Review: Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered

Insomniac Games has crafted a satisfying and loving tribute to one of the most recognizable superheroes around. From the web-swinging to the slick combat, the attention to detail is delightful, and the number of power-ups, gadgets and collectibles will keep you busy for a long time, and the number of Spider-suits to unlock will give you the perfect shot with photo mode. I kept my expectations at a reasonable level leading up to release my expectations were blown away for the better. Welcome to New York, The City That Never Sleeps.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on PC offers the best experience

Two years ago, I reviewed Marvel’s Spider-Man on PlayStation 4 and I gushed over how great it felt to swing through New York City, the combat system offering a variety of ways to tackle bad guys, and how Insomniac set up their own universe while remaining faithful to the lore and the characters in exciting ways.

Now, another two years later and Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered has landed on PC and it boasts a wealth of changes for PC enthusiasts. For those on PC, there are a variety of graphics quality options to tailor to a wide range of devices, unlocked framerates, and support for other technologies including performance boosting NVIDIA DLSS and image quality enhancing NVIDIA DLAA.

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There is also new ray-traced technology and improved shadows that make New York City as real as it has ever felt digital and with several quality modes to choose from for players.

Those who own an ultra-wide monitor will be in for a treat as Nixxes has added support for your screen setup including 16:9, 16:10, 21:9, 32:9, and 48:9 resolutions for triple monitor setups.

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I’ve spent the last few weeks revisiting the world established by Insomniac Games and it’s amazing how easy it is to pick up the controller (or Steam Deck in my case) and get into the swing of things. Granted, the first week I had with Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered was rocky on my Steam Deck. On PC, the game had very few issues even on my older desktop that sports an NVIDIA 1070 or my gaming laptop, an Asus TUF featuring an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060.

After wrapping up Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PlayStation 5, I’d been reluctant to go back to this year’s remaster of the 2018 game. While I loved what Insomniac did then, what the studio delivered with Mile Morales spoke to me, and offered in my opinion, the definitive experience thanks to the upgrades added to the core gameplay mechanics, the characters introduced, and the fly soundtrack. And this is before even mentioning the excellent load times, the implementation of the Adaptive Triggers and the upgraded look of New York City that made me a believer in ray tracing and paired with the PlayStation 5’s stellar SSD load times this is a hard game to return to on PlayStation 4.

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As it were, I think Insomniac expected some blowback on the remaster (and not about changing Peter’s face to match the performance of Yuri Lowenthal). And while I love that New York City matches the same levels of detail as it did in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, there are some things I prefer don’t move into the sequel. Namely, the mission structure feels coarse in comparison and instant-fail sections but the retouching of character models, their features, and all the downloadable content bundled together more than makes up for that.

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Even two years later, revisiting the story is a treat but it also lacks the tight pace of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Coming off the superior and smaller story that keeps the action focused on one character over the three you play as in Marvel’s Spider-Man, it’s hard to jump back into the role of Mary-Jane Watson. Even the dull puzzles are hard to get invested in after completing them, and while I love the combat, it’s already been improved and done better.

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Insomniac also updated Photo Mode to fall in line with what you’d find in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Swapping suits on the fly is a huge time-saver and being able to adjust the lighting, the three new suits, and filters to keep you snapping photos are all bonuses I’m happy were thought about when remastering this game.

On the PC front, Nixxes and Insomniac periodically kept reviewers up to date with things they were working on as we were playing the game. In total, I received three updates over the course of the review period — each time being given a sweeping list of changes the team working on the port had implemented and what they wanted to add.

Our first look had notes of ray-tracing seeing significant performance improvements to both CPU and GPU. Visual improvements and fixes relating to ray-tracing reflections, being able to have more control at launch on image quality.

Memory usage was addressed and I could see the improvement on both desktop and Steam Deck with each new update being pushed to reviewers. In particular, the first time I launched Marvel’s Spider-Man on my Steam Deck, I experienced major artifacts to the point of being unplayable. The next update made leaps and bounds of progress and I was well on my way to having a stellar experience. I limited my Deck to 50 Hz and 50 frames per second to get a commendable frame rate that only faltered periodically (normally in a battle against a wave of enemies).

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I’m happy to report the AMD FSR 2.0 has been implemented with Nixxes working on developing image quality improvements but for now, you’re free to use IGTI (Insomniac Games Temporal Injection, a temporal algorithm for upsampling and anti-aliasing).

Before the game is set to launch, we can expect another update that will help PC players be able to control their visual quality and performance. Several new options will be available including fine-grained controls over reflection quality, and the detail of reflected geometry. Of course, you’ll need some powerful hardware to get the most out of all the tools at your disposal but on my older rig and laptop, I had no issues finding the perfect spot where performance and fidelity delivered an optimal experience.

My experience with Marvel’s Spider-Man on PC went smooth enough. For the bulk of my time, I had no lingering issues. I did face several crashes on both desktop and Steam Deck while playing the game. In most cases, it would be when I was tinkering with the settings and applying the changes. On my desktop, it would kick me out of the game and send me back to Steam. On my Steam Deck, this meant the system would shut down or reboot whenever the changes I had applied would not stick.

DLSS is such a exciting addition to basically any product. It essentially increases graphical performance by lowering the framerate and then using AI to upscale the frames and offer a sharper image without performance taking a hit. Being primarily a console gamer, this technology is some of the most exciting technology to become available and the added framerate boost is more than anything I could ask for on an older GPU.

Verdict

Marvel’s Spider-Man is still a great game and if you’ve still not picked it up, I highly recommend it. On PlayStation 4, the technical wizardry pales in comparison to what Insomniac cooked up on PlayStation 5. Now, PC players will finally be able to experience one of the best PlayStation exclusives on their rigs and it is without a doubt exciting to see PlayStation get serious about supporting PC. While the game isn’t overwhelmingly different on PC, the added settings PC players have come to love to fiddle with will make this a wonderful experience.

[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: PlayStation 5, PC

Marvel's Spider-Man RemasteredRecommendedTons of customization options for PC enthusiastsThe campaign is still a blastWeb swinging, battling, and maneuvering as Spider-Man feels incrediblePeter’s new faceA handful of hard crashes on PC and Steam Deck The side content is still hit and missOriginal Article

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