Gaming

Marvel’s Spider-Man Review: Spidey in all his glory

‘Face it, Tiger. You just hit the jackpot.’

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As one of the most beloved superheroes of all time, there’s a significant amount of pressure in creating anything about Spider-Man and video games are no exception. In Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4, the folks over at Insomniac Games captured exactly what it means to be the wall-crawling hero in red and blue tights.

This game has everything: quips, great action and gameplay, quips, a masterful recreation of New York, quips, a story that’s original but feels familiar and stays faithful to its source material — oh, and did I mention quips?

Spidey's not shy about taking selfies

Spidey’s not shy about taking selfies

Web Slinger, Defender, and Innovator

A critical part of the game that Insomniac had to nail is web swinging and nail it they did. It’s the perfect balance of simple but not negligible, and it ends up being really enjoyable. While R2 is the main button for web swinging, there are other buttons you’ll end up using if you want to up your style.

In fact, part of the game’s skill tree is all about improving your traversal or web slinging skills. There are upgrades that let you do tricks mid-air, increase your speed while swinging, and while there’s a superhero landing that we’ve seen countless times in movies, another badass skill you can get is the superhero hero takeoff which is essentially a stylish high leap from the ground that adds flare to how you move.

The other two primary skills mainly have to do with combat. The Defender and Innovator skills consist of clever ways in which you can maneuver Spidey and his webs against foes. While the combat buttons feel basic enough — press square to punch or kick, triangle to use your web against baddies, circle to dodge, X to jump, and L1 and R1 to choose and use one of your gadgets — the combinations feel endless. The relatively simple controls together with the absolutely kinetic pace, fantastic action sequences, and the ability to use your surroundings ensure that the combat never feels stale.

You don’t always have to come out swinging, though. One of my favorite parts of the game is taking down thugs stealthily. The Innovator skill set comes into play here. Sneaking around an enemy base and using your web to immobilize henchmen is extremely satisfying.

New York is up for exploring

I haven’t had the chance to explore the game’s open-world as much as I would want to but when you get the game, you definitely should. You don’t have to worry about missing the sights, as part of the game is making sure you do explore the most remarkable landmarks The Big Apple has to offer. Peter Parker the photographer is also tapped into during the game. Part of the tokens you’ll need to unlock skills, suits, and other power-ups include taking photos of certain landmarks. A bonus for Marvel fans, the landmarks aren’t limited to ones we know of in real life. 😉

As seen in trailers, you’ll find various backpacks around the city. Collecting the backpacks leads to unlocking power-ups and suits so there’s a real incentive to hunting them all down. How is Peter, who is behind on his rent, able to afford all those backpacks? That question will be answered cleverly as you collect more of them. Inside the backpacks are memorabilia and is an interesting way of telling the eight-year history of this particular Spider-Man.

A funny bit about exploring: If you ever get tired of swinging across town (and after a while, you will), there’s a fast travel option that will let you use New York’s subway not as Peter but as Spider-Man. If you don’t crack a smile at some of the subway cut scenes, you need to re-evaluate your life.

Peter Parker: Nephew, ex-boyfriend, brilliant lab assistant, superhero

Without sharing too much detail about the story, what this game truly gets right is how Peter Parker balances his life as both Peter and Spider-Man. In various scenes you’ll see him talking to Aunt May on the phone while dealing with villains. In this story, his main love interest is Mary Jane Watson (MJ for short) and they had been broken up for six months. Their paths cross again as MJ, who works as an investigative reporter for the Daily Bugle, follows the same crime that Spidey is trying to solve.

In this game, you’re not just Spider-Man, you’re also Peter Parker

The dynamic between Peter and MJ struck me the most. As a guy who also attempted to get back together with his ex, the game captured that back-and-forth perfectly and while it’s not the most gripping thing about the game, it’s a testament to how Insomniac didn’t put anything in the backseat and chose the right moments to highlight the various things that make Peter the hero that he is.

MJ also happens to be a playable character, and in what I believe is one of the better missions in this game, you primarily control her while working together with Spider-Man all while discussing how their relationship has gone. It’s truly a very Spider-Man mission and I am glad this game has it.

The game also captures the brilliant mind of Peter Parker — something that’s not always evident in the movies. Working as a lab assistant to a brilliant scientist we’re all familiar with, this is one of the relationships in the game that will truly hammer home how tough it is living a double-life if you didn’t inherit a billion-dollar company from your parents.

Easter Eggs

Long-time Spidey fans will have a field day on this game early on. There are plenty of callbacks to scenes present in both the comics and the films. One of the most iconic Spidey panels of all time from The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #33 — the one where he musters all his strength to get himself out of being buried in a rubble — is paid homage to in the early stage of the game.

This iconic panel has been recreated in various Spider-Man adaptations

There’s also a reference to the very famous upside-down kissing scene in the first Spider-Man movie featuring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. The train scene in the sequel of the aforementioned film was also alluded to in a critical scene.

Other Easter eggs are placed elsewhere in the game, particularly in the landmarks that you’ll need to take photos of.

This game, while a standalone story, is incredibly self-aware and does a lot of well-placed fan service that will please both comic book and movie fans. To a certain extent, it has a Marvel Cinematic Universe feel to it. Which means you have to see it through until the end.

“Face it, Tiger. You just hit the jackpot.”

Marvel’s Spider-Man is amazing, spectacular, and the ultimate video game experience for any fan of the friendly neighborhood wall crawler.

I cannot say this enough: Insomniac Games captured the very essence of Spider-Man and turned it into a video game that’s aware of the character’s history across all forms of media.

This is a masterpiece and will no doubt be referenced as one of the most faithful adaptations of one of the most iconic superheroes ever.

Deals

Buy AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series-Star Wars Jedi: Survivor bundle

Cal Kestis’ adventure continues

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AMD Ryzen Jedi Survivor

AMD has an early offer for those anticipating the release of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

Until April 1, 2023, customers may avail of the AMD Ryzen Game Bundle which includes select 7000 series processors and access to Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

Powered by the new Zen 4 architecture, Ryzen 7000 series desktop processors offer incredible performance for gamers — up to 15% faster than the Zen 3 generation.

When purchased, gamers will receive a redemption code and will have until May 6, 2023 to redeem their copy of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

The action adventure game is set to release on March 17 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows.

The sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order stars now Jedi Knight Cal Kestis, whose story continues with adventures that will push him further than ever as he fights to protect the galaxy from descending into darkness.

Players will discover new planets and visit familiar frontiers in the Star Wars galaxy in the game, each with unique biomes, challenges, and enemies.

Watch the Star Wars Jedi: Survivor trailer. 

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Gaming

Cult classic GoldenEye 007 is coming to Xbox, Switch

Through Game Pass or Switch Online

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Before the stark rise of Call of Duty and Halo, there was 1993’s DOOM. The still-popular title revolutionized the playing field for first-person shooters on the PC. A few years after that iconic game released, another title quietly reinvented the genre for consoles: GoldenEye 007. Whereas DOOM defined the FPS genre for the PC, GoldenEye 007 did the same for consoles. Now, gamers today will officially get a way to play the game on modern hardware without the use of emulators.

Announced today, Rare is releasing the original game on Xbox and Nintendo Switch. Between the two, the focus is on the Xbox version. Both the Xbox One and the Xbox Series X/S will have access to a 4K remaster of the original GoldenEye 007, featuring higher framerates, dual analog sticks support, and local multiplayer. The HD title will come through either the Xbox Game Pass or the Rare Replay collection.

On the other hand, the Nintendo Switch version is as classic as it gets. Released almost in its original form, the Switch version will come as part of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack package of games for the N64. Additionally, unlike the Xbox version, the Switch is advertising an online multiplayer mode.

Both versions will unlock on January 27.

As it says in the title, GoldenEye 007 is an adaptation of the James Bond film of the same name. Outside of the title’s legacy in the video game world, the film kickstarted the modern era of the James Bond film franchise with Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as the iconic British spy.

SEE ALSO: Original Pokémon Snap is coming to Nintendo Switch Online

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Gaming

Blizzard shuts down almost all games in China

Including Warcraft and Overwatch

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Blizzard’s games are about to become a lot less crowded. After failing to pen another agreement, Blizzard and NetEase have (mostly) parted ways. The breakup means that the former is now forced to close down almost all of its games in China.

Because of the different policies in China, Blizzard has to reply on a local partner to distribute their games in the country. For almost a decade and a half, the developer’s partner has always been NetEase, one of the biggest names in Chinese gaming. Initially, the two companies’ deal ended in December; however, Blizzard sought a six-month extension to seek for a more long-term deal with either NetEase or another client.

While Blizzard on Weibo expressed regrets for the lack of a deal, NetEase is less than happy at being painted a villain amid the commotion. In a separate Weibo post (translated via Wowhead), the Chinese company opened about Blizzard’s persistent search for another client while maintaining a shorter relationship with NetEase. The company likens it to “riding a mule while looking for a horse” or a “divorce while still [trying] to live together.”

In a more brutal fashion, NetEase showed more emotion about the separation by physically shattering Blizzard’s orc statue in NetEase’s offices and streaming them doing so. The company also released a new drink called Blizzard Green Tea in its shop. (The term refers to a modern insult which refers to someone who acts innocently but has more lascivious motivations deep inside.)

As a result of the catastrophic separation, Blizzard has shut down its major games in the country including World of Warcraft, Overwatch 2, and Diablo. Of note, Diablo Immortal remains untouched because of a separate deal with NetEase.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft is being prevented from buying Activision Blizzard

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