Does Spidey’s Web-Swinging ‘Make You Feel Like Spider-Man’? | Game Maker’s Toolkit

Articles, Blog

Does Spidey’s Web-Swinging ‘Make You Feel Like Spider-Man’? | Game Maker’s Toolkit

Does Spidey’s Web-Swinging ‘Make You Feel Like Spider-Man’? | Game Maker’s Toolkit

It seems like the biggest compliment you can
pay the new Spider-Man game on PlayStation 4, is that it makes you feel like Spider-Man. Seriously, there are loads of reviews that
contain that exact same line. And what they mean is, if you’ve seen a
Spider-Man film in the cinema, then you’ll have an idea of how Peter Parker moves, fights,
and swings about – and playing the game will capture that exact sensation. But actually, a lot of games work like this. Especially big console releases. Because games promise us a fantasy, and say,
pop this in your Xbox and you’ll get to feel like an assassin. Or a World War 2 soldier. Or a cowboy. Only, the fantasy isn’t promised through
a Hollywood movie, but instead the marketing for the game. Like the picture on the front of the box. Or those flashy CGI trailers they play at
E3. For example, this Titanfall 2 video shows us
the fantasy of being a nippy, trickster soldier who jumps over enemies, uses gadgets to fool
his foes, and can jump into a big mech to wreck shop. The gameplay then delivers on that fantasy,
and effectively uses its mechanics to make you feel like the bloke on the box. But the question I want to ask is: how easily
should that fantasy come true? Look at Hitman, for example. The CGI trailer shows Agent 47 as a perfect
assassin. He kills his targets without ever being spotted
and then escapes into the shadows. But boot up the game itself and most first
attempts will see you screwing everything up like a big bald idiot. It’s only when you learn the level, master
the stealth system, and put in a bit of effort that you’ll be able to live out the fantasy
promised by the game’s snazzy marketing campaign. And maybe that’s the right way to go, because
if you give away that fantasy too easily it can ring a bit hollow. That’s what happened with the combat in
the Batman: Arkham games. This is a really simple fighting system where
you just need to tap the punch button over and over again, and Batman will magnetically
snap to enemies, pirouetting all over the place like a goth ballerina. And if you hit the counter button at any point
during the generous timing window, the Dark Knight will deck his enemies with ease. Sure, fights look appropriately cinematic
and the game makes you feel like Batman – but when you don’t have to exert all that much
effort to get there, doesn’t it feel a bit patronising? This is not the case in the combat for Spider-Man,
which has a lot in common with the Arkham fighting system but is a fair amount more
demanding, and a lot less forgiving. Spider-Man has lots more moves and unlockable
skills, and can juggle enemies in the air like you’re playing Devil May Cry. Plus, Spidey doesn’t snap so magnetically
to enemies when you punch. Enemies gang up on you, making dodges and
counters harder to pull off. They use guns and rocket launchers to attack
you from afar, or while juggling enemies. And they’ll even attack you when you’re
in the middle of cool animations, like swinging bits of the scenery around. All of this means that, for a while, you probably
won’t feel all that much like Spider-Man. You’ll look like a bumbling fool, getting
bonked on the head by street punks, fumbling finishing moves, and just sort of punching
thin air. It’s only when you get better at the combat
that you’ll actually be able to dance around goons like Spidey does in the movies. So the combat in this game doesn’t make
you feel like Spider-Man – but it lets you feel like Spider-Man, if you’re skilled
enough. Getting to live out the fantasy is actually
a reward for being good at the game. Web-swinging, however, is quite different. It is, to be fair, a pitch perfect recreation
of the swinging you see in Spidey movies. Right down to the animations, to the sound
effects, to sense of speed, to the fact that the webs actually connect to buildings instead
of, like, the sky. It absolutely makes you feel like Spider-Man. And it’s just really satisfying to swing
around the city. But it also comes very easily. Starting a swing in Spider-Man is as simple
as holding down R2 when you’re somewhat close to a building. Which, in the densely packed metropolis of
New York City, is just about anywhere. You will then enter a swing, and and can choose
when to let go: either when you’re just coming off the down swing if you want speed,
or when you’re barreling up towards the sky if you want height. You can also jump out of the swing, with X,
for more speed and height. But it doesn’t matter too much when you
exit the swing because you have so much control over Spider-Man in the air, that you can easily
