The swing’s the thing

Web wings are a new addition in Spider-Man 2. Image: supplied
Web wings are a new addition in Spider-Man 2. Image: supplied
From: Insomniac
For: PS5

What does it feel like to be swinging through the streets of New York City?

It feels ... well, it feels divine. Blissfully free. Weirdly natural. At once thrilling and peaceful.

There are many things to highlight about Spider-Man 2, technically the third game in the superhero series after the wildly successful original and the very playable Miles Morales follow-up.

It looks great, plays smoothly, offers depth without drawn-out levels of grinding, has a neat storyline, and features some of the most enjoyable combat yet found in an action game.

But it all comes back to the swinging.

When you weave your way around the Big Apple — as either Spidey 1 (Peter Parker) or Spidey 2 (Miles Morales) — and loop around buildings and zoom under bridges and hop off lamp-posts and leap off skyscrapers and just swing down the street, your heart lifts a little. Well, sometimes a lot.

Honestly, it is hard to explain if you have not played any of the games in the series. But gaming, at its core, is about movement, and Insomniac has basically struck the perfect formula with Spider-Man.

New to the sequel are "web wings", sort of a built-in glider that offers a nice variety from web swinging and allows you to catch wind drafts and soar over the spectacular city.

And, yes, spectacular is the right word. The game’s New York fair bustles and teems, and there is always something to see or do, some criminals to apprehend, some pretty spot to photograph.

Plot never really bothers me in a superhero game. It’s about villains, and there are plenty: Kraven, the main bad guy, is joined by Sandman, Venom, Scream, Mysterio, Scorpion and others.

Beating up said villains is fun, over-the-top and satisfying — again, basically the perfect formula. There are striking and parrying options galore, not to mention the many creative ways you can use the webbing to take the nasties down.

Switching from Parker to Morales is seamless and logical, and both characters get a suite of suits and special powers to unlock and upgrade.

There is a reason Spider-Man 2 sold more than 2.5 million copies in 24 hours, and more than five million in 10 days. It is as close to perfection as it gets.

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