A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Most of the game is dealing with making a stand against evil, working together as a team, and overcoming adversity. There are also some passing themes of the dangers of drugs, coping with loss, etc.
Positive Role Models
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, such as Mary Jane, are also presented as strong, independent characters, and not just sidekicks along for the ride.
Players actively play as Peter, Mary Jane, and Miles at different points in the game, all three of which are represented as strong and capable characters. There's also a wide range of diversity represented within the different neighborhoods and boroughs of New York City.
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Ease of Play
There are a LOT of nuances to learn when it comes to strapping on your web-shooters and spinning those threads. Movement and combat both have a bit of a learning curve, with lots of ways to adjust and a surprising amount of variety. Despite the complexity of it all, it still feels somewhat natural and flowing in practice.
Violence & Scariness
There is a lot of action and combat in the game, with many minions using firearms and other weapons and villains using special powers in brutal ways. There is some blood shown in the game, as well as a suicide and an apparent murder shown in certain scenes, occurring either in the background or just offscreen.
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Most of the dialogue is filled with quips, snarky banter from Peter, but words "damn," "ass," and "s--t" make occasional appearances.
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Products & Purchases
The 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 featuring in a number of collectibles, toys, clothes, and other Marvel merchandise. The game's unique take on Spider-Man also appears in its own line of tie-ins (toys, comics, etc.) and expands through additional downloadable content. The Remastered version includes the previously released downloadable content as part of the game itself.
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.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Marvel's Spider-Man is a superhero themed action/adventure game available on the PlayStation 4 and in a Remastered version on the PlayStation 5 and Windows-based PCs. Players take on the role of the popular Marvel superhero, swinging through the streets of New York in his crimefighting quest to keep the people safe from both garden variety crooks and fantastically powered supervillains. There is a lot of comic book style action, with players using a variety of abilities to incapacitate enemies that attack using everything from fists and guns to flashy superpowers of their own. There is some blood shown on occasion, as well as some background scenes of more intense violence, but nothing overly explicit. The game does contain some light profanity in the dialogue, and there's a substantial arc dealing with the rise of a new, illicit narcotic hitting the streets. Parents should also note that the "The City That Never Sleeps" downloadable expansion pack for the PS4, which features three additional story chapters, is included in the Digital Deluxe version of the game, as well as the PS5 and Windows Remastered version.
Is It Any Good?
Ever since his debut in Amazing Fantasy #15 way back in 1962, Marvel Comics' Spider-Man has made his mark by being one of the most relatable superheroes in existence. Marvel's Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4 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 also comes in a Remastered version, full of all kinds of additional cosmetic tweaks and treats. PlayStation 5 owners also get to enjoy more detailed visuals, including ray tracing, new lighting and reflection effects, a higher framerate for smoother animations, 3D audio, as well as the additional content from the The City That Never Sleeps expansion. Better still, PC gamers get all of the above, as well as an unlocked framerate, ultra-wide monitor support for a more cinematic experience, and a huge range of performance and graphic enhancements that can pull every ounce of fidelity and responsiveness out of high-end gaming PCs. Players can even take the webslinger's adventure on the road, thanks to optimization for the Steam Deck system.
The game has a massive open world recreation of Marvel's New York City as its playground. Whether you're running through the streets or swing 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 bit of 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 akin to 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 superheroes stories in gaming and a tale that, while existing outside of the mainstream Marvel canon, is a powerful story that stays true to the characters and deserves a top spot as part of the tales from the Spider-Verse.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.