Marvel’s Spider-Man from Insomniac places you in the shoes of an established, experienced web-slinger that has been on the job for eight years. Because of this, the tutorial comes thick and fast as the game doles out a huge amount of things you’re capable of as Spidey.
It could possibly be a bit much to take in for some, so hopefully, we can help you grasp the nuanced controls all the while giving you a headstart with a few of the tricks that made some of the game’s tougher moments a lot more manageable. That includes the challenges laid down by a certain someone.
While swinging as Spider-Man, momentum can be a tough thing to maintain. Relying on centimetre-perfect releases at the apex of your jump isn’t always as easy as it seems and this can make some of the game’s pursuits a bit of a frustration. By point-launching, you’re able to zip to targets and spring from them giving you a boost in speed and height. Spot your targeted ledge or roof peak and hold L2 and R2 which will see you speeding through the sky in no time at all.
It’s not so much a necessity for getting around, but performing tricks in the air can be a lot of fun and let’s face it, the real Spider-Man would do this sort of thing. Mid-air somersaults and helix-spins not only look cool, they also provide a small boost in XP. You’re already in the air, why not trick-it-up? Just hold triangle and circle while playing with the left stick and you’ll work it out. (Tricks must, of course, be unlocked in the skill tree.)
SLINGSHOT AROUND CORNERS
While swinging below the city skyline, you’re bound to smack into the sides of buildings sometimes. It’s inevitable. In these instances, Spider-Man will most likely start wall running. If you’re looking for the little extra boost again to help with momentum, holding circle as you near the meeting point at a building’s edge, you’ll speed around the corner, slingshotting yourself toward your destination.
During fight sequences where countless enemies are thrown at you, such as the combat challenges that you unlock later in the game, it’s wise to prioritise the enemies that cause the most harm. During the third act, there are enemies that hover in the air and cause all sorts of headaches if they’re not taken out before the ground troops. Pressing triangle to web-zip to them is a good way to close the gap, or simply bind them in web and throw them aside. Other priority targets that deserve your focus are snipers and turreted vehicles which can end Spidey’s end quick-smart if not taken care of.
DON’T FORGET TO SWAP
If you’ve got a couple of favourite gadgets, don’t forget that double-tapping L1 quick-swaps between your two most recently used gadgets. It saves having to pull up the wheel and risk losing the flow you’ve built up in combat.
NOT JUST GOOD FOR BUNNINGS SNAGS
One of the gadgets Spider-Man can unlock during the game is a little drone that peppers enemies with projectiles. When taking on big groups I never once hesitated to blow my wad of drones as they always made quick work of the ground troops while I focused my attention elsewhere. The only enemy type they’re not typically great against are the shielded ones.
You’ll notice in a variety of areas there are environmental hazards you’re able to pull down on enemies in the way. You’ll see one such example at the game’s early construction yard segments where you’re able to pull down scaffolding on top of thugs. These are always a one-hit finish and should be used when there’s a few in the crosshairs.
Spoiler: Beyond this point, there’ll be spoilers related to specific tasks, endgame rewards and story elements for Marvel’s Spider-Man. Proceed with caution or return once you’ve completed the game.
During the game, you’ll encounter the Taskmaster, a mysterious fanatic that studies your every move in the lead-up to an ultimate showdown. Though he’ll appear briefly for a stoush after you complete five of his challenges, it’s not until you complete them all that your final battle of attrition begins. He’s not a particularly difficult foe, in fact, it’s the challenges that precede him that cause much more grief, particularly if you’re targeting the best rank.
There are four types of challenges he sets for Spider-Man. One that tests combat, one that tests stealth, one where you must race to bomb locations and dispose of them and, my least favourite, one where you’re tasked with pursuing a drone’s wake, flying through orbs it leaves behind it.
Here are a couple of quick tips to help with each of these.
Combat – As I mentioned above, the drone you unlock is going to be pivotal for achieving a huge time bonus here. If you stay mobile and target air threats, trust your drone to do the groundwork for you. The only thing more important than the drone is maintaining your combo throughout, which means not getting hit. Good luck.
Stealth – These were the easiest of the four if I’m being honest. It’s simply a matter of mastering the optimal path throughout the area and being sure to separate thugs that are huddled up. Of course, the best way to do this is to lure them away by using R1 to shoot a distraction shot at a nearby barrel or pallet. These shouldn’t cause a lot of trouble.
Bombs – Again, these weren’t too bad once you perfected the path through the New York cityscape. Some are easier than others, giving you plenty of buildings to spring from and point-launch to, whereas some require perfect navigation and sublime control. Being sure to muffle the explosions by tapping R1 after slinging the bombs skyward is super key, too.
Drones – Ah, the drones. How I won’t miss doing these. I pray Insomniac doesn’t add more of these in future content but I fear they will. These are going to test your mastery of precise swinging. The only thing I can suggest is that you learn the course and utilise every trick in the book to save seconds. Point-launch, web-zip, slingshot around corners, it’s all key to saving time. You can’t overtake the drone, so the faster you go, the faster it goes.
Your reward for completing all of these tasks at the highest rank? Well, nothing. Just a smug sense of satisfaction.
But completing them all in general nets you the opportunity to face-off against Taskmaster and gain a trophy for your troubles.