It has been just two years since the original launch of Marvel's Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4, yet Insomniac Games has been hard at work improving the core game. Since then we’ve had three DLC packs, a Game of the Year edition, and a brand new console launch, which explains why Insomniac Games felt this was the perfect time to release the definitive version of one of the PS4’s defining titles. Now that the game has arrived as part of Marvel's Spider-Man Miles: Morales Ultimate Edition, is it worth picking up for a next gen console?
At Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered’s core, it is still the exact same game as on PS4. Every story beat, side quest, and upgrade is still present and accounted for. Much like the Game of the Year edition released back in 2019, Remastered includes all of the DLC content from The City That Never Sleeps right out of the gate, which is a great bonus for those who missed out on PS4. For veteran fans looking for new missions or side-quests to tackle, there is nothing of the sort. Remastered instead chooses to focus on showcasing the raw power the PS5 has to take an already impressive game to unbelievable levels.
The biggest overhaul comes in the form of the load times, or moreso, the lack thereof. By utilizing the PS5’s SSD, Spider-Man Remastered eliminates all loading screens from the game, making each transition nearly instantaneous. Gone are the long loading times that existed when traveling in and out of buildings or taking the subway, although you can turn on the subway scenes from the menu, if you want, which makes world traversal feel seamless. Going back to the PS4 version of the game is nearly impossible after being spoiled by how much time is saved by removing load times.
The other obvious enhancement Remastered brings to the table is how much better the game looks. This time there are two graphical modes to play around with. Quality mode runs at 30 frames-per-second with the addition of ray-tracing across most of the environments. On the other hand, performance mode bumps the game up to 60 frames-per-second while removing ray-tracing entirely. Both modes run at 4K, but the added realism that ray-tracing brings to the table makes it the preferred option. The other additions come from the DualSense itself. The inclusion of haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are not game changing additions, like many of the other additions in Remastered, but their subtle uses are appreciated, even if they are not as prominent as they are in Miles Morales.
Another addition is the changes made to many of the game’s models and textures, yes, including Peter Parker’s face. While this change caused much controversy before launch, after experiencing the game in person, there is no denying that this new face feels more like Spider-Man than ever before. While the game does take place a few years into Peter’s journey as Spider-Man, this new, younger face feels more natural and in line with his character. Luckily, for those who aren’t a fan of the change, Spider-Man remains masked for the majority of the game. However, for those open to the change, one may find it feels closer to the original vision of his character. Once again, it is difficult to go back to how the PS4 version portrayed Spider-Man because of just how natural this portrayal of Spider-Man really is.
Speaking of looks, one of the highlights for veteran players looking to play through the game is the addition of three new Spidey suits. The Amazing Suit is based on Spider-Man’s suit from The Amazing Spider-Man films, while the Arachnid Rider and Armored Advanced Suits are entirely new creations by the Insomniac team. Each of the three suits are great little bonuses for veteran players that feel right at home alongside the rest of the game’s already huge lineup to choose from. These suits were also added to the PS4 version, alongside save data transfer, which may take away from the exclusive feel of them, but the suits are still great additions nonetheless. Other new additions include some new options in photo mode, such as the ability to change Spider-Man’s suit without exiting the menu, and five new Trophies to collect. While these additions are not huge selling points, they are great little additions to make the game that much better.
Another point of contention that many were worried about was the existence of a major glitch that happens when Spider-Man Remastered is put into rest mode. There were several reports of the game crashing not only the game, but the system itself, causing the PS5 to try and rebuild its entire storage. During this review, the system was put exclusively into rest mode to try and replicate this issue and find a cause for it, but surprisingly, it never happened. Each time, the game loaded without issue and within seconds, Spider-Man was back to swinging through New York City. Supposedly, this issue was patched out in the latest update, but it is still worth being extra careful with for the time being. Outside of that major glitch, it is worth highlighting that there were several occasions where Spider-Man got stuck between enemies and could not escape, leading to a quick death. All button inputs seemed to lock up during these occasions, but luckily, the quick reload times made this less of an issue than if it was on PS4.
Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered may be tacked onto Miles Morales, but it is a worthwhile addition to PS5 library. Newcomers will have a blast swinging through New York for the first time, while veterans will appreciate all the new changes and additions, while still getting to transfer their PS4 save. Undoubtedly, the removal of load times is the highlight here, but all of the graphical enhancements show just how amazing Spider-Man can be. Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered is easily the definitive way to play Insomniac’s Spider-Man and comes with a huge recommendation for all web-slingers.