When Insomniac’s Spider-Man was released on PS4 in 2018, it quickly set a new gold standard for superhero games. It seems as if any game featuring heroes released since has been compared to it, and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon. While the gameplay is near perfect, the story keeps fans coming back. As any fan knows, there is more to Spider-Man’s life than just fun villains and quips. There are deep emotional layers and fantastic characters. This game nails every aspect of this on the head, and, to many, this is one of the best stories featuring the wall-crawler and his colorful cast of characters. Here are just some arguments that prove Insomniac’s Spider-Man isn’t just a great game; it has the best Peter Parker and a great Spidey story.
Contains Spoilers For Marvel’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man: No Way Home
10. Older Peter
By the time the Insomniac game takes place, Peter Parker is 23 years. This means he has been Spider-Man for around eight years. While he is still young, he has come a long way from a teen getting fantastic powers. Seeing an older and seasoned Spidey means he has already encountered most of his most famous foes and knows how to take them out if they were to suddenly break out of prison. Peter Parker has been through a lot in the nearly ten years he has been a crime fighter, and a more experienced and wiser Peter is the result. We have seen Spider-Man’s origin countless times, so seeing him after the fact is a breath of fresh air.
9. Peter’s Relationship With MJ
When the story begins, Peter’s relationship with Mary Jane had already started and seemingly ended. Instead of seeing them fall in love like it has been shown repeatedly, we see them reconcile after a falling out, ultimately falling back in love. In many ways, this is more powerful and relatable. Mary Jane is far from the damsel in distress she was constantly portrayed as in the Raimi films and is instead a headstrong and independent woman who proves herself without trying. The relationship between them is the strongest it has ever been outside the comics, and it is touching to see.
8. Mr. Negative
For the first half of the story, the game’s main villain is Martin Li, aka Mr. Negative. Like many great villains before him, Li isn’t a bad guy at the end of the day. He does terrible things and has a plan that would cause unspeakable chaos, but Spidey is able to bring him back down to earth by appealing to his good nature. With his fleshed-out character and remarkable powers, he makes a perfect addition to the Sinister Six that appear later in the game.
7. Peter’s Relationship With Otto Octavious
It is revealed in the game that Peter Parker is an intern at a lab under none other than Otto Octavius. Fans of Spider-Man know precisely what the doctor’s fate is. However, he is a compassionate man who only wants to save the world using science for most of the story. This late in Peter’s crimefighting career, one would think he would run out of people to inspire him. However, it is clear from their first scene together that Peter greatly looks up to the man. Peter is even willing to work under Octavius for no pay when their funding is pulled. The almost father/son relationship between the two makes the next entry that much more tragic.
6. Final Fight With Doc Ock
As any Spidey fan would have guessed, Octavius becomes the villainous Doctor Octopus as the game goes on. After Spider-Man first defeats Mr. Negative, Octavius succumbs to insanity and becomes the main villain for the second half of the game. Doc Ock assembles the Sinister Six and releases the deadly Devil’s Breath virus into NYC. This all comes to a head in a final battle on top of Oscorp Tower. After defeating him, Peter has a complete breakdown. The man he once considered a mentor and almost a father had become one of his greatest enemies. The heartbreaking acting in this scene is some of the best ever to be associated with the character. Peter Parker is used to being hurt, but this was one of the most significant blows he had ever been dealt.
5. Spider-Man Loses Before He Wins
It is common to see a hero suffer defeat before finally coming out on top in the third act. In the Insomniac Spider-Man game, Peter suffers a devastating defeat with serious consequences. After giving it all he had in the fight against Mr. Negative, Peter Parker feels the worst is behind him. That is until his own mentor becomes a villain and not only assembles Spider-Man’s worst foes in a super team. He then releases countless deadly criminals onto the streets of NYC. Peter is beaten to near death when he first faces the Sinister Six. If this wasn’t bad enough, when he comes to, he discovers Octavius has released the Devil’s Breath into the city. In typical Spider-Man fashion, he brushes off the defeat and comes back stronger than ever, proving what it means to be a hero.
4. Introduction of Miles Morales
Miles Morales has gotten some much-deserved mainstream love in recent years. From the animated Spider-Verse movies to his own game set in this universe, the character is becoming more and more popular each day. Before he received his own spin-off game by Insomniac, he was introduced in this game. Players were first introduced to his father, Jefferson Davis, and then actually had the chance to control him. After suffering a terrible tragedy, Miles ends up aiding his hero in saving the city. Eventually, he receives his own spider bite. By the time Miles became the second Spider-Man, fans had already grown to love this version of the character.
3. Fleshed Out World
As any great story should, the world in the Insomniac Spider-Man game is fleshed out beyond what is happening in the story. Through dialogue and collectibles such as the backpacks, players learn just how much has happened before the events of the game. Players learn things such as how Peter and MJ’s relationship first started and ended, why Peter ended up leaving the Daily Bugle, and how Peter learned to defeat some of his most sinister foes. This world-building makes the world feel more real without having to make the main story feel cramped.
2. Harry Osborne
While technically not appearing in the Insomniac Spider-Man game, Harry Osborne’s presence foreshadows some dark things to come in the upcoming Insomniac Spider-Man sequel. Before the events of the game, Harry had left NYC and seems to have cut off contact with his friends. As the game goes on, it is revealed that Harry has an unknown disease that claimed the life of his mother. It isn’t revealed what exactly this disease is or how he got it. However, in an after-credits scene, it is shown how Norman plans on curing it…with the Venom symbiote. This could have serious repercussions going forward, and the little bits of Harry in the game is a perfect example of leading into a sequel without being distracting.
1. Peter’s Sacrifice
After his climactic fight with Doc Ock, Peter has a small amount of antidote. With it, he can have it mass-produced to irradicate the virus. This all seems well and good until Peter learns Aunt May had the virus, and she won’t last much longer. Peter could give what he has to her and save her life, but he would have to use it all, meaning countless others would die. After May comforts him, Peter ultimately makes the right choice, as she peacefully dies with him by her side. This scene is what makes Spider-Man so great. Peter makes a similar sacrifice in Spider-Man: No Way Home when he realizes the world will be safer if nobody remembers him. Spider-Man has made many sacrifices in his life for the greater good, and this proves he is one of the greatest heroes of all time.