just a super-fun game. I loved that there was so much of Spanish Harlem in the story. The story was emotionally resonant. No spoilers, but I actually did tear up a bit at the final resolution. There are tons of little details that make it all a very lush character-oriented game that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I’d still give this game four stars. It’s a solid game that I’d recommend to anyone.


PS. I freaking LOVE the J Jonah Jameson show. Cracks me UP!

Categories: Entertainment