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Spider-Man 2 – Review

Image from Sony

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 was my most anticipated title of this year. After the massive success of the first game and the excellent follow up Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales I knew that Insomniac knew what they were doing with the character. Insomniac promised a tale that focused on two Spider-Men and one that introduced one of Spider-Man’s biggest villains Venom.

After putting in around 20 hours into Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 I can safely say that this game is a roaring success. Although I had some minor issues with how the story plays out pertaining to its third act. I think this is definitely Insomniac’s best Spider-Man tale. Spider-Man 2 is everything a sequel should be and is one the best games you will play this year. Here is my review for Spider-Man 2.

Image from Sony


Spider-Man 2 takes place a few months after the end of the Miles Morales sequel. Here we are introduced to a New York that has not one but two Spider-Men. The opening section of the story sees Peter and Miles working as a team to take down Sandman. It’s an exhilarating sequence that gets you acquainted with switching between Miles and Peter each equipped with their own unique abilities.

After the introduction the story starts to pick up steam when Harry Osborn and an old friend of Peter and MJ pops back into their lives unexpectedly and a new villain Kraven arrives in New York to partake in his greatest hunt. What follows is a solid Spider-Man adventure that features tons of surprises that I won’t get into here. I will say however that you are not ready for what they do with symbiote stuff and Venom here. For me at least it does absolute justice to the character and his side of the Spider-Man lore. 

The story deals heavily with the struggle of being Spider-Man while also being the person on the other side of the mask which is amplified ten-fold with the addition of Miles. During missions you will switch back and forth between the two Spider-Men and it is done insanely well. I think it helps the story feel more epic in scope and always keeps up its momentum.

The central relationship that the story leans on is between Peter and Harry. I immediately found myself instantly buying into their relationship. They really do feel like old friends and as the story progresses you really feel for Harry. MJ this time around is way more involved in the story and her character is better for it. Peter and MJ are finally in a stable relationship. The push and pull of Peter being Spider-Man keeps their relationship dynamic. MJ also has her own character arc that ties neatly into the story. Her and Pete have some really sweet moments that really solidifies their romance.

Miles also has his supporting cast returning. Rio, Ganke, Hailey and more return and are great additions to the story. Miles’s main struggle in the story isn’t accepting the fact that he too is Spider-Man but wrestling with the dilemma about how to handle Martin Lee who killed his dad in the first game. Without heading into spoiler territory this is one of the better arcs in the story and I found that it solidified what makes Miles different from Peter.

Overall, although I enjoyed the story and my jaw was on the floor more than a few times I found something to be a little lacking. The story is epic but I feel in going so large with its ambitions it lacks a little of the emotion that made the first games story so memorable. There are some of these moments but the strong voicework from Yuri Lowenthall, Nadji Jeter and the rest of the cast does a lot of the heavy lifting.

I also feel like Peter’s story overshadows Miles’s more personal story. The symbiote and ensuing events are just so cool and bombastic that Miles falls to the wayside. The third act to me also felt a tad bit rushed in some aspects. Bottom line is that if you love or even like Spider-Man as a character you will enjoy what Insomniac has done here.

Image from Sony


The improvements to combat is immediately apparent in Spider-Man 2 and is leagues above the first game and the Miles Morales standalone. The one word that I would use to describe the game’s improvements to these mechanics is refinement. 

I think the most apparent change that players will notice when it comes to combat is the removal of the gadget wheel and the usage of the combat abilities from Miles Morales. This stops you from having to look at the gadget menu during combat making the combat flow more smoothly. Each Spider-Man has a different suite of combat abilities. You trigger them by pressing the left trigger combined with a button press. These abilities shake up combat allowing for powerful attacks that help take down enemies. 

For Peter early on this comes in the form of the Spider Arms that allow him to take a group of enemies airborne, unleash a devastating flurry of blows and more. Once Peter gains the black suit this unlocks abilities that allow him to unleash the power of the symbiote. The black suit and its accompanying abilities feels amazing and truly dangerous.

For Miles the abilities coincide with his bio-electricity powers. Some of these abilities are carried over from his standalone title but as the story progresses he unlocks new ones that change the tide of battle against increasingly tougher enemies. For both Peter and Miles this steady rollout of new abilities always keeps the gameplay feeling fresh and is tied to big story moments.

Gadgets are still present and are relatively useful. You trigger them by pressing the right trigger combined with a button press. There aren’t as many gadgets as before however and they take a backseat to the powerful new abilities.

Combat gains the addition of a parry mechanic that is surprisingly tricky to master. Parrying adds a sense of aggression to gameplay which works well with the themes of the story and its involvement of the Symbiote.

Miles and Peter have all new skill trees along with a combined skill tree that benefits both Spider-Men. I appreciate that Insomniac didn’t relock skills that we had previously learned from the first two games. They though up new ones that work well with the new added abilities.

Overall the improvements to combat make this game tons of fun to play. The addition of new abilities keeps the combat fresh while other systems like the newly added parry keep combat challenging.

Image from Sony


Web swinging this time around has had some significant changes. The swinging feels immediately improved. In Spider-Man: Miles Morales we had the addition of new air tricks along with the boost and venom jump to get more air. With these additions Miles Morales had the best swinging there had ever been in a Spider-Man game. However, the devs at Insomniac have managed to top even that.

Peter and Miles have new swing animations and Peter has an all new suite of air tricks to play with. The air tricks from Miles Morales have carried over from the previous game and although they are great I would have liked to see some new tricks for him. Both Spider-Men are able to do web launches from anywhere in the city allowing them to launch into the air at great speeds. I love this addition as it removes the initial slow swinging to gain momentum and gets you right into the action. The ability to turn corners on buildings midair allows for you to quickly change direction while swinging without slowing down speed by wallrunning.

The addition of the web wings is the most significant change here. The web wings allow you to glide through the air effortlessly with the press of the triangle button. This lets Peter and Miles soar at super high speeds through the streets of New York. While using the web wings you can catch wind tunnels that are spread throughout the city that let you gain even more speed. While traveling across the East river into the newly added Brooklyn and Queens these tunnels are also helpful. These additions make for absolutely exhilarating web swinging. This is the best traversal has ever felt in a Spider-Man game to date.

Image from Sony


This time around the city has almost been doubled in size with the addition of two new boroughs being Queens and Brooklyn. These areas add some changes in scenery along with the addition of new locations that flesh out the gameworld. Such as Brooklyn Visions Academy where Miles attends school and May’s house that Peter now lives in. These new boroughs allow for more utilization of the web wings as they are a bit more spread out with less skyscrapers, especially in Queens which consists of mostly suburban neighborhoods. Although a nice addition, these new locations feel functionally the same as Manhattan and I wish they had added more gameplay variations in these new areas. 

One thing is certain however, New York City has never looked better. It is a clear upgrade in visuals that fully makes use of the power of the PS5. Ray Tracing is fully on no matter what graphics mode you choose. Additionally, Insomniac has increased pedestrian density, creating an almost photo-realistic New York.

Side activities in the open world are largely the same from what they were in the previous games. Although there are some cool additions like the drone chases along with some spoiler territory stuff later on you are largely doing the same few things. Beating up bad guys or figuring out puzzles that unlock rewards. One thing that I like is that side activities are represented by visual cues in the world. For example you will see something giving off a purple pulse in the distance that draws your attention or you could see a smoke signal that draws you to it. This decreases reliance on the map and I found myself not checking it nearly as much as I used to.

The upgrades you collect in the open world are used to upgrade Peter and Miles’s abilities but are also used to craft new suits for the pair. There are tons and tons of suits with most of them having multiple suit color variations. This makes for over 100+ suits which is a nice upgrade from the first two games.

While in the open world you can freely switch between Peter and Miles almost instantaneously. Peter and Miles respectively each have their own open world activities along with some shared ones. If you feel like you’ve been playing with Peter too much you can just switch to Miles and complete these activities with him.

Overall the gameworld this time around although familiar in some aspects is greatly improved upon.


Overall, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a triumph. It manages to deliver an epic followup to the first two games. I experienced some minor bugs along the way such as music not playing at certain times and enemies getting stuck. However, none of these bugs hampered the experience too much. I enjoyed the story but felt like it went for a more epic feel rather than one that hit emotionally. The gameplay however is a huge step about the first two installments. Spider-Man 2 lived up to my expectations and I will be playing it for years to come.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is available on PS5. Don’t miss Caitlyn’s review of  Looking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward. For everything else geeky stay right here on The Geekwave


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About the Contributor
Ronny Hammond
Ronny Hammond, Director of Online Publication
Ronny goes by he/him pronouns and is a Junior at the U. He loves to read and write and is currently obtaining his Bachelors degree in English and Game Design. He has a deep love for video games and would always be up talk your ear off about The Last Of Us. You can read up on his game reviews and listen to his guest appearances on the Crimson Gaming Corner and Wishful Thinking podcasts right here on Geekwave.