News

Spider-Man 2 review: Spidey is Miles better with twice the comic book fun, writes PETER HOSKIN


Spider-Man 2 (PlayStation, £69.99) 

Verdict: Webby wonder

Rating:

Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol.1 (PlayStation, Xbox, PC, Switch, £49.99)

Verdict: Almost complete

Rating:

I’m happy to report: it’s still the best. Swinging on strands of webbing through downtown New York is still the best form of traversal in gaming — and one of the best experiences overall. It’s been a joy doing it again in Spider-Man 2. Up. Down. Over and under. With a few mid-air tricks along the way.

The difference now — compared to the original Spider-Man game from 2018 and its semi-sequel, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, from 2020 — is that it’s even better.

Spider-Man 2’s recreation of New York City is even bigger and more detailed. Its web-swinging has now been supplemented with gliding and water-skimming. Simply getting from A to B in this game is an incredible joy.

But it’s not just the traversal. Spider-Man 2 is an upgrade all round on its already brilliant predecessors. There are now two Spider-Men — mid-20s mega-nerd Peter Parker and late-teens minor-nerd Miles Morales — whom you can switch between freely. And it ain’t a meaningless choice, either. Each opens up different spider-y abilities and gizmos with which to pummel the baddies.

Each has their own life and story, too. The central plot of Spider-Man 2 — featuring such supervillains as the big-game hunter Kraven and the gruesomely gooey Venom — is more expansive than those of its predecessors, but so too are all the separate subplots. Twice the spider means twice the comic-book-y fun.

In fact, in this game, I started to care much more than I did previously about what happens in between all the web-swinging. The destination, it turns out, can be just as enjoyable as the journey.

Swinging on strands of webbing through downtown New York is still the best form of traversal in gaming ¿ and one of the best experiences overall

Swinging on strands of webbing through downtown New York is still the best form of traversal in gaming — and one of the best experiences overall

The difference now ¿ compared to the original Spider-Man game from 2018 and its semi-sequel, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, from 2020 ¿ is that it¿s even better

The difference now — compared to the original Spider-Man game from 2018 and its semi-sequel, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, from 2020 — is that it’s even better

Unlike many gamers, I didn’t grow up with Metal Gear. I was more of a PC and Nintendo kid than a PlayStation head in the 1990s and 2000s. In fact, it wasn’t until 2015’s daftly titled Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain that I properly fell for this series of bombastic military stealth games.

Which makes this ‘master collection’ of the first 17 years of Metal Gear — from 1987’s original through to 2004’s Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, with practically every expansion and spinoff along the way — something of an education. In a good way! I’ve played some of these games since my conversion in 2015, but not all have been easy or convenient to access. Now, at last, they are.

Visually, at least, there’s a lot of variety. The earlier games are sort of top-down pixelated affairs that have you sneaking around military installations; the later ones, while still heavy on the sneaking and military installations, are cinematically 3D and full of the offbeat, self-absorbed, twisting storytelling that the series’ creator, Hideo Kojima, has become famous for.

If you ever wanted to learn about the relationships between characters with names such as Big Boss, Naked Snake and Solid Snake, now’s your chance. It’s an acquired taste — but one that most gamers seem to acquire at some point.

If you ever wanted to learn about the relationships between characters with names such as Big Boss, Naked Snake and Solid Snake, now's your chance

If you ever wanted to learn about the relationships between characters with names such as Big Boss, Naked Snake and Solid Snake, now’s your chance

Overall, this collection has done right by those games. They're not just here, fully playable and in all their different international incarnations. They're also supplemented by extra features such as on-screen comic books

Overall, this collection has done right by those games. They’re not just here, fully playable and in all their different international incarnations. They’re also supplemented by extra features such as on-screen comic books

But the thing that really stands out from this collection isn’t the variety of the games — but their similarity. The level of quality remains almost constant throughout; which is to say, very high. With the exception of how some of the female characters are handled (it’s all a bit, let’s say, teenage boy) there’s little that makes these games feel like museum pieces. They were great then; they’re great now.

Overall, this collection has done right by those games. They’re not just here, fully playable and in all their different international incarnations. They’re also supplemented by extra features such as on-screen comic books. It’s great for newcomers and combat veterans alike.

But by aiming to be thorough, the collection occasionally exposes its own lack of thoroughness. Not everything is here. The studio behind the release, Konami, has already said that it will add in some missing features — such as options to switch between new-fangled and throwback-y visuals — via downloadable updates in the not-too-distant.

Until then, this Naked Snake is going undercover. You’ll see me again soon — unless I see you first.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button