June 20, 2018

E3 2018: Hands on with Spider-Man

E3 2016 gave us our first look at a current gen version of Spider-Man and a lot of people took notice, but it was not until this year’s E3, that people finally got a chance to play it for themselves and after spending a good chunk of time with it, I can say, the wait was worth it.

Sitting down for an E3 demo though, is like being told how to walk, there are only a few things you can do to make it interesting, but its just going from point at to point b, in the end, however with Spider-Man it was different. The demo on offer provided a massive portion of the city to explore, getting to close to the edge did result in a message that said turn back, but apart from that, the whole thing was up to players to experience as they saw fit. What surprised me though, was after talking with other people, some got other major story points and others got similar to me, but the resulting experience meant that if I had the time, then I would have gone back for more.

Opening up into the world, it was just waiting for me to start swinging, so I did and thankfully, the swinging mechanics are beautiful and simple, pressing R2 shoots a web out and it will attach itself to the nearest building and you are on your way. If you press jump at the top most part of your swing, you will launch yourself further and then pressing R2 again, keeps the swing going, if you played Spider-Man 2 back when it released, the resulting feeling will, well feel familiar. The biggest difference though is that, when you encounter buildings, while swinging, you keep your momentum going, rather than just stopping.

Outside of swinging, I was able to partake in a number of missions, a few of them were your average crimes being committed by silly people, one though was quite large and very story driven. One of the crimes had guys driving around town, with an active bomb in the back of a van, behind them was basically a support car and with that in place, I could not get close enough to the van. Thankfully, the game does a good job of letting players be Spider-Man, without the need to learn super complex controls. When I got close enough to an enemy, the game would tell me to press triangle, causing Spidey to launch at the enemy, throwing them from the car and then tangling them in some webs, great power, with only a single button press.

The rest of the guys fell much in the same way, but it changed up a lot, when it came to defusing the bomb, well by defusing, I mean throwing it into the air and launching a barrage of webbing at it, which feels more Spider-Man than anything else. After this a call came in, about a robbery taking place at a bank and a quick thwip across the city had Spidey landing in the safe, alongside Shocker, a villain who was released by some stroke of luck on his part and misfortune on ours, but after a nice little cutscene, the battle began.

What took place, was an epic fight, between Shocker and the opulence of a New York Bank, with Spider-Man just sort of there, as Shocker was destroying everything he could, in order to hit Spidey. Thankfully, the combat, which plays out much like the Arkham series, kept me rushing back into the fray, but with Shocker protected by his fancy new suit, some thinking was in order to defeat him, but I won’t spoil that for you here. In the end, Shocker was defeated and I was smiling, having won, a tough fight and not only did I enjoy what time I had with the game, I walked away thinking that, yes, the game looks good, but it also plays good as well, which for a Spider-Man game, is crucial.

How much fun will be found in the full game is, as of yet unknown, but I can’t wait to find out.

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