set-up the next swing to go anywhere. For example, if you whip the camera left,
you can make a sharp turn and start swinging down a street to your left. There are also some other moves you can use
while traversing. The web zip gives you a quick blast of forward
momentum, and is a cheeky safety net if you end up in one of the few places without buildings. Zip to point lets you snap onto any spot indicated
by a circular symbol, and you can then leap off again with a well timed hit of the X button. And you can also do air tricks, to build focus
and experience points. This whole system makes it almost effortless
to put Spider-Man where you want him, either by abusing that ample air control to move
Spidey around like a drone, or by forgoing web swinging altogether and just using the
zip to point system. And you can certainly read that as a positive. Or as the game making life just a bit too
easy. It’s very different to, say, Super Mario
Odyssey where getting Mario to the right spot means reading the level layout, chaining together
the right actions, and moving with absolute precision. And because it’s quite tough, it’s immensely
rewarding when you get it right. Spider-Man requires far less of the player,
giving you a lot less satisfaction. And even if you do screw up, the game is extremely
forgiving. There’s no fall damage whatsoever, and no
reward for staying in the air – unlike Insomniac’s last open world title, the spicy Sunset Overdrive,
where you’re given style points and safety from zombies if you manage to stay above ground. There’s also no reward for getting close
to buildings like in the addictive Superflight, where your score ticks up as long as you’re
in spitting distance of a wall. And if you hit into a skyscraper in Spider-Man,
it’s no big deal. You don’t bonk off like in Mario Odyssey:
you just instantly transition into a wall run. Which might slow you down, but not massively. And who really cares when the game so rarely
asks you to swing with speed or with precision? You’re either just bumming around in the
open world, or doing main missions that are so rarely about swinging: they’re much more
often about beating up goons, or doing rubbish stealth bits. Okay, okay, there are some good missions about
swinging, like this stage where you’re infected by Scorpion and have to stay above ground
at all times because Peter thinks the floor is poisonous. That’s an awesome mission. And in this fight against Electro, you’ll
need to carefully swing around buildings while shooting at power transformers. I like that one too. But more often than not, missions will be
like this one: where there’s no need to be fast and catch up to this helicopter quickly
because the game won’t let you latch on until it’s made sure that you’ve seen
these cool explosions first. Now, it’s not impossible to make a game
where web swinging is a bit more technical, requires a tad more thought, and isn’t quite
so forgiving. Web swinging, after all, is basically just
a grappling hook: a mechanic we’ve seen in lots of games, from Uncharted 4 to Titanfall
2, and so there are plenty of examples of games that have played with this mechanic. Take Bionic Commando, for example. This po-faced shooter is generally pretty
dire but the grapple hook gameplay is surprisingly fun. Like Spider-Man, you can hook onto buildings,
and then swing off at the right time – but what makes this game more interesting, is
that in this post apocalyptic wasteland, grapple points are much more limited. Meaning that finding a route across a level
is a tiny puzzle you must solve, and reconnecting to grapple points in mid-air is an actual
challenge. You’ve got to position yourself near to
a viable point – as indicated by this cursor – and at the right angle to keep your momentum
going. Plus, toxic goo and bottomless swamps stop
you from touching the ground, and certain hazards like enemy snipers force you to move
quickly from point to point. Then, there’s Overwatch, where the recently
added character Wrecking Ball – actually a hyper intelligent hamster in a robot orb – can
use a grapple hook to latch onto bits of the environment and swing around. This one’s really interesting. You don’t have very much control over the
ball when it’s swinging or in mid-air, because it actually acts like a heavy physics object attached
by a rope. So you’ve got to be much more precise about
your speed, position and angle of the initial hook, to get where you need to go. Also, there’s zero automation on the grapple
hook point. You’ve literally got to aim and shoot with
a cursor, which makes latching on at speed, or in mid-air, a real challenge. And finally, as the character’s name implies,
this hero becomes a literal wrecking ball when in motion and you can cause great damage
to foes if you swing into them. This is very different to Spider-Man, which
often has a distinct divide between swinging and combat. Though, the boss battle with Scorpion and
Electro finally lets you use both at once. I also enjoyed the first-person game A Story
About My Uncle. In this one, a goofy magnetic glove pulls
you towards objects, but can let go at any time to keep that momentum, and continue flying
forward. This is especially fun with moving objects,
that can really propel you like a graviational slingshot. You also have a limited number of grapples
in mid-air so you have to plan each landing carefully, and puzzle out your route before
you take off. A subtly different take on this idea crops
up in The Free Ones. I’m this game you can latch onto wooden
panels, and drag yourself in, like a hookshot from the Zelda series. But at any time you can hit jump to detach
your rope and spring yourself forward. Chaining together these moves in mid-air makes
for some exhilarating gameplay. Though, a little slowdown might be nice, when
trying to click on those panels at top speed. Now these ideas might not work for Spider-Man. Spidey doesn’t have a finite number of webs
that get replenished when he lands, like in A Story About My Uncle. The New York City we’ve seen in every Spidey
movie is a tightly packed metropolis, not a ruined wasteland like in Bionic Commando. And Peter Parker is a lithe, athletic figure
– not a 500 kilogram lump of metal like Wrecking Ball in Overwatch. And so to go against those facts would, actually,
break the fantasy that Spider-Man is promising. But I reckon there’s lots Spider-Man could
have done to make web swinging more challenging, while still delivering the fantasy promised
by all those movies. And other Spider-Man games have toyed with
more technical web slinging. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had a cool idea,
to have webs come out of Spidey’s left and right hands, when you hit the left and right
shoulder buttons. It doesn’t really affect much – you have
so much air-control that you can turn left even after swinging from the right – but that
could be interesting to explore. And in Ultimate Spider-Man, webs draw Spidey
closer to the building he latches onto, so you have to swing from side to side with a
bit more rhythm to stay in the middle of the street. Again, it’s very subtle, but it’s something. Plus, Spider-Man could definitely integrate
swinging and combat more closely, like Sunset Overdrive, which has a whole combo system
that encourages you to fight zombies while bouncing off car bonnets and grinding on power
cables. At the end of the day though, it comes down
to how much gamers want to work to fulfil their fantasy. Spider-Man’s web swinging could absolutely
be as mechanically complex as keeping a combo going in Tony Hawk’s, or chaining jumps
and hat throws in Mario Odyssey, or speed-running in Mirror’s Edge. But it’s clear that Insomniac wanted the
system to be effortless to pick up, and the developer specifically chose to avoid things
that would break your flow, saying… BRYAN INTIHAR: “One thing we talked about
is we didn’t want to stop players. We didn’t want to, like, face-plant. We wanted to just keep your momentum and flow
going. He’s eight years being Spider-Man, he’s
fine-tuned his traversal, so you slam into a building and you just keep running up it”. So perhaps Insomniac was right to keep the
more technical side of web swinging to optional content, like these bomb diffuser challenges,
where you’re graded on the time it takes you to get between different points. Or these missions, where you chase a drone
and have to swing through big blue targets. Your first go will be abysmal, just like a
first stab at a Hitman mission. But learn the route, steer around buildings,
and chain in different moves, and eventually you’ll score a gold medal and, yes, feel
like Spider-Man. It’s similar to how Super Mario Odyssey works:
you only need simple jumps to finish the game, but advanced manoeuvres will score you secret
coin stashes, let you skip bits of the level, and help you win later missions like golden
Koopa races. Unfortunately, these Spidey sidequests will
uncover how finicky the physics can be, and reveal how leapfrogging from building to building
with the point launch is often much faster than normal swinging, and it will also show that the skill
ceiling of the web swinging is still pretty low compared to other traversal based games. But it’s better than nowt. And, while I would have loved to see a more
in-depth web-swinging system, similar to the stuff in Overwatch and The Free Ones, I guess
if you buy a game called Spider-Man, most players just want to feel like Spider-Man
the second they press start. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Game Maker’s Toolkit is funded by viewers
like you who pitch in on Patreon and receive cool goodies like bonus content, early videos,
editing tutorials, and more.

100 thoughts on Does Spidey’s Web-Swinging ‘Make You Feel Like Spider-Man’? | Game Maker’s Toolkit

  1. Thanks for the comments on this video. I appreciate all the counterpoints and arguments. Less so the Dunkey memes 😛

    I do find it weird that many commenters see web-swinging as simply a means of getting between fights – as if combat should be the focus of the game, and not web-swinging. Maybe my tastes are just out of sync with the average gamer but I’ve played hundreds of games about beating people up, and not as many about the thrill of movement, physics, and swinging about.

    If that doesn’t gel with a story about a Spider-Man 8 years into being a hero, then change the story, not the gameplay! Make it an origin story, or kill off Peter Parker an hour in and switch to a newbie Miles Morales!

    This video explains PERFECTLY the Arkham Combat and why I disagree with your statements in this video. It surprises me it doesn't even have 10,000 views, it's extremely good.

  3. I think that the game was right to allow web-swinging to feel effortless. That's a big draw of the core fantasy of Spider-Man, and I think that making that a difficult trek towards mastery would sour some of the fun, even if it brought new fun in mastery: a trade-off, but not necessarily an upgrade. Making Spider-Man's combat more technical works fine, though, because one of the key features of Spider-Man is that he's always outmatched by his enemies, even if he always perseveres and takes them down. Because of this, the ludo-narrative metaphor works, allowing players at the start to experience one facet of being Spider-Man (being the underdog but winning through perseverance) while letting them later experience a much different side (the master hero who dominates the villains).

    Also, from a different perspective, I think that traversal is probably very important to the open world genre, and should probably not be given a strong difficulty curve unless that curve is a major part of the point of the game. For Spider-Man it definitely could have been, but I don't think it was a bad choice not to do so. I don't really like open world games much, so I don't play them often, so I can't say if that's actually a hard and fast rule, or if it's just something that sticks out to me, but it seems to me that most games that feature an open world to explore make seeing the world the main draw. If that is going to be the main draw of the game, or at least a major design philosophy, it seems like it would be a bad design to make that exploration difficult or to impose a steep learning curve for it, since it would actively weaken a player's ability to explore without a good time investment. I think that that style of design would work much better for Metroid-Vanias, or Zelda-likes, since a much greater part of those games is the actual action of exploring, not the result of it.

    For Spider-Man, it definitely could have been a major part of the game, as I said. But if experiencing Spider-Man's New York City (either through the story or through various side missions) is more of the game's focus than traversing through it, then I think keeping web swinging easy was likely a good call. I have not played the game, however, so if I'm not actually correct about this point, my argument would likely change to agreeing with giving web swinging more of a learning curve.

  4. So if the web swinging was so easy because Spider-Man is already an expert then in the next game Miles' gameplay can be more skill based and different since he's just learning and there would still be fall damage that would be really awesome

  5. When he keeps talking about amazing grappling systems, and all you can think about are the grappling hooks in tf2, which are only in 1 fringe gamemode, and community servers

  6. Lovely video and some good points, but I do have some rebuttals.

    1. The combat in the arkham games isn't as mindless as you make it out to be. You can use gadgets both in and out of combat which adds a nice level of depth, at least most times (mandatory "use this strategy and nothing else" enemies are still pretty frequent)

    2. If the web swinging was too difficult it would incentivize some players, less skilled ones especially, to just fast travel everywhere and skip like 70% of the game. One of my favourite parts of the game is just lackadaisically swinging around between missions. The traversal is so satisfying you never really want to just fast travel.

    It's kinda like how in Saints Row 4 the superpowers made driving a regular car basically pointless. Y'know?

  7. I think that from a developer's perspective, Insomniac was trying to make a game where anyone could pick up the game and immediately feel like a superhero. This was meant to be a large, AAA, mainstream release rather than something for hardcore gamers that want to feel rewarded. For this reason this easy to pick up style was what they went with. I am 100% sure they have explored other options with swinging such as the one from spiderman 2 on the ps2. I am pretty sure they have said so in interviews as well anyways. But this system worked for their needs, and for the masses. They wanted to appeal to the masses and to the committed gamers.

  8. Perhaps the best leeway that we can give to the web-swinging in Spider-Man is the experience that this current Spider-Man has, I would expect a more difficult take on web-swinging if Peter Parker was new to the experience of being Spider-Man i.e. an origin story of such. But as the plot is detailed to be years into the web swinging‘s man’s career a degree of familiarity is expected, and with that a sense of ease in traversal of terrain. To make more complications in a natural form of travel could be extremely irritating for the player.

  9. I know that in the Gamecube Spiderman game, you had finite web and had to pick up web refills… but swinging didn't cost any web, only like attacks and stuff did. Maybe that finite jumps thing you mentioned can be incorporated by factoring in Spiderman's mechanical web-shooters that he can't refill in midair, but the refill pickups are otherwise pretty generous.

  10. I love your channel and all your videos, but here I think you're being a bit unfair to Spiderman.
    The game is not a masterpiece by any means, and it's not a particularly demanding adventure, but the web slinging being so easy makes sense to me.
    This version of Spiderman has been doing it for 8 years, he's webslinging in his sleep. It wouldn't really make sense to make it so challenging for the player that the character ends up face planting against a building half of the time or that he has a hard time keeping up with a car or a guy on foot.

    So maybe the real question is: do we sacrifice the opportunity to tell a different story with Spiderman (since every goddamn franchise of his has started with his origin story and his struggle to control his powers) in order to adhere to a philosophy of gameplay-as-challenge or do we use gameplay to tell something to the player? To tell a story, communicate a feeling, etc.?
    I am aware that Spiderman PS4 isn't the best title to start this discussion, but your videos are always precious food for thought.

  11. From what I remember Arkham Asylum/city gets fuckin hard towards the mid game, even though you feel like an absolute bad ass fighting all these goons they just keep coming and start overwhelming you with numbers and once you get deep into the game and there's tasers, guns, shields, armored goons, and more to think about all while you're trying to hold off the riff raff that game is engaging as hell.

  12. Y'know what game did webslinging well? It's a surprising entry: Subnautica. In that open ocean exploration game, one of the submersible vehicles available to you is an exosuit, that allows you to walk on the floor of the sea. It's normally quite slow, but with a combination of timed jumpjet boosts and careful aiming of a grappling hook upgrade, you can zip around the ocean like some hybrid of Spider-man, Ironman, and Aquaman.

  13. I feel it is important to remember that in Spiderman, if web swinging was made more difficult, you would be making just getting from point A to Point B outside of missions and objectives a total pain in the ass. Whats more, the ease of travel and challenge of combat gives us another way to get closer to the character of Peter Parker, he loves the freedom that swinging around gives him, and it came to him naturally, but he is not a born fighter, and he really needed to train himself to go through with that.

  14. True
    Web swing is too easy, enjoyment would disappear after realizing how shallow the tricks one can preform can be

    – webs as said should gravitate u to a direction so you have to manage where spider goes or keeping in the middle

    – web zip should be more on precision or it's too easy to just do that all game (amazing spider game flashbacks urgh)

    -combat variation is nice but at times too many that they weaken each other like suit mods
    – suit mods should give same boost as the highest boost on their specific suit but weaker anywhere else (4x dmg on suit it comes with but 2x on any other For example) so there's some freedom but not so much it defeats the purpose of certain mods

    -moveset is nice but needs changes
    – web always active
    – attacks hitbox others in range than only on target
    – gadgets that are inferior to others remove and keep the more effective (stick to wall/immobilize, levitate/launcher, shock, drone/keeps combo meter active)
    – specials by input expanded on

  15. It's true that swinging in the game is really easy and not punitive in a way, but stumbling on walls and losing the swingning momentum isn't satisfying at all. If you want to feel like Spider-Man you want to do clean uninterrupted swings threw the city, and to do this you need focus and thinking ahead , and is incredibly satisfying

  16. is AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! really not worth a mention anywhere?
    either way, accessibility kills fun. we deserve more games like hotline, that can be really difficult while still being incredibly immersive, fun, and satisfying. if a game wants to make combat as easy as the combat in the stanley parable, then it shouldn't be an action game.

  17. Whenever people talk shit about Arkham's combat, they always show footage from a fight that's like 10 minutes into the game as if it reflects the entirety of the experience.

  18. The web swinging doesn't need to be challenging because you're constantly being attacked later in the game.
    Imagine trying to manage a more in depth system while dodging the constant snipers and rocket fire it'd be a nightmare.

  19. Honestly if web-slinging weren’t the main way of traversal I’d agree. But considering it’s not a platformer like Odyseey and more of an action game like Bayonetta or DMC, I don’t think it’s necessarily an issue that the webslinging is tight and forgