Marvel’s Spider-Man is now available exclusively for the PlayStation 4, and while many of the in-game mechanics and controls are reminiscent of older Spider-Man titles, it is Marvel’s Spider-Man well-developed story that truly makes it stand out from its predecessors.
Players take on the role of an older, more seasoned Peter Parker – at 23 years old – who has been Spider-Man for roughly eight years. He is immediately thrown into the fray, helping NYPD Captain Yuri Watanabe bring Wilson Fisk – also known as Kingpin – to justice. Having finally put Kingpin behind bars, Spider-Man catches wind of a break-in at an auction house storing Fisk’s collection of artwork and priceless artifacts. Upon arriving at the auction house, Spider-Man runs into Mary Jane Watson, who is on-site to do her own investigative journalism for her position at the Daily Bugle. The pair is no longer together, having broken up in the months prior, but at this point, Mary Jane is fully aware that Spider-Man and Peter Parker are one and the same.
The reunion is short-lived, as the auction house is quickly taken over by a hostile group of masked gunmen who promptly steal a file that Mary Jane had secured before they showed up. The contents of the file contained information on a substance called “Devil’s Breath”, which sounds none too pleasant. Thus, the estranged couple agree to team up to investigate the masked intruders and figure out what they are planning.
Peter’s balance of being Spider-Man while maintaining a “real” life comes into play in the next chapter, as he heads off to work as a lab assistant for Otto Octavius. The pair are working on components for mechanical artificial arms, but the scene is cut short when Mayor Norman Osborn shuts down the lab, giving players their first look into the contentious relationship between Octavius and Osborn.
Peter also makes his way to F.E.A.S.T, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the homeless. F.E.A.S.T. is directed by Martin Li. Peter’s Aunt May volunteers there as well, acting as Li’s second-in-command. During their conversation about the masked intruders, Li informs Peter that they are part of a group known as the “Inner Demons” and that Peter should avoid them and the investigation entirely. Of course, this is far from what Peter has in mind.
Spider-Man has numerous run-ins with the Demons, but not always on his own. He befriends NYPD Officer Jeff Davis, and the two work together to bring down some of the Demons’ operations. At a re-election rally for Mayor Osborn, Davis is awarded the city’s Medal of Honor for his valor. In attendance are Peter, Mary Jane, and Davis’ wife and son, Rio and Miles Morales. During Davis’ speech, Osborn receives an anonymous call threatening to destroy him and the city. As soon as the call ends, Demon suicide bombers unleash a massive explosion upon the rally, claiming many casualties, including Officer Davis. Peter is knocked unconscious by the blast, but not before seeing Martin Li take the form of Mr. Negative and revealing himself as the leader of the Demons.
Following the attack, Osborn increases the security presence around the city by employing Silver Sable to take down Li and the Demons. Sable and her team maintain an antagonistic relationship with Spider-Man throughout the game.
Peter extends an invitation to Miles to help out at F.E.A.S.T. Miles accepts, which eventually leads to him being bitten by a radioactive spider while moving boxes of supplies. This frees Peter up to spend more time tracking Li and the Inner Demons, which leads to the discovery that Li is planning on using Devil’s Breath – a biochemical weapon created by Oscorp – to destroy Osborn and the rest of the city. Before Li can unleash the weapon, Spider-Man and Mary Jane manage to thwart his plans. After a heated battle through the subway tunnels of New York, Spider-Man defeats Li, sending him away to be locked up at the Raft – a high-security prison for only the most-deadly villains.
Meanwhile, Octavius completes the development of his mechanical, tentacle-like arms, which are controlled by a mental implant. Unfortunately, the untested implant has a negative effect on Octavius’ mind, causing him to head down the dark path of villainy as Doctor Octopus. Fueled by revenge and hatred for Osborn, Doctor Octopus stages an attack on the Raft, releasing the prisoners throughout the city. He also employs a few of the more gifted prisoners to help him on his quest to destroy Osborn, the likes of which include: Shocker, Vulture, Rhino, Scorpion, and Mr. Negative – consequently creating the Sinister Six.
The group manages to keep Spider-Man busy as he rounds them all back up, during which Doctor Octopus is able steal the Devil’s Breath and release it over Times Square, affecting thousands of people, including Aunt May, whose health declines dramatically. While Spider-Man tends to the city gripped by chaos, Mary Jane searches for a cure for the Devil’s Breath outbreak. She stumbles upon Osborn’s secret laboratory in his penthouse, where she learns that Li’s hatred of him stems from childhood, when he was a test subject for early Devil’s Breath studies when Osborn and Octavius were partners. The test was too overwhelming for Li at the time, causing him to accidentally kill his parents with his newly acquired powers, and creating a life-long hatred of Norman Osborn, who was primarily responsible for creating the deadly substance.
Mary Jane figures out where the antidote is located and tells Peter, who promptly swings his way into battle with Li. Thanks to some assistance from the newly-trusting Silver Sable, Spider-Man defeats Li a second time, only to be greeted by Doctor Octopus who takes the only sample of the antidote with him after beating Spider-Man to within inches of his life.
With no time to let his wounds to heal, Peter builds an armored outfit better suited to weather the devastating punishment of Doctor Octopus’ arms. It withstands the test, as he defeats Doctor Octopus and re-obtains the Devil’s Breath cure. Unfortunately, time and the amount of the sample are not enough to create a mass antidote for the city and save Aunt May. Peter wrestles with the decision of saving his aunt, but ultimately decides on handing off the sample to cure the thousands of other infected New Yorkers. Before passing away, Aunt May reveals that she has known Peter was Spider-Man all along. She gets buried next to Uncle Ben.
Three months later, everything seems to have returned to normal. Before the credits roll, Peter and Mary Jane share a passionate kiss, seemingly reigniting their relationship.
During a mid-credits scene, Miles reveals to Peter that he has spider-like abilities by jumping and sticking to the ceiling. Peter responds in kind, joining Miles on the ceiling to reveal that he is Spider-Man.
Finally, the post-credits scene finds Norman Osborn in his secret lab promising to find a cure for his son Harry, who is floating in a tank suspended by a black, web-like substance, which forms to the shape of Norman’s hand when he puts it on the glass.
Marvel’s Spider-Man shares a story that is unlike any other Spider-Man game, and the ending provides plenty of hope and excitement for potential things to come – especially considering the three DLC chapters already planned for release later this year.