Marvel's Spider-Man

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Marvel's Spider-Man Game Poster Image
"Spider-sense"-ational tale starring iconic wall crawler.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 20 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Most of the gameplay deals with making a stand against evil, working as a team, overcoming adversity. Also some passing themes of the dangers of drugs, coping with loss, etc.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Peter Parker/Spider-Man lives by the creed "With great power comes great responsibility." He faces adversity regularly while trying to maintain an upbeat attitude. Other supporting characters (e.g., Mary Jane) are presented as strong, independent characters, not just sidekicks.

Ease of Play

There's a LOT to learn when it comes to strapping on your web shooters and spinning those threads. Movement and combat both have a learning curve, with lots of ways to adjust and a surprising amount of variety. Despite complexity, it still feels somewhat natural and flowing in practice.

Violence

A lot of action and combat, with many minions using firearms, other weapons, while supervillains use special powers in brutal ways. Some blood shown. Suicide and an apparent murder are shown in certain scenes, occurring either in the background or just offscreen.

Sex
Language

Most of the dialogue is filled with quips, snarky banter from Peter, but words "damn," "ass," and "s--t" make occasional appearances.

Consumerism

Game's titular star is one of Marvel Comics' biggest icons, with a host of comic book, video game, television, and film appearances, as well as collectibles, toys, clothes, other Marvel merchandise. The game's unique take on Spider-Man also appears in its own line of tie-ins (toys, comics, etc.) and will continue through the release of additional downloadable content.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some of the story does focus on criminals dealing designer drugs, even showing some of the drugs in question packaged for sale.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Marvel's Spider-Man is a superhero-themed action/adventure game available exclusively on the PlayStation 4. Players take on the role of the popular Marvel superhero, swinging through the streets of New York in his crime-fighting quest to keep the people safe from both generic crooks and fantastically powered supervillains. There's a lot of comic book-style action, with players using a variety of abilities to incapacitate enemies who attack using everything from fists and guns to flashy superpowers of their own. Blood is shown on occasion, and there are some background scenes of more intense violence, but nothing overly explicit. Expect occasional profanity in the dialogue, including "s--t," "ass," and "damn," and there's a substantial story arc dealing with the rise of a new, illicit narcotic drug that's hitting the streets.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byWadi T. September 10, 2018
Profanity: "ass", "hell", "damn", "bitch" and "s--t" (moderate) Sex: dialogue features some innuendo (mild) Dr... Continue reading
Adult Written byKyle Tech September 8, 2018

Older kids only

The new spiderman game has curses and violence. Spiderman never kills so its not too bad. Overall, 10 and up
Teen, 13 years old Written byGoldenGhost88 September 8, 2018

Great game, a little violence, nothing to bad

This is a very fun game, extremely exciting, great story and brilliant graphics, the controls and combos can be difficult at times, there isn’t much violence, a... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byPandaLogic September 17, 2018

Spider-Man

This game is great. I waited 2 years for it and it is totally worth it. The game is great and even though it might seem complex at first (with the controls) you... Continue reading

What's it about?

It's time to slip into some spandex, strap on your web shooters, and swing through the skies, as MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN gives players a chance to spin their webs, any size, and catch some thieves just like flies. This is still a Peter Parker that's fighting to find balance in his life as often as he's fighting criminals, and one who's never forgotten that "with great power comes great responsibility." Make no mistake about it, though: This is a new take on the iconic wall crawler, with more than a few new twists. When Wilson Fisk, aka the "Kingpin," is finally brought to justice, his incarceration leaves a power vacuum in the criminal underworld that's just waiting to be filled. Before long, Spider-Man finds himself in the fight of his life against a cadre of supervillains all trying to carve out a piece of the city for themselves. With a newly minted Sinister Six in front of him, a few close friends and loved ones behind him, and a city that needs him, it'll take everything Peter's got just to survive. But this might be one time when the power might not be enough to shoulder the responsibility.

Is it any good?

This take on the wildly popular superhero is one of the most engaging versions of the web slinger to date, and everyone from comic fans to action players will want to spin this web. Marvel's Spider-Man takes virtually everything from the comics that makes Peter Parker appealing and produces it in vivid detail. See, ever since his debut in Amazing Fantasy #15 way back in 1962, Spider-Man made his mark by being one of the most relatable superheroes in existence. He might have these spectacular powers, but each of us could picture going through Peter Parker's daily struggles. Now, 56 years later, Marvel's Spider-Man puts players as close as they'll ever come to being everyone's friendly neighborhood wall crawler without actually being bitten by a radioactive spider.

The game has a massive open-world re-creation of Marvel's New York City as its playground. Whether you're running through the streets or swinging through the skies, it's a huge map with lots of ground to cover. There are all kinds of side activities to keep Spidey busy too, from busting up robberies to stopping high-speed car chases to saving hostages from kidnappings and muggings. There's a learning curve when it comes to the game's combat, mainly due to the fact that Spider-Man has a wealth of different moves at his disposal and some are more effective than others against certain enemies. After a while, though, chaining moves together becomes like second nature and flows in a rhythmic sort of beatdown reminiscent of the Batman: Arkham games. Of course, none of this would matter much if there wasn't some sort of plot to drive the action. While it's difficult to delve into things without giving it away, this is easily one of the best superhero stories in gaming and a tale that, while existing outside of the mainstream Marvel canon, stays true to the characters and deserves a top spot in the tales from the Spider-verse.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Marvel's Spider-Man affected by the exaggerated comic book-styled visuals? Would a more realistic portrayal of action intensify the violence being shown? How can the violence in video games and comic books affect a younger audience?

  • What are some of the traits that define a "hero" in comic books? Do the powers make the hero, or is it the person? What are some of the traits that define heroism in the real world?

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