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Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered (PC)
★★★★★ | For him, it's spidey sense. For the rest of us, it's anxiety.
Swinging to the PC just a hair under four years after its debut on the PlayStation 4, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is the definitive take on the web-slinging superhero. It’s really that simple.
If you haven’t experienced the adventures of Peter Parker yet, you’re in for a treat. For returning true believers, the updated visuals and crisp presentation should warrant another swing. On the PC, Spider-Man soars with breathtaking visual updates that fill New York with vivid beauty, making Insomniac’s power fantasy feel more alive than before.
The story lifts elements from most Spider-Man films and comics, but the big picture never feels messy or convoluted. Peter, now separated from Mary-Jane, continues his daily grind as a penniless understudy to Dr. Otto Octavius in addition to his role as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Here, as in Sam Raimi’s iconic trilogy, Otto takes the role of Peter’s mentor and friend, making his inevitable downfall that much more tragic. The game isn’t subtle about the coming devastation, and even newcomers will likely roll their eyes at the heavy-handedness. But when everything is this charming, it’s hard to get mad about it.
In action, Spider-Man Remastered embraces open-world tropes for better and for worse. While Manhattan is a vast playground, it’s surprisingly sparse upon closer inspection. Every nook and cranny seemingly has something to do, but rarely with many variations. In a way, you could say the whole thing is three fetch quests in a trench coat.
Now, arguably, that’s not a bad thing. The races are addictive, and the web-slinging is downright therapeutic. You can get lost in it, at least for long enough not to notice the repetition until it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s only if you’re a returning adventurer that any repeats begin to drag. But by then, you already know what you’re getting into.
The main campaign is a doozy, easily a good fifteen hours in length, and rarely feels like a drag. Well, at least when you're playing as Spider-Man. It's the parts without him that don't work. Not because Mary Jane or Miles Morales are dull characters, but because Spider-Man Remastered doesn’t know what to do with them.
Instead, they’re stuck with tedious linear sneaking missions designed to deliver exposition. These moments are necessary for the plot, but they rarely go hand-in-hand with a fun player experience.
It’s hard to claim any of this is a deal breaker. Especially when you put it next to remarkable sequences like a nighttime showdown in a thunderstorm, or the breezy freedom of soaring across Manhattan without a care in the world. Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered captures the romanticism and joy of becoming a superhero in a way that no other has in years. Not since, well, the other Spider-Man games.
Considering that, who can complain?