Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered PC Review

Four things I like about this game, and one I don't

Spider-Man Remastered PC

By Paul Hunter

It doesn't seem like too long ago when it would have been fair to say that PlayStation first-party games would never come to PC. But here we are in mid-2022 and already we have Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone and God of War on PC storefronts like Epic Games and Steam. Now we're just a couple of days away from perhaps the biggest PlayStation PC port to date—Insomniac Games' Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, a game rivalling Batman: Arkham City for the best superhero game ever made.

Spider-Man Remastered, if you're not familiar with the 2020 launch on PS5, included tons of exciting updates including ray-traced reflections, improved ambient shadows, updated textures, new skies and weather, high-fidelity skin, eye and teeth shaders, among many other graphical touchups. The game also featured a higher 60fps frame rate, fast SSD loading and full DualSense integration including adaptive triggers (like feeling Spidey's webs in your hands) and haptic feedback (including effects that bring the webslinger's gadgets and combat to life with greater immersion.) Another important change is Peter Parker's character model was updated: actor John Bubniak was replaced by Ben Jordan, with Insomniac stating that Jordan was a "better facial match" for voice actor Yuri Lowenthal. This caused a bit of controversy, but, at least in my view, the change was fine and made sense.

So that takes us to this week with the launch Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on PC. This "definitive" version improves upon the already incredibly impressive PS5 iteration with extensive configurability for PC users, higher-end graphical features, and much more. I've had the game now for a couple of weeks and have put in 20+ hours, the majority on my Steam Deck, but I also did some testing on my desktop to really appreciate the enhanced features. For this review, I'm going to begin with my impressions of the PC port, then get into my thoughts on the actual game itself for those that have yet to experience this breathtaking game. Here are four things I liked about Spider-Man Remastered on PC...and one I didn't.

Liked: Impressive PC Performance and Customization

Wow, let me begin by saying that on a mid- or high-end gaming PC that Spider-Man Remastered looks absolutely stellar. There are plenty of advanced upscaling options included in the PC port, like Nvidia DLSS and AMD FSR 2.0, plus different ray-tracing, resolution and VSync options.

You can also customize the framerate or unlock it entirely if you've got a beast of a PC rig. The options are vast and very impressive, but you'll need to spend some time adjusting options based on your PC specific specs or how you prefer to play (e.g. favour performance or visual fidelity). I did find the advanced ray-tracing options to be particularly stunning—the reflections on building windows or street puddles are among the best I've ever seen—but expect a performance dip unless you've got a powerful machine. I chose to reduce some of the graphical effects in order to hit that buttery-smooth locked 60fps, the way to play in my view.

This version also includes includes four difficulty settings—Friendly Neighborhood, Friendly, Amazing and Spectacular—that all tweak the enemies' aggressiveness, damage and health. For my review I played on the default Amazing setting and found it overall to be rather easy, so I recommend upping the difficulty if you're looking for a real challenge. Or, of course, bump down the challenge if you just want to enjoy the game's superb story.

For greater accessibility and enjoyment, Spider-Man Remastered features numerous options to make the experience better. One toggle that I personally enjoyed is the ability to skip puzzles, including the lab circuit puzzles and spectrograph pattern puzzles. This is my third time playing through Spider-Man and I personally find the puzzles to be the least exciting part of the game, so being able to completely skip them (and still reap all the completion rewards!) was just great.

Looking deeper into the accessibility front, you've got options to auto-complete QTEs and change button taps to hold, plus a web-shooter toggle that lets you sticky enemies with a single button tap. There's also a host of sizing and contrast options, like increasing the font size, changing various hero and ally shader colours, flicking on a HUD background colour and adding colour shaders to enemies to help you differentiate between them. The accessibility options are quite impressive and continue Sony's strong commitment to letting their games reach as wide an audience as possible.

The DualSense integration is excellent and certainly the way to go if you're playing on a desktop or laptop PC. You'll need to connect the controller to PC via a cable and from there you can tweak a few settings such as adjusting the vibration intensity or toggling on/off the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. There's also the option to use keyboard and mouse, if that's what you prefer.

As mentioned earlier, I actually spent the bulk of my time playing Spider-Man Remastered on my Steam Deck even though overall performance is equal to around the low-to-mid settings on PC. But I've always enjoyed handheld gaming and being able to play one of Sony's finest ever creations in the palm of my hand was just thrilling. Steam Deck is like the successor to PS Vita and that's simply a dream come true.

It's worth noting the while the game's overall performance on Steam Deck is moderate (e.g. I played with locked 45FPS and ray-tracing turned off), the small screen of the device means everything still looks great. I'd compare it to the base PS4 in terms of quality. Really, the best part is the portability: being able to play this game anywhere and having it still look and play fine is just sublime.

Liked: Superb Story

Looking beyond the PC upgrades, the game itself is just amazing and certainly a must-play for every Spider-Man fan out there.

Spider-Man Remastered story is top-notch and everything feels right, from the way Insomniac introduces the characters, to their emotional story arcs and dramatic end-of-game outcome. Incredible care has been taken to ensure that Spider-Man, his close family and friends, and his supervillains are presented with authenticity while also putting an original spin on them as part of Sony's newly created PlayStation Marvel Universe. The hot and cold relationship between Parker and MJ, the evil genius of Otto Octavius, and the secretive, scheming Norman Osborn are just a handful of highlights permeating this story.

Spidey's supervillains, including Rhino, Shocker, Mr. Negative, Scorpion and Electro, all look stunning in action. The same goes for Spidey's family and friends, from Aunt May to Miles Morales, the characters models, animations and voice acting is all spot on. It doesn't quite match Sony's The Last of Us Part 2 high fidelity benchmark, but it's pretty damn close.

Spider-Man Remastered on PC also includes the entire three-part The City That Never Sleeps DLC that focuses on Black Cat, Hammerhead and Silver Sable. Each episode adds roughly two hours to the experience, along with new crimes and challenges to tackle and nine fresh suits to collect. All three episodes have the same outstanding PC enhancements making this an incredibly value-packed bundle.

While on the topic of the story, I have to give a shout out to Spider-Man's fun cell phone that keeps him connected to characters like Yuriko Watanabe, a member of the NYPD who aids Spider-Man despite it breaking police rules for her to do so. While the majority of calls between Spidey and Yuri are all business, from time to time they turn awkwardly flirtatious and these moments are super funny. You can also browse social networks to see what New York residents are saying about him and these too offer good laughs.

Perhaps the best use of Spider-Man's cell phone is when he listens to J. Jonah Jameson's radio show where his biggest detractor rambles on about how Spidey is such a menace to society. Most of Jameson's radio broadcasts happen right after every good deed you do, and it's funny listening to J.J. trying to bring you down, while you always know you're in the right. Best of all, most of Jameson's on-air callers end up praising Spider-Man much to the radio host's frustration. There are dozens of these radio shows snippets over the course of the game, and they are, by far, the game's best comic relief.

Liked: High-flying Enemy-busting Combat

When you play Spider-Man Remastered you really feel like Spider-Man. That's thanks to the silky-smooth free flowing gameplay seemingly inspired by Rocksteady's Batman Arkham series. Moves can effortlessly be strung together, from Spider-Man's ability to uppercut foes high into the air to his web-swing kick to his wall-stick flying punches that knock most enemies out cold. Over time you'll unlock numerous combat abilities, like countering enemy attacks with a web blast to the face, that all can be fluidly strung together for truly unlimited combo potential.

There are 50 levels in total to attain, each one giving you a skill point to unlock abilities in three skill trees: Innovator, Defender, and Webslinger. Innovator focuses on disarming enemies, throwing abilities and silent takedowns. Defender, as the name implies, gives you an array of defensive moves to avoid damage. Finally, Webslinger enhances your air attacks and long distance striking capabilities.

Experimenting with the gameplay is all part of the fun. You'll discover that you can uppercut enemies into the air, then use your webbing to air yank them back down and then follow up with a knockout web-swinging drop kick. That's just one of endless combos you'll figure out naturally as you play and the possibilities really are endless. It's just so fun to experiment with the highly dynamic combat and the extreme finesse and fluidity of your strikes really capture the essence of being Spider-Man.

Liked: Useful Gadgets and Spider Suits

Spider-Man Remastered features 40+ different suits, including all the original game's outfits plus the DLC additions. The majority of suits come straight from the comics, but there are several original ones as well. You've got a few variations of Spidey's classic suits, plus visually stunning ones like the Secret War, Iron Spider, Armored Advanced and Arachnid-Rider suits. There are also a few comedic ones like his Bombastic Bag-Man Suit, a spare Fantastic Four costume that also has Parker wear a brown paper bag on his head. Suits not only look awesome and are fun to swap out, but most of them unlock unique suit powers that can be equipped.

What's really neat is whatever suit you're wearing is reflected in the real-time rendered cutscenes. With all cinematics done in-engine that means you can spend the majority of the game as Spider-Punk or lucha Wrestler Spider-Man and enjoy all the hilarity that come with your choice. There's also New Game+ if you want to replay the thrilling adventure using different suits for that personal touch.

In addition to the vast number of suits, over the course of the game you'll unlock eight specialized Spider-Man gadgets. These range from his signature Web Shooters to deployable to Spider Drones to his enemy-gunking Web Bombs. Factoring these gadgets into your already vast offensive arsenal makes for some wild possibilities with flashy and effective results. For instance, you can stun multiple enemies with your Electric Web, then unleash a sonic wave Concussive Blast to send them hurling off a rooftop. Alternatively, deploying a Suspension Matrix freezes enemies in the air, leaving them vulnerable to devastating air combos.

To give you sufficient time to swap gadgets on-the-fly during combat, the gameplay temporarily goes into slow-mo mode. While it does impact the combat fluidity, it does mean you swap gadgets freely without pausing the game or worrying about defending against enemy attacks during the brief moments. When you combine Spider-Man's melee and web upgrade trees, suit powers, and gadgets, it's mind-boggling how many ways there are to upgrade and customize your character.

Didn't Like: Average Side Missions

While the main story earns an A+ grade from me, a few of the open world sub-quests and challenges can be less interesting. They mainly consist of run-of-the-mill tasks we've seen time and again, like collecting objects, completing speed challenges and dismantling enemy hideouts. These routine tasks are more or less mandatory, too, since completing them awards you with tokens used to upgrade your gadgets and suits.

Overall, it would have been nice to see greater integration of these challenges into the main story. Soaring through the air catching pigeons for an old friend (yes, really) or taking smog samples to help Harry Osborn determine the cause of pollution are both noble causes, yet don't add a whole lot to the game's central narrative.

There are exceptions though, specifically the Taskmaster Challenges and Black Cat Stakeouts. Both of these side missions introduce new characters into the mix, and they're fascinating to undertake.

Thankfully though, the three DLC chapters are all excellent and perhaps most exciting, they introduce and flesh out new characters that will hopefully return in future Spider-Man adventures.

The Verdict

Spider-Man was already a must-play superhero game and the remastered version of PC is even better virtually in every way. Being able to play Insomniac's stellar title on Steam Deck is an utter treat and essentially makes the device feel like a true PS Vita successor.

Every aspect of Spider-Man Remastered is a masterclass in game design from the edge-of-your-seat story to the fluid gameplay to the eye-popping ray-traced graphics to the near-endless accessibility options. The game gets a perfect score from me because really, what more could a Spider-Man fan ask for?

Final Score: 10/10 - Masterpiece

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered details

Platform: PC
Developer: Nixxes Software
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Action-adventure
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

A key was provided by the publisher.