The playable session for Insomniac’s Spider-Man games for the PlayStation 4 at this year’s E3 was a 15 minute demo that allows you to roam the open-world as you wish in between a couple of main story beats. The game quickly introduces you to its core mechanic, and that of every major installment in the Spider-Man game history: web slinging. Insomniac renders real-time activity in New York City with great detail and lighting, and Spider-Man navigates all of its fluidly, as expected. Even when colliding with pieces of the environment that seem like the game would turn a bit jank, Peter Parker parkours his way through fire escapes and odd corners with ease. The important thing to note is how fun it is without being insanely challenging to pull off, at least at first. The R2 trigger sends a web shooting to a believable enough rooftop of a piece of the New York City skyline and carries your momentum through until you let go or initiate another web or trigger a web zip line using the button. Despite how everybody remembers Spider-Man web swinging controlling, it should be noted that at the early stage in the game in the demo, Spider-Man’s left and right hand are both controlled with the R2 trigger, and the animation uses the according one that would make the most sense from a physics standpoint.
This game obviously takes a lot of great influences from Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham series, and games like it, by featuring a Slowdown mode with the L2 trigger, the ability to perch on buildings to find way-points and icons, the ability to do a sneak attack, maybe even a combo sneak attack from on high. The base level of the combat is a kick-punch-dodge combo system like you’ve seen in most of these other games, the difference being the pace and fluidity of stringing combos.
Where is a light attack, and can be held down for an attack that thrusts enemies into the air, the is a strong attack, and of course because it’s a Spider-Man games, Spidey uses his Spider Sense which you can trigger a dodge as it goes off with the button, usually to get out of the way of heavy gun fire.
The environment is also interactive in combat scenarios, such as holding down the L1 and R1 buttons to web grab a bomb, a pile of rubble to slam onto an enemy after swinging around, or simply pulling a massive scaffolding down with brute force on top of a guy.
Variety of enemy types are introduced early enough in the game to make me confident that this will be some of the most rewarding aspects that this game has to offer compared to every game starring the web head to date.
While I wouldn’t be able to tell you what the contents are story-wise (I wasn’t particularly paying much attention), I did get to Vice the Shocker (great costume) inside of the bank and Kingpin was also mentioned. Also Peter has someone in an Oracle style role which feels a little too likened to the the Dark Knight himself.
So the E3 exclusive newspaper copies of the Daily Bugle tell me, the game is set for release on September 7.