Does Marvel’s Spider-Man still hold up and will it work on PS5?

Tom Holland in SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME /

Marvel’s Spider-Man was a game-changer on the PS4, with both Insomniac Games and Sony looking for a repeat on PS5.

With the PS5 nearing its launch, the updated release of Marvel’s Spider-Man is finding more that it’s fair share of controversy in an quite unexpected place. And it’s still going to blow more than a few minds in spite of it.

In the fall of 2018, Insomniac dropped a PS4 exclusive title called Spider-Man, or Marvel’s Spider-Man in some circles. The popular wall-crawler has had several video games over the years, with a few hits and a lot of misses. Fans weren’t sure what to expect from this one.

What they got was a character-defining game that was as accurate a portrayal of Spider-Man as the Arkham series was of Batman. Hopefully, this new Spider-Man gaming franchise doesn’t have an equivalent to Arkham Origins, the game that is perhaps the only black mark (or closest thing there is to one) in an otherwise stellar series.

A Defining Game

Marvel’s Spider-Man had everything going for it. First and foremost, you can’t have a great Spider-Man game without smooth, fluid web-swinging, and that was delivered. It was easy, intuitive and organic, as well as simple to incorporate into the combat system.

Spider-Man, Marvel's Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) and Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE. /

Fighting as Spider-Man was also absolutely brilliant. The game reflected his unique combat style, which combines his abilities, acrobatics, gear and lack of training. Spider-Man developed his own arsenal of weapons over the years which makes his fighting style even more specialized. Taking on warehouses full of bad guys was an absolute joy.

But the true standout aspect of this game was Peter Parker. Depicting him in all of his awkward genius glory is difficult. Balancing all of that with his role as Spider-Man even more so. The fact that you play a side mission where you collect pigeons for a homeless man is Parker at his absolute finest. Batman’s not going to spend time doing that. Spider-Man would.

J. Jonah Jameson, Mary Jane Watson, Aunt May, Norman Osborne, Black Cat, Wilson Fisk, Miles Morales; All of those key people who make Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s life what it is play big roles in this game, some of them receiving some well-deserved updates.

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The best choice the developers made was using Martin Li, aka Mr. Negative, as the main villain. While he has been somewhat prominent in the comics, a lot of fans are not that familiar with him. He helped the story have a unique and special feel to it. Making a more established character the villain right off the bat wouldn’t have worked as well.

Miles Morales and Spider-Man: Remastered

This game was a massive success for both Insomniac and Sony, so naturally the decision was made to make an updated version part of the launch for the upcoming PS5. But it’s not as simple as going out and buying Spider-Man: Remastered.

In June 2020, it was announced that Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales would be a launch title for the next gen system. Miles was introduced to this video game world as part of the 2020 game. Many fans immediately hoped this meant a standalone title was coming. It did.

At the end of the The City That Never Sleeps DLC, Miles was bitten by a radioactive spider which gave him powers. Parker spent the next year training Miles, getting him ready to protect New York alongside him. The upcoming game, which releases in November for both PS4 and PS5, will take Miles out on a solo adventure.

It will be interesting to play as him. In addition to wall-crawling and web-swinging, Miles has a couple of abilities that will be fun to play with. He can camouflage himself, becoming virtually invisible. And Miles has a “venom strike” which he uses to incapacitate his enemies. Stealth missions in New York just got more interesting.

The twist of the Ultimate Edition of the PS5 version is that it also includes Spider-Man: Remastered. It has the DLC, new suits and trophies, and some serious upgrades to the graphics, sound and performance.

Updates Abound

One of those graphics changes has been applied to Peter Parker’s face, which has already stirred up some controversy for the remastered game. Parker’s face wasn’t so much upgraded as it was full on changed. The face model was recast as the company felt it worked better with the new technology they were using for the Remastered and Miles Morales games.

Known for being thoughtfully accepting of change, gamers immediately reacted on social media – so much so that you’d think that Insomniac had pulled a Grinch and stolen Christmas. Admittedly, the original face modelling looked better in some ways but it’s also not the end of the world. You spend the vast majority of the game with a mask covering Spider-Man’s face, anyway.

The simple reality is that everything that worked in the PS4 version of the game will work in the PS5 version. But it’s also worth noting that the PS4 version of Marvel’s Spider-Man still holds up two years later.

The story is still engaging. The fight mechanic is still fantastic. And it’s still an absolute blast to go swinging through Manhattan. Both Spider-Man: Remastered and Miles Morales will give fans more web-swinging, wall-crawling, bad guy punching action to work with, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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Are you looking forward to Spider-Man: Remastered and Miles Morales? Let us know in the comments below!