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Spider-Man Remastered PC review
The light dies better the second time.
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered review
Truth time: I’ve never been a big Spider-Man fan. As a kid, my comics were almost exclusively either Batman or Punisher. When I eventually discovered Spidey, the whole teenage-angst-plus-superpowers schtick felt so juvenile in comparison to the gritty tales of The Dark Knight and Punisher’s death incarnate.
Still, in more recent years, I’ve found an appreciation for Peter Parker, most recently because of the truly awesome Spider-Man: No Way Home. I’ve previously played a few hours of Marvel’s Spider-Man on PlayStation 4 when it released in 2018 and then again for the PlayStation 5 upgrade, so it was great to immerse myself in the story and expanded gameplay of the game now that its remastered form is coming to PC.
Even before it was patched to improve performance, I marvelled at Spider-Man Remastered’s 60 to 80 frames per second (fps) silky smooth gameplay at 4K. Certain key components of my desktop PC aren’t particularly new—an Intel i7-8700K overclocked to 4.6GHz, 32GB of DDR4 RAM running at 3200Hz, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti—but using Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered’s DLSS Quality setting allowed for those frames at 4K.
Out of the gate, this addressed the 30fps compromises of the PS4 and the fidelity option on PS5. Yes, this made Marvel’s Spider-Man gorgeous to look at on these PlayStation consoles, but it also undermines the fluidity of Spidey’s movement. Not too long into the campaign, you’ll unlock fast travel, but I found myself rarely using it because of how much fun it is to web-swing around this digitally recreated Marvel take on New York City.
There’s a great cadence of unlocks equally shared between different gameplay mechanics, but I was always happy to see the upgrade notification that my web-swinging had been buffed. And I honestly don’t see how you can properly embrace that awesome sense of speed at any frame rate under 60fps.
It harkens back to the grapple-glide combo in the Batman: Arkham games. Sure, you could also ‘cheat’ and fast travel in those games, but getting lost in the flow of diving or grappling for speed, then gliding for range, never got old for me, particularly when a flight ended by punting a goon at high speed. Speaking of Batman: Arkham, it’s impossible to ignore the clear influence for Spider-Man Remastered’s core gameplay.
That's not a bad thing, of course, given it’s been seven years since the release of the last game in that series, Batman: Arkham Knight. I’m absolutely interested in any game that scratches that gameplay itch. But while Spidey as a character arguably lends itself to better city traversal—and that’s coming from a massive Batman fan—the other parts feel closer to mimicry rather than recreation.
For instance, the main edge the combat in Marvel’s Spider-Man has over the Batman: Arkham games is it nails cinematic presentation. Insomniac finds that beautiful balance between preserving the flow of a fight with well-managed camera angles, then zooming in at opportune moments for a classy cinematic finisher. Outside of that, Spidey’s range of gadgets feel lesser in comparison to Batman’s wonderful toys, and the combat flow isn’t quite as satisfying as the honed inspiration in Batman: Arkham Knight.
There are story beats, too, that feel reminiscent of Arkham Knight, which I won’t spoil for PC players who haven’t played Marvel’s Spider-Man. Speaking of story, I can’t go too far into that without spoiling things, but suffice it to say I’m glad they went with an adept Spider-Man instead of an origin story. That said, there are villains in this game that feel more like an acquired taste rather than essential threats, and some of the boss fights aren’t challenging at all. There are also moments where you play as Peter Parker instead of Spider-Man, and while I appreciate the narrative importance of this balancing act, Pete’s sections drag in comparison to the full-throttle fun of playing as his alter ego.
Brawls with regular grunts offered more of a challenge for me, especially when I didn’t respect a group of enemies with a diverse range of enemy types. That said, my favourite moments were when I got to play with my prey, be those in combat sections or in some of the stealthy sections. Admittedly, the stealthy bits are sometimes painfully hard-fail scenarios. While I love the cadence of unlocks, there’s an overreliance on text-heavy tutorials for certain gadgets and abilities, which meant I tended to stick to the gameplay systems I was most familiar with.
I did encounter a handful of bugs during my time with Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, but there were several pre-release patches and patch notes from Sony that makes me believe a lot of this will be addressed at launch. For context, I experienced similar minor bugs with God of War’s PC port prior to release and patching, but they weren’t enough to detract from how incredible that game is.
And it’s a similar story for Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. While it doesn’t reach the lofty heights of God of War’s god-tier synergy between gameplay and narrative, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is still a great game and an excellent port. Spidey fans will likely get even more mileage out of it because there’s a tonne of fan service, but even if you’re not the biggest Spider-Man fan, there’s still a lot to like about Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered.
Here are the best prices for Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered in Australia
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered isn’t cheap. For comparison, God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn are priced at $74.95 on Steam. While on the pricier side for ports of games that came out years ago, it’s still a fair price to pay for beloved games with plenty of content. Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered was originally erroneously priced at $109.95, so the adjustment to $94.95 is better but it still feels costly. You can potentially buy a cheaper copy from CD key websites, but more reputable options like Green Man Gaming are listing the game at full $94.95 price.
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered FAQ
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Spider-Man game.
Minimum requirements for Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered are an Intel Core i3-4160 at 3.6GHZ (or AMD equivalent), with 8GB of RAM, and either an Nvidia GTX 950 or AMD Radeon RX 470. Recommended requirements are an Intel Core i5-4670 at 3.4GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1600 at 3.2GHz, with 16GB of RAM and either an Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB or AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB. Whatever your specs, you’ll need a 64-bit version of Windows 10, a DirectX 12-capable graphics card and 76GB of storage space.
No, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered just covers the core game and its three main story DLC releases. Insomniac has confirmed that Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is coming to PC in 2022.
Steam Deck may not yet be available in Australia but, when it is, you will be able to play Spider-Man Remastered on the handheld gaming device.