Spider-Man was always my favourite. The first graphic novel I ever bought was Spider-Man Identity Crisis – not that Identity Crisis, DC fans – where our beloved Webslinger actually gave up being Spider-Man, assuming four new superhero identities in an effort to start afresh without his friends and family being in perpetual danger and J. Jonah Jameson breathing down his neck (genuinely it’s a classic, and all true believers should check it out).
Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man may not deal with a loss of faith in ol’ Webhead, but it is without doubt a grade A classic. In fact it was so successful that they immediately remastered it for the new generation, and now, following in God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Death Stranding’s previously exclusive footsteps, it’s finally coming to PC as well.
Thematically and narratively this is the same Marvel’s Spider-Man that’s been available since 2018. If you’ve already experienced Insomniac’s masterwork on PS4 or PS5, there’s little here to draw you in other than (maybe) the inclusion of The City That Never Sleeps DLC, which adds in three further chapters, new crimes and challenges, and even more ways to play dress up with Spidey.
I say ‘little to draw you in’ but then this is a story that had me blubbing by the end of my original playthrough, and throughout my time with the PC version I’ve been gripped once more – it’s simply that good. Just like re-reading my favourite comic book story arcs, I can see myself returning to the Marvel’s Spider-Man over and over again. I’m sure some helpful soul will recast the original Peter Parker as well, though it’s just as likely to be Thomas the Tank Engine knowing this lot.
The beauty of its arrival on PC means that there’s even more option to return to the fray, including the fact that it’s been certified for Steam Deck. The last time I played a handheld Spidey game was the PS Vita version of The Amazing Spider-Man, and the ability to play the fully-fledged version of Marvel’s Spider-Man with a (mostly) stable frame rate and a decent level of graphical fidelity is incredible. Simply put, if you’ve got a Steam Deck you should be playing Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Let’s talk options then. With the right display you can push the game with support for ultrawide, 300hz, 4K, though you’re going to need some serious horsepower to make the most of that. You can set a target frame rate, and then choose from different upscaling options including Insomniac Games’ Temporal Injection, NVIDIA DLSS and AMD FSR 2.0 which will help with trying to hit that target.
The Temportal Injection option worked perfectly well for me, though DLSS has the edge at keeping things stable and stylish. Either way, when you’re swinging through New York the game runs exceedingly well. On Steam Deck you can target a minimum frame rate of 30fps quite easily (though not set a frame rate cap outside of vsync and system settings), and the dynamic resolution scaling helps keep things generally north of that target. I was also able to test it with both a GeForce RTX 3060 in a laptop, and RTX 3070 in my PC, and they were able to produce what feel like comparable results to the PS5 version, albeit with different resolution targets and some very occasional drops in frame rate when moving indoors for the slower-paced Peter Parker-ing.
That Steam Deck accreditation shows how pleasingly scalable the Marvel’s Spider-Man PC experience is, and the minimum spec list will be a delight for those still rocking technology from years past. An Intel Core i3, 8GB of RAM and a humble GTX 950 will grant you access to some PC webslinging of your own, though that’s perhaps less of a surprise given the game’s origins on the PlayStation 4. Ideally though you’re heading into GTX 1060 territory and a Core i5, but that was modest in 2018, let alone 2022. Of course if you’re chasing fancy things like ray-tracing you’ll need something newer.
There’s a bunch of toggles to turn things off too, so tinkerers can max out their experience by removing motion blur, lens flare, bloom, vignette, film grain and chromatic aberration. There’s also the expected options for shadow detail, texture filtering, ambient occlusion, weather particle quality and that old tanker of performance, hair quality. All in all, there’s a heck of a lot here to play with, and ultimately removing many of these graphical niceties does little to diminish the quality of the game, or its overall appearance.
The one fly in the ointment is the price which, at $59.99 / £49.99, is a not insignificant $10 / £10 jump over the pricing of previous PlayStation ports to PC. This is a game that’s coming up on 4 years since release, that has regularly had massive discounts on PlayStation, and comes bundled in with the side-sequel Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition for £70 on PS5. Funnily enough, that bundle is currently discounted to £52.49. How much will Spider-Man Remastered and Miles Morales come to on PC when both have been released?