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KitGuru Games: Insomniac’s Spider-Man reaches new heights on PC

Back in 2018, Insomniac Games impressed us all with the release of Marvel's Spider-Man for PS4. Even then in its graphically limited, 30FPS form, the game was something special. Now, Sony has brought the game over to PC, unlocking higher graphical settings, ray-tracing, and unlocked frame rates, allowing us to get the smoothest, high-fidelity gameplay possible. In today's KitGuru Games, we're going to be looking at the PC version to see if it delivers where it counts. 

Spider-Man Remastered isn’t really a remaster in the typical sense. Sony slapped ‘Remastered’ onto the PS5 edition of the game, but the only major graphical change here is the addition of ray-tracing and for consoles, access to 60FPS gameplay. Sony did also change the model for Peter Parker, but this change impacted the original PS4 release too.

Those of you picking the game up for the first time on PC don’t really need to worry about that. The PC version is highly scalable, so you can get it running decently on almost any device – there is even a dedicated preset for the Steam Deck, which uses a mix of low settings with dynamic resolution scaling to squeeze out as much performance as possible.

I’ve spent several hours swinging through NYC on a system equipped with an Intel Core i7-8700K, 16GB of RAM and an RTX 3070 Ti. At 1440p, using high settings across the board, including ray-tracing, and DLSS in quality mode, I can average around 80FPS with this system, and I have yet to see a drop below 60FPS. I checked out the Steam Deck preset out of curiosity and using those settings, this system can deliver a true 144Hz experience.

Graphically, the game looks fantastic, and you can see some of my favourite screenshots so far in the gallery above. The level of detail in each Spider Suit, all main character models and throughout the city is highly impressive. You are going to have so many opportunities to take incredible screenshots, especially with the photo mode, which lets you pause the game and fine tune camera placement, settings, lighting, weather and more so you can get the perfect shot. You can activate this at any time – mid web swing, mid-jump, in the middle of combat, so you can take action shots too.

I finished Spider-Man back in 2018 when it first came out on PS4. At 30FPS, I loved the game but would become frustrated with the controls at times due to latency. I finished the game again in January of this year on PS5, and the jump to 60FPS really cleared a lot of that up, but I still felt that combat could be snappier.

Now on PC, with an unlocked frame rate, we can control Spider-Man with almost no latency. Mouse and keyboard controls are very responsive in this game, particularly in combat. The added fluidity when going above 60FPS, combined with the snappy mouse controls almost makes combat too easy – more on that later.

While combat feels great with a mouse and keyboard, the gamepad experience is best for web swinging. You get more control over the direction of your web swings with an analogue stick, versus holding Shift and any of the WASD keys to swing on a keyboard.

The switch to mouse and keyboard also changes how some actions in-game are performed in a significant way. Moves and abilities that would take a combination of buttons to activate on a controller are bound to a single key press.

The game is perfectly playable with mouse and keyboard, but the gamepad is still my preferred method of control for Spider-Man. The experience is good with both an Xbox gamepad and a DualSense controller, although haptic feedback and rumble effects are much more refined on the DualSense, so if you have one, I’d recommend using it, but you’ll need to wire it in over USB-C to benefit from these features. If you are playing with mouse and keyboard and find any of the button prompts to be somewhat odd, you can rebind all actions in the game in the settings menu. I’d also recommend trying out one of the harder difficulties for mouse and keyboard players.

Marvel’s Spider-Man puts you in the shoes of an experienced Peter Parker, seven years removed from the death of Uncle Ben and donning the suit for the first time. Spider-Man is already an adept crime fighter and known throughout NYC. At this time, he is trying to balance life as Spider-Man with his life as Peter Parker, where he helps Aunt May at the local homeless shelter and works alongside Dr. Octavius at a lab in the city.

There are a few main villains that take the spotlight at different times in the campaign, and new enemy factions will pop up throughout the city as you progress. As far as the open world goes, it is a typical formula, with side quests, enemy camps and challenges dotted throughout the map to keep you busy between missions. If this were Assassin’s Creed, I’d be rolling my eyes, but this is Spider-Man, and that fact alone makes this game inherently more fun.

Spider-Man moves exactly how you’d expect him to. In combat, he’s constantly moving, flipping, twirling and web zipping around. It is a true acrobatic display and the number of tools at your disposal make combat fun throughout the whole game. That fluidity extends to web swinging, which is also great and likely the best web-swinging we've had in a Spider-Man game to date. There have been several times where I’ve booted up the game just to swing around for a bit. This is a game that makes you want to engage with the side content and doing so will reward you in the form of collectibles, additional XP, and skill points. You’ll want the extra skill points if you are aiming to fully max out your character and unlock everything. Going around NYC collecting old backpacks will also help you unlock new suits, and will provide you with background lore, so you’ll be able to piece together the journey this version of Spider-Man went through prior to the events of this game. Some of these backpacks also contain teasers for what’s to come in future sequels. The game also encourages you to take photos of landmarks throughout the city – which is worth doing, as it really displays the great level of detail Insomniac put into NYC itself.

Very few open world games make you want to engage with all its content in the way that Spider-Man does. It is an excellent game, whether you’re a big Spider-Man fan or not. I’ve already finished it twice and yet I’m now 40% of the way through the game for a third time. The game runs very well on PC, mouse and keyboard controls are different but easy to get to grips with, and the option to use a gamepad is always there. The game is priced a little steep right now considering its age, but if you have £49.99 to spare, I don’t think you’ll regret the purchase. If you are choosing between getting the game on PC or PlayStation – go with PC, it is the definitive version of the game by far.

Another point worth making is that a modding community has already spawned around this game. Right now, it is mostly save files, reshades and re-coloured suits, but hopefully someday, we’ll see some more substantial fan-made content too, which will extend the replay value of this game even further.

The campaign is going to take you roughly 30 hours to beat, depending on how much side stuff you do. Then, there are three DLCs to play through after that, which add another 7 hours or so worth of story. If you aim to do all side content, you can easily spend upwards of 60 hours in this game, and even after that, you’ll likely still get an urge to jump back in for a while to swing around and stop some crimes.

Spider-Man Remastered is available on PC now through Steam and the Epic Games Store. Later this year, Spider-Man: Miles Morales will also come to PC, delivering a smaller scale adventure with Miles Morales, who has different abilities and moves to Peter Parker, and faces different enemies, so it feels like a fresh experience.

Next year, Insomniac will try to impress us all again with Spider-Man 2, which is currently only confirmed for PS5, but may end up coming to PC down the line.

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KitGuru Says: Have many of you tried Spider-Man on PC yet? How are you finding the game so far?

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