Insominac Games’ Spider-Man is out in public, on shelves, and downloading from PSN – after a long wait, it’s finally here. You can read our review of the game, or you can just jump in. But Spider-Man is a rare gem. Even after finishing the main game, I continued to plug away at it, ending with a 100% completion rate and a Platinum PlayStation trophy – not something I do often. And so as you go into your weekend of web-slinging, here are a few tips to help you make the most of Spider-Man. Don’t worry, this is spoiler free.
New York City is a big, open place with a whole bunch of districts to explore. They’re full of landmarks, collectibles, and activities to explore and enjoy. The game doesn’t lock off any area of the game to start with, and a huge portion of the activities are available right at the start. All you have to do is hit the Police Scanner tower in each district and go through a simple minigame. It sounds a bit like some Ubisoft crap, right? Except in Spider-Man, it’s easy, simple, and doesn’t take long. With Spidey’s web-swinging abilities you can make your way around the map fast enough that it doesn’t feel like a burden. Doing it right away will ensure you can see all the fun stuff to do around the map.
Unlike many other games, you’re not going to wander into an extra-hard zone or a tough boss fight just by exploring, so get out there and look around.
Once all the towers are open, anything you unlock or have to go find will be right there for you, allowing you to take the game at your pace.
Don’t Miss Photo Mode
More than almost any other game I’ve played, the Spider-Man photo mode feels on-brand for the wall-crawler. You can take in-game pictures of various things to accomplish challenges, but those pictures don’t save anywhere. Pause and use photo mode to catch other great moments.
Variety is the Spice of Life
With the whole map open, there’ll be a lot to do, and my recommendation is to switch things up. Don’t try to stop all the crimes in New York all at once, but don’t skip them all, either. Don’t try to take down all the enemy bases one after another.
While Spider-Man isn’t without its drama, the very nature of who Spider-Man is makes exploration feel in-character. He’s a curious, smart, easily-distracted, and perpetually-late person. It makes sense that Peter Parker would want to pick up one of his old backpacks if he’s knows he’s close, or take a selfie at the Wakandan Embassy to celebrate taking down one of Wilson Fisk’s money-laundering operations.
Ask yourself, “What Would Spider-Man Do?” – and then do it. taking activities on as they come at you feels natural and keeps the activities from feeling too similar. And those random crimes? You get credit for each one of those, so they’re worth the minute-or-so it takes to stop them.
Use Fast Travel Once (but just once)
In general, avoid fast travel in Spider-Man. Swinging is just too much fun, and while getting across the map is hardly instantaneous, it doesn’t take very long.
With that said, use fast travel once or twice just to see the way people react to their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man scrolling through his phone on the subway. It’s genuinely funny.
Use your Gadgets, Mods, and Powers.
You’re Spider-Man – you have gadgets. You have so many gadgets. Unlock them and use them early and often. The Impact Web is a great way to glue a small mob to a wall, while a web grenade will put a short pause on the whole fight so that you can concentrate on the tough guys.
The same goes for the suit powers and mods you’ll unlock. As you unlock each suit, most of the suits have powers associated with them. What Insomniac did here, though, is untether the suit power from the suit. Unlocking the suit unlocks the power, but you don’t have to use the suit to use the power. So, read through the different powers and pick the one that suits you. Spider-Punk’s power, which involves him wailing really hard on a jet-red guitar to blow enemies back from him, which can give you some nice breathing room in a tough fight. The first suit you unlock generates Focus, which lets you heal and pull off one-shot Finishers, much faster than you do normally, which can let you heal when you’re down in the red or put a quick stop to a fight.
Suit mods let you apply modifiers like damage resistance and slow down to your suit. There are a bunch of different modifiers, and you get room for three of them. If you’re dying a lot, you could put on the mods that amp up melee and projectile resistance. If you’re looking for a challenge you could put on mods that give you bonuses for narrow dodges. Change them up and try out any that look interesting.
Practice your Moves and your Strategy
Spidey has so many awesome moves to take into battle, and it’s easy to get stuck on a few of them. Try to unlock your skills one at a time. Practice each new move you unlock. Look at your move list and try out a move that you’ve overlooked. Insomniac has put a lot of care into curating a set of moves that feel distinctly Spidey – there’s nothing truly superfluous here.
The same goes for your general in-fight strategy. Don’t just keep doing the same thing. Pay attention to what trips you up. If you’re getting overwhelmed, big moves and gadgets are a good way to start a battle. Or you could go in real stealth-like and see if you can maybe take down a few of these jerks before they notice you’re there. If a particular enemy type is getting you down, save your finishers for them.
Pay attention to your Spider Sense! It buzzes when you’re in trouble, and when an enemy is aiming at you, their sightline will turn red when you’re about to find yourself on the wrong end of their bullet spray, giving you time to dodge out of the way or deploy a gadget.
Watch Your Tokens
Different activities unlock different “tokens,” such as Crime Tokens, Base Tokens, and Backpack Tokens. Some token types are more plentiful, while others are a bit tougher to come by. Unlock the most appealing suits and level up your favorite gadgets first and decide what you want to save up for. Challenge tokens are the toughest to obtain. I’ll tell you now that there’s a Trophy for collecting all the suits, but not one for leveling up all your gadgets to the max. If you’re trying out the different suit powers and gadgets, you’ll have a good idea of what you like before this becomes an issue.
Unlock These Skills ASAP
There are a bunch of skills to unlock, but these are some of the more useful ones. Your play-style may vary, but I strongly recommend starting from here:
- Point Launch – Point Launch allows you to hit L2+R2 when you’re near things like rooftop corners, vent caps, and street lights to get a huge speed boost. When you’re swinging everywhere, any speed boost you can get is going to have a palpable, long-term benefit.
- Quick Zip – Press X when you’re in the air to let out a speed-boosting zipline. Like Point Launch, this is another tool in your repertoire for slinging faster. It’s especially useful when you’re trying to cross the skyscraper-less Central Park or when you want a boost but there aren’t any points to Point Launch from.
- Quick Recovery – You’ll hit the ground occasionally, and this allows you to hit X to leap back into the air, helping you keep your speed up even when you get tripped up.
- Perfect Dodge & Dodge Window – These are by far the most useful combat skills, in my opinion. Whatever your fighting style is, you need to dodge in Spider-Man. You need to dodge a lot. You’re frequently fighting 10+ enemies at a time, and they’re wielding batons, guns, shields, and more. You’re going to be dodging almost constantly, so these moves will let you make the most out something that will apply regardless of which gadgets and moves you end up focusing on.
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