Spider-Man: Remastered PC Edition - Keep On Swinging
I want to start out by saying I love Insomniac’s Spider-Man. I have played through it at least 3 times (twice on PS4 and once on PS5) and have enjoyed every minute of it. The feel of swinging through New York is one of those rare moments in games where traversal becomes cathartic, it is a zen-like place to lose hours in. Simply getting from point A to point B is a joy that very few games have ever captured. In fact, the only thing I can fault from the game is there is no Bruce Campbell cameo which, while understandable, still hurts for an old Spidey head like myself. So when the opportunity came to review the PC version of the game I thought “Well, I can quickly check it out, note the PC tech stuff, review done nice and quick.” 25 hours later and I have once again played through the whole game, collecting everything and taking down all foes in the process. Spider-Man is still that good.
Here is the short version for those new to the game because they aren’t a part of the Playstation owner’s society. Spider-Man offers a fully recreated Manhatten to swing around at your leisure, a great story involving a lesser known (as well as some that are more familiar) foe and a combat system that takes inspiration from the Arkham games but amps it up in all sorts of ways. It is a fantastic game and in this version, it is topped off by a healthy bit of DLC that takes the story in a fun (if unessential) direction. There is very little to fault with the game itself. It could be argued that there are a lot of needless collecting and checkboxes throughout New York, but when the simple act of movement is so fun, I find it hard to subscribe to that theory.
But…The PC port has a few issues. Not gigantic one’s mind, but enough to make me wish for some patching pretty quickly. First I want to preface this with, I am playing a pre-release copy of the game and it may be that a launch patch will address the major concerns, but as it stands there are quite a few minor graphical issues going on in the game. Some of the most notable are stuttering and lag during cutscenes, weird reflection glitches on interactive objects and the occasional framerate stutter. None of this happened in the PS5 version and considering I am running a 3080ti and an i9 there is no hardware reason for it to occur. In the realm of PC ports, it isn’t the worst offender by a long way, but it still leaves a little to be desired. If you are comparing it to other Sony first title ports, it sits between the notoriously rough Horizon: Zero Dawn port and the fantastic God of War port.
Of course, none of this is unfixable and I would highly doubt that a studio with the pedigree of Insomniac would allow these issues to hang around for a long time so I fully expect them to be sorted out quick smart. I say all of this more as a warning about a few rough edges for early adopters. Otherwise, the game looks great on a high-end PC. I could run the game at a stable 120fps with full RTX support at 2K on my system and frankly it outstrips even the PS5 version. This is a pretty game folks and the extra graphical power really brings out the amazing detail in both the character models and the world itself. Everything about this game feels like a labour of love, a project that no detail, no matter how minute, was ignored.
I think it is also worth mentioning that trying to play this game with a keyboard and mouse is a nightmare and should be avoided at all costs. This is a game designed for a controller and a controller only. The joy of swinging around New York quickly turns to frustration when using a mouse and keyboard, so much so I am of the opinion that the devs should have bit the bullet and made a controller compulsory. I am sure that will annoy the Master Race purists out there but hey, sometimes you need the right tool for the right job. In a somewhat ironic twist, I found playing it with my Xbox controller to be the best option, probably due to its naturally better compatibility with PCs more than anything. Other than that there are no PC quirks to avoid and the game looks to adapt to a wide range of systems and configurations well.
There is one other thing I want to comment on and this may be just my personal view on things, but I feel like by not including the Miles Morales Spider-Man, Sony is still short-changing PC Players. It tells me they want to release it at a later date at full price and try to get players to double dip. Now I am all for games selling for an appropriate price, but when the game is a few years old and is only coming to PC as an afterthought, it feels a little off to be double dipping from players you have ignored for years. If Sony wants to keep treating PC as something it will port to a few years after release, they can’t be surprised when fans are unhappy about paying day one release prices and not giving them the option for all of the available content. Especially when PS5 owners could get Miles and Spider-Man in one package. There is a feeling that Sony is still just testing the waters as far as the PC market is concerned and is scared to fully commit, despite the success they have had with their ports so far.
Even with all that said and done, Spider-Man is a fantastic game. One of the highlights of the last generation of console games and this PC version will certainly hit the spot for those that missed it. A couple of little porting issues stop it from being the best version of the game but I expect that to change quickly and once it does, this will be the premium version of the game. Spider-Man is a triumph and I hope it does extremely well so Sony continues to gain confidence in the PC market and treat gamers on that platform to their top-tier titles on a more regular (and rapid) basis.
Spider-Man: Remastered PC Edition was reviewed with code kindly supplied by Playstation Australia