Spider-Man Catch-All

Vector wrote:

While I'm very different and like the slow progression of unlocked skills and figuring out all the interactions and tools bit by bit. I'm a sucker for that style of open world game.

Personally I prefer gaining new items, weapons, or powers through the game world Zelda or Metroid style, but the core is the same: a steady gain of new abilities and powers. The problem here is, especially for the sort of combat they've designed (it's honestly a bit more character action in execution than it is Arkham), some of the unlockable abilities are things that should just be a base part of the gameplay. Combat feels barebones without it and Spider-Man feels like an actual super hero with them.

Sadly it's been long enough I cannot recall any specifics, which means my argument is vague and limited.

To be clear, I'd be completely okay with waiting as long as needed. I'm one of those people (like many of us) that value quality over a rushed or quick product.

The Taskmaster drone challenges SSUUCCKK.

The other 3 range between okay to really fun.

I had stopped playing this because mercenaries patrolling the streets of New York felt a little too real right now, but I found myself playing for a couple hours last night while waiting for a couple new purchases to download.

My main point of comparison with this game has been the Arkham series, but the deeper into it I get, the more it reminds me of Infamous Second Son. As a launch title, Infamous Second Son has gradually been overshadowed by other exclusives and doesn't really get much attention even from Sony these days. Suckerpunch has moved on to other projects, as well. But for me, Infamous Second Son is still some of the most fun I've had with a PS4 exclusive, and Spider-Man shares a lot of elements with it.

You have the realistically rendered real-life city, a map littered with collectables, and an escalating level of danger the further you get into the game. You have some really fun super powers with an emphasis on fun ways to get around the city, and a badass photo mode.

But Infamous Second Son is a lot more restrained. Fewer collectables, fewer mobs randomly spawning on you, fewer map resets. Instead of giving you access to the full city right away and then adding more and more events and collectables over time, Infamous Second Son unlocks the city in stages, and that honestly works a lot better for me. In Spider-Man, I feel like I spend a lot of time just running back and forth across places I'm already familiar with. Any sense of discovery or novelty is long gone at this point.

Anyway, if you liked this game, Infamous Second Son might be worth checking out. It's dirt cheap most of the time, and I think it's even part of PS Now if you want to pay a couple bucks to rent it for a month.

Vector wrote:

While I'm very different and like the slow progression of unlocked skills and figuring out all the interactions and tools bit by bit. I'm a sucker for that style of open world game.

I meant to respond to this before. I like the gradual process of learning how skills and tools interact, too, but I prefer when I can just get most of that stuff up front and learn at my own pace. With this game, I feel like I didn't really get to start to get access to interesting interactions and maneuvers until I'd unlocked the first half of the skill trees.

Yeah, the whole taskmaster thing was a bit too hard and punishing for any mistake. Redoing it 80 times to nail it eventually loses the fun.

The realities to NY and now is unreal considering I just played through this in January and figured ha what a plot point.....Uhoh.....

Thanks for the lengthy response, Clock. Appreciate the time you took to write it.

I agree with a lot of what you said. I think I like that the entire city is open to me from the beginning just because a lot of open world games do the slow unlocking of areas method and this felt just different enough.

The hand gun disarm and perfect dodge feel like they should have been unlocked at the very beginning of the game.

Since you liked Second Son so much, are you interested in Suckerpunch's next game Ghost of Tushsima? I'm on-board purely because I just REALLY want to run around in that era of Japan. Reminds me of my wife's village.

Infamous: Second Son was so damn fun to play. The powers made that game a joy to move around Seattle, the combat was dynamic & challenging. I'd still love for Sucker Punch to go back to developing a new Infamous on PS5.

Infamous is a damn fine game. I didn’t care for the sequel as much. Great powers.

chooka1 wrote:

Infamous is a damn fine game. I didn’t care for the sequel as much. Great powers.

The sequel is weird, because if memory serves, you spend the first game making good vs evil decisions and it all goes back to square one in the sequel.

I've actually played First Light, the DLC for Infamous: Second Son, recently. I played the game proper when it was released, but had never gotten around to the DLC, so when I got an HDR-capable TV at the beginning of the year I figured it would be a good showcase for the lighting effects.

Honestly, I enjoyed the game when it came out, but it hasn't aged all that well. One of the primary complaints against Insomniac's Spider-Man is that it's a weirdly antiquated open world game, but it turns out it's still more modern than Infamous: Second Son. In addition to the area gating people have been talking about here, all the quests are of the very gamey "guy with an exclamation point over their head" variety, and the city is sparsely populated in a way that was par for the course then but shows how more modern Spider-Man is. And I remember loving the traversal back then, but it's got nothing on Spider-Man's web swinging. And of course it didn't look nearly as good as I remembered; it was good for the time, but when you fire it up today it's immediately noticeable how low-poly all the geometry is and how low the budget is for assets, so everything looks cut-and-pasted over and over wherever you happen to be. Storytelling also seemed to be a lot more blunt and clumsy than I've gotten used to.

As is true for pretty much all video games, rose-colored glasses make it look a little better than it turns out to be in the cold light of modern day.

Spider-Man is undoubtedly prettier and more technologically advanced. I don't think I said otherwise. Launch games will never look as good or be as technologically complex as games at the end of a generation.

But graphics can only carry a game so far, and I found the gameplay of Infamous Second Son more enjoyable than Spider-Man. (The main game. I haven't played the First Light DLC.) Part of that might simply be that there's a whole lot less game there. Spider-Man frequently feels bloated, like a smaller game puffed up to hit a specific number of hours.

Vector wrote:

Since you liked Second Son so much, are you interested in Suckerpunch's next game Ghost of Tushsima? I'm on-board purely because I just REALLY want to run around in that era of Japan. Reminds me of my wife's village.

I just noticed that the forum or my browser ate my reply to this. Short version: I'm conflicted. I like the setting, the developer, and some of the things they've shown off like the Kurosawa-inspired black and white mode.

At the same time, the bit they showed off in the State of Play where they cleared the enemy encampment through stealth or direct confrontation just looked really tired. The whole sales pitch makes the game sound like something I've played many times already and am not that interested in.

On the other other hand, however, it looks like it might be great comfort food gaming, and come July, I might really want some more of that.

After playing Horizon Zero Dawn, Spider-Man feels like a little newborn baby game size-wise.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I just noticed that the forum or my browser ate my reply to this. Short version: I'm conflicted. I like the setting, the developer, and some of the things they've shown off like the Kurosawa-inspired black and white mode.

At the same time, the bit they showed off in the State of Play where they cleared the enemy encampment through stealth or direct confrontation just looked really tired. The whole sales pitch makes the game sound like something I've played many times already and am not that interested in.

On the other other hand, however, it looks like it might be great comfort food gaming, and come July, I might really want some more of that.

Pretty much all this for me but I have a limited time with this PlayStation so I'll either play it nor or possibly never. As long as the action is good enough the setting should carry me through the game.

Managed to get gold on Taskmaster's Bomb, Combat, and Stealth challenges last night. The Drone challenges still suck. Just not fun at all. Got silver on all of them and am happy enough with that.

Given the completion percentages on the areas, I know I have two more types of those street crimes and a different a variety of base to take out coming up. I believe there's only one more sidequest as well. At 68% story completion. As far as collect-a-thon open world games go, it's not too bad.

I wish they kept up the variety of the thug street crimes with the demon street crimes, though. There was about 4 different thug street crime but there's only been one type for demons.

Vector wrote:

Managed to get gold on Taskmaster's Bomb, Combat, and Stealth challenges last night. The Drone challenges still suck. Just not fun at all. Got silver on all of them and am happy enough with that.

Given the completion percentages on the areas, I know I have two more types of those street crimes and a different a variety of base to take out coming up. I believe there's only one more sidequest as well. At 68% story completion. As far as collect-a-thon open world games go, it's not too bad.

I wish they kept up the variety of the thug street crimes with the demon street crimes, though. There was about 4 different thug street crime but there's only been one type for demons.

Those Taskmaster challenges were the absolute worst. I was glad to see that you didn't need Golds on everything to Platinum or 100% the game (if memory serves). The drones were the speed-swinging challenges right? Yeah, that was not fun at all. And the times where I finally did beat and medal them, it always felt like just luck and not any real skill on my part, unlike the Combat, Stealth, or Bomb ones.

I didn't mind the backpack collection stuff nearly as much. Those at least had some dialogue where Peter would say something interesting or funny when you found them.

Yea as long as you prioritize spending Taskmaster tokens on costumes, you don't need to get Gold on every challenge for the Platinum trophy.

I'm hoping having gold on 3/4 and and silver on the last ones is enough to unlock everything I'm interested in. I won't go for the Platinum trophy but will try and get the majority of the unlocks.

Vector wrote:

I'm hoping having gold on 3/4 and and silver on the last ones is enough to unlock everything I'm interested in. I won't go for the Platinum trophy but will try and get the majority of the unlocks.

I think the DLC can help you get the remaining stuff that you don't get on your main playthrough. Or if not that, then certainly NewGame+. But I am a junky as far as completing stuff like that when I am really into a game.

I'm going to skip the DLC based on recommendations here and won' be NewGame+. I rarely ever replay games.

Now there’s a pandemic plot. In New York. With loved ones coughing up blood. Nostradamus got nothing on Marvel’s Spider-Man writers.

Too. Many. Instafail. Stealth. Missions. Oh. My. God. Becky.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Too. Many. Instafail. Stealth. Missions. Oh. My. God. Becky.

The last Taskmaster stealth mission? Oh yeah, even if you had Batman from the Arkham series instead of Spider-Man, you'd fail so much you'd want to chuck your controller across three states.

She means the Miles and MJ missions. There are a lot of them and they just aren’t good.

I believe I'm in a minority of one in that I actually like how those missions break up the gameplay. Then again, I'm on record in thinking that every game can be improved by removing combat.

Evan E wrote:

I believe I'm in a minority of one in that I actually like how those missions break up the gameplay. Then again, I'm on record in thinking that every game can be improved by removing combat.

I would have liked those missions more—in general, and as pace-changers—if they had just been walking around without the bad stealth gameplay. They're too easy to fail and have to repeat parts until you do them perfectly.

The part where Miles evades a Sable checkpoint is a good example here. You spend some time walking around the farmer's market in Chinatown, then do some instafail stealth stuff, then walk around at FEAST. It would have been a much better sequence if they'd just had you walk around and interact with the world without the stealth part.

I did like the part with MJ helping Spider-Man pick Demons off in GCT. That was a fun variation.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I did like the part with MJ helping Spider-Man pick Demons off in GCT. That was a fun variation.

That was the best of those sequences by far.

Evan E wrote:

I believe I'm in a minority of one in that I actually like how those missions break up the gameplay.

I liked all of them except the very last one, which took too many tries and felt like an unnecessary pause when the story was otherwise building to a climax.

Found those forced stealth strange. The one with MJ at central was good but the others were missing similar worthwhile new mechanics. If each of them had something different and only one was an instant fail, I probably would be more positive on them.

100%ed all zones last night and am at 92% story completion. Expect to finish tonight. Unlocked all skills, fully upgraded every gadget, and am 3 Challenge tokens away from the final boost but screw that. Also missing one costume but I know what I need to do to get it and am pretty sure I’ll not even bother.

Edit: I did finish it last night. Really liked the final boss battles purely because it made 5/6 of the Sinister Six total incompetent chumps. Liked a lot of the reveals and story twists. Excited for what they do with a sequel. I wonder if it will focus on Miles as the main character and Peter being more of a mentor.

I hit what seems to be the game's final act last night.

Spoiler:

The Sinister Six have been freed; the prisoners have escaped Ryker Island; Sable has gone full Chicago PD; and the citizens are under quarantine.

I'll be honest: if I weren't fairly certain this was close to the end of the game, I'd probably quit. The changes to the world map have just sucked all the joy out of the experience. If I were to identify the game's biggest strengths, I wouldn't hesitate to list the fun of traversal; and the well-populated, live-feeling world. The last act has tanked both of those things simultaneously.

Swinging around has gone from fun and frictionless to annoying. I've never used the game's fast-travel system because it was fun to swing around, launch myself off buildings, and swoop down low over traffic. Now, when going between two waypoints fairly close to one another, I was peppered with rocket fire, RPGs, and snipers. It makes narrative sense that getting around would be challenging, but after a dozen hours of joyful, risk-free swinging, it sucks.

And the world is just... empty. Again, narrative sense, but it takes away one of the really fun things about the game.

I kinda figured that the game would eventually go full-tilt Arkham City grittiness, and I'd been dreading it. Hopefully I can just blow through a couple more story missions (I assume seven, right? Six bosses plus one?) and be done with it.

One or two of the boss fights are two-fers, so you don't have to fight all 6 individually.

Also, clearing out a group of bad guys in the city will permanently remove them. It should get easier as you go.

There are 8 missions in Act 3 with two of those being sneaking missions and a few being fairly short and basic. The final mission is just a boss fight then several cutscenes. Probably 3-4 hours left if you mainline them.

I didn't mind the change at the end just because I got very adept at never getting hit. It's fine narratively but definitely not as fun as just free swinging.