Three Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 improvements we'd love to see on PS5

Marvel's Spider-Man set a high bar for PS4 games, and with a few Marvel's Spider-Man 2 improvements on the original, PS5 games will have a new high bar as well.

Three Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 improvements we'd love to see on PS5
Lee Brady

Opinion by Lee Brady

Published

Between you and me, I'm really looking forward to collecting those Marvel's Spider-Man 2 trophies when it launches for PS5 on Friday, October 20, 2023. Mostly because I loved playing Insomniac's first Spider-Man game, which maybe has some of the best foundations for a games series ever. It's so good, in fact, that I can only think of three Marvel's Spider-Man 2 improvements I'd like to see before definitively putting this on the best PS5 games list.

Lee

Insomniac Games could improve Marvel's Spider-Man in three ways

When I thought about what I actually wanted from Marvel's Spider-Man 2, I realized quickly that I didn't exactly want things to "change" all that much. That's a testament to the first game's strength, as to me, it really nailed what a Spider-Man game should feel like. In my Marvel's Spider-Man Miles Morales review, I said that the follow-up could have had more unique moments or better pacing; however, I never felt that the entire formula should be entirely thrown out like the pre-Insomniac Spider-Man games did regularly.
That said, it was playing through that same formula a second time in Miles Morales that made me realize that there were a couple of parts of Marvel's Spider-Man that could stand for some improvement. There's nothing here that I would consider make or break — one watch of that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 gameplay trailer (embedded above) should convince anyone that we're in for a good time. I'm just being greedy — I want Marvel's Spider-Man 2 to be the best time, not just a good time.

More involved stealth combat

What I appreciate about Marvel's Spider-Man's stealth combat is that it's simple. It's very easy to get out of sight when you can swing around anywhere, and it's even easier when you can just turn invisible playing as Miles Morales. Stealth combat makes for a nice break from the frenzied chaos of Spider-Man's regular combat system, and there's a jigsaw-puzzle-like joy that comes from methodically webbing up goons until the walls are lined with the unsuspecting blights.

Spider-Man 2The sneakiest Spider-jerk.

That said, I found my patience for that simplicity wearing thin while playing Miles Morales, and Miles' invisibility powers are definitely to blame. That one addition made me realize that stealth in Spider-Man could be so much more involved. There I was hanging around the ceiling, using my spectacular spider powers to jump-scare crooks like a loser. I should have been down there, messing with them all up close, then ducking around corners last minute to avoid being seen when I run out of invisibility juice.

Yet if you slap one guy while invisible in Miles Morales, the impact of it informs everyone in the room where you are, meaning it's practically useless in stealth combat. So, there I was, hanging out in the rafters once again, trying to convince myself that this was what I wanted. It felt like Insomniac was so close to a really great improvement for Spider-Man's stealth combat — we just need to get a little closer to the action.
What little we've seen of stealth in Marvel's Spider-Man 2's gameplay footage so far has shown a few cool new moves and a cleaner UI, but still seems to maintain that divide between slinking around unseen and going head-first into the fray. My hope is that somewhere in the mix of new moves and powers, we get a few more options that make stealth combat that touch more involved in the sequel.

More variety in petty crimes

As you swing around town in Marvel's Spider-Man, you'll find yourself quickly involved in one of a handful of petty crimes, from street fights to car hijackings and sometimes even the odd burglary. These bite-sized little pockets of action help break up the main story, giving you the chance to try out some of your new powers or just otherwise be the best darn local Spider-dude New York City has ever seen.

Spider-Man 2What happened to Spider-Man, balloon courier?

That said, both Marvel's Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man Miles Morales run out of petty crime varieties very quickly — stopped one hijacked car, stopped them all. Play the game long enough and eventually you just start ignoring these crimes on the way to your destination. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel like a pretty awful Spider-dude.

If Marvel's Spider-Man 2 could just give us a handful more scenarios to drop in on, I could see myself still being interested in these. Better yet, one big improvement would be to make them feel a little more meaningful — have them build up into something resembling their own quest, rather than just dish out a little thumbs up and bonus EXP. Either way, these are due a bit of a shake-up, so here's hoping Marvel's Spider-Man 2 can deliver.

Way cleaner menus

I don't know about you, but it took me what felt like forever to acclimatize to Marvel's Spider-Man's various pause menus. I'm not sure whether it's the overwhelming amount of graphics, the sheer number of different tabs to click, or whether I'm just an idiot. Somehow I have less difficulty navigating something like The Witcher 3 than I do Marvel's Spider-Man. I mean, that just can't be right!

In some ways, I do think the crowded nature of these menus works to the game's benefit. There are just so many different upgrades and gadgets, and so many particular types of skill points needed to unlock them. It practically forces you to tune it all out and just start playing Spider-Man like it's a regular action game.

Spider-Man 2Even knowing now what I'm looking at, this is visual noise.

On the other hand, if things were just a touch simpler, maybe I would have been more engaged in the gadgets side of the original Spider-Man earlier and made more use of them. Maybe I would have sat down and learned some actual combos by the end of the game, instead of just button-mashing straight to platinum glory. All I'm saying is there's got to be a better alternative, Insomniac.

However, that's all just my opinion — what do you think? Are there any improvements you're hoping for from Marvel's Spider-Man 2? Do you think it's a little churlish to be suggesting one of the best PS4 games ever can be improved in the first place? Let us know down in the comments below.
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Final Fantasy VII Rebirth), one eye on the past (PS Plus Premium games), and his secret third eye on junk he really likes (Sonic games; Kingdom Hearts). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
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