Off the back of the recent announcement of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, it is the perfect time to take a look back at its predecessor Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4.
The formula for superhero video games was perfected by Spider-Man, a formula established by the Batman Arkham series. The genre was redefined by Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009 and followed up by two sequels Arkham City (2011), Arkham Knight (2015) and a prequel, Arkham Origins (2013). Their legacy has stood strong to this day but with a space left by the last entry in the series being released five years ago, has Spider-Man now taken the crown?
Spider-Man has been a global success since its release in 2018 but has only had one release to its franchise’s name. Whereas, the Arkham series has had four games spread over two generations of consoles and a remastered collection. Is this a case of quality over quantity for Spider-Man to stand shoulder to shoulder with its spiritual influencers?
Let's take a deep dive into five things that Spider-Man did better than the Arkham series, but also take a look at five occasions where it failed to meet the mark!
Spider-Man’s map of Manhattan is spectacular. Very few video games manage to capture the true essence of real-life locations, and this exceeds with flying colours. It genuinely feels like New York.
From the lush green of Central Park and its Bethesda Fountain to the view from the top of the Empire State Building, Spider-Man’s map has all the famous landmarks you could wish for. It is a shame the game’s map is restricted to only the island of Manhattan though. Luckily the playable map is brilliant enough on its own that it doesn't take away from a fantastic gaming experience.
The Arkham Series has four different maps to choose from entirely, each spectacular in their own right.
The first entry Arkham Asylum takes place on Arkham Island, a cavernous rock off the shore of Gotham littered with psychiatric wards and manor houses. Arkham City is set inside a walled-off section of Gotham turned into a living prison. Arkham Origins extends the map established in Arkham City and adds a southern highrise district. Finally, Arkham Knight’s map consists of three conjoining islands to make the infamous Gotham City.
All four of these maps do a superb job of bringing Batman’s home to life and transports you to a near-perfect Gotham City. But none of them has the charm of feeling exactly like being in New York City.