E3 2018: Marvel's Spider-Man Hands-on Preview

Following Sony’s E3 press conference, we were able to go hands-on with Marvel's Spider-Man from Insomniac Games.


The upcoming Spider-Man game from Insomniac looks to revitalize the web-slinging gaming franchise that hasn’t seen major success in over a decade. That being said, this new title isn’t canonically tied to any game (or film) that’s come before it; it tells the story of a veteran Spidey that’s pretty far into his crime-fighting career.

Traversing New York

Before playing, one of my biggest concerns was how Spider-Man’s web-slinging would be executed. In my short time with Spider-Man, I was blown away at how well done the locomotion was. Swinging from building to building, launching off of ledges, and running on walls felt so satisfying. Gaining momentum as I swung, and then catapulting myself into the sky was a surreal experience. I felt very free in how I chose to get myself from point A to B, and no matter what I did, all of my movements were fluent and in tune with each other. Lumping this in with their work on 2014’s Sunset Overdrive, Insomniac has proven to be masters at making exciting locomotion.


During my hands-on, I got in a good variety of fight sequences. This includes helping the police during a shootout, intervening in a car chase, and taking care of Wilson Fisks henchman on rooftop. The combat in Spider-Man is often likened to that in Rocksteady’s Arkham series, which is a fair comparison. In my experience the combat in Spider-Man felt more free and open, thanks to Peter Parker’s acrobatics and high-flying antics. Web powers also add an interesting angle when fighting baddies. Use them to temporarily incapacitate armed enemies, stick foes to walls (and each other), and even send grenades flying back at those pesky henchman! One of the most impressive parts was how interactive the environment was during brawls. There was always something close by that I could use to fend off the bandits trying to end my life.

A Shocking Conclusion

Towards the end of my demo, Yuri Watanabe alerted me to a bank robbery in progress a few blocks away. Upon arrival, I found myself face to face with The Shocker. His boss battle took place completely inside of the bank he was pulling a heist on. I had to utilize my web swinging and acrobatics to stay away from his shock waves, and then strike him with a variety of large items to render him defenseless. Then, I was able to get some solid hit combos in before he went back to his shockwave shenanigans. More or less, this is how the entire battle went. Afterwards, he was detained by authorities and taken away. I’m not sure if this encounter takes place before or after the Raft leak we witnessed during the demo at Sony’s press conference.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Marvel’s Spider-Man. Combat and world traversal were very big highs for me, and I hope other bosses in the game have unique twists to them because my fight against Shocker felt a little traditional and paint-by-numbers. My short time with the game was more than enough to assure that Insomniac was a perfect choice to take on a Spidey game. I can’t wait to see what the full game has to offer when Spider-Man releases on PS4 September 7.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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