Rating : 9/10
It’s been only two years since Insomniac Games released their fantastic take on Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4, but despite that short time, they have decided to give it an upgrade for the PlayStation 5. Insomniac have taken full advantage of the next-gen hardware adding in ray tracing, native 4K resolution and an incredible performance mode that makes Marvel’s Spider-Man feel like a brand-new game.
Coinciding with the release of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered comes as a bonus for getting the ultimate edition of Miles Morales. Currently, the only way to get Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is purchasing the ultimate edition or getting the standard edition of Miles Morales and buying the remaster after, but you must own Miles Morales; it’s weird. Regardless of how you get it, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is an excellent way to experience the game for the first time or finish a new game plus playthrough with all the new bells and whistles.
Since this is a remaster, this is essentially the same game from 2018 with a few minor changes and a couple major ones; the first major one being the new Peter Parker. Peter Parker’s character model got a complete makeover in Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered making him look much younger than he previously did. Insomniac said the change was made to better fit the voice actor – Yuri Lowenthal – and to improve animations and lighting for the character. Personally, I prefer the older character model; the new one looks like a weird version of the current live-action Spider-Man, Tom Holland, but it could be because I’m simply used to the older one. I will say though, the lighting and facial animations are significantly better and, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what he looks like because Yuri’s performance is still excellent.
Marvel’s Spider-Man’s story truly is as good as the first time I played it and just an amazing Spider-Man story overall filled with awesome set-pieces, emotional moments and incredible performances that make it one of the best Spider-Man games of all time. There are numerous surprises and twists that you might have seen in other Spider-Man stories in the past, but it’s done so well here and unique to this take on the web-slinger. Replaying the missions that weren’t Spider-Man-focused wasn’t as fun as the first time though since they are much slower-paced. They add a lot of cool moments for the side characters, and even Peter, for first time players, but it would have been nice to have the option to skip when playing new game plus. Regardless, the story is still fantastic but looks even better with the power of the PlayStation 5.
With fidelity mode adding new features like ray tracing, improved lighting/visuals, 4K resolution and denser population, New York City has never looked better and still feels just as good to play as it did on the PlayStation 4. Seeing your reflection off the windows while you’re swinging by or climbing/running up buildings, along with the reflection of the world around you, is awesome and definitely makes the game look like a next-gen title. Even general lighting outside from buildings and street lights all look much better, but it’s really the performance mode that you can swap to at any time that makes this feel like a new experience.
Playing Marvel’s Spider-Man still feels phenomenal and unquestionably the best it has ever felt in terms of swinging and combat in years, but both are made even better in the remaster with the addition of performance mode. Performance mode essentially removes all the fancy new PlayStation 5 features like enhanced lighting, ray tracing and additional visual effects for stable 60FPS at an upscaled 4K resolution (can dip to 1440p when needed) and it’s glorious. While the fidelity mode looks stunning, the performance mode is the way a Spider-Man game was meant to be played. The combat and swinging feel like a new game with the new buttery-smooth framerate and enhances the experience considerably. It was a tough decision to choose between the two because once I swapped over to the performance mode for the first time and experienced that 60FPS, it’s quite difficult to go back to the 30FPS fidelity mode, even though it looks beautiful.
Other new features that have been included in Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is how the DualSense controller is used, which is basically identical to how it was used in Miles Morales. You feel haptic feedback from swinging around and throwing punches and it all feels great, but there isn’t much going on when it comes to the adaptive triggers. I wish that the triggers would provide significantly more tension as you are swinging around and throw out a thwip, but it’s a very slight feeling that doesn’t add much.
On top of all that, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered also includes all three DLC which released afterwards if you are still clamoring for more, along with three new suits (Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man, Arachnid-Rider, and Armored Advanced) and some fantastic quality-of-life enhancements. The biggest one being the loading times as Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered takes full advantage of the new SSD in the PlayStation 5 with loading times taking literally seconds from wherever you are; it’s mind-blowing. Photo mode has also been improved with the addition of being able to change suit within the photo mode as well as including the new lighting system that was introduced in Miles Morales, which is much appreciated.
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is without a doubt the definitive way to experience this excellent Spider-Man game for newcomers as well as returning fans. The new Peter might take some getting used to, but you’ll forget all about him when you’re thwiping through New York at 60FPS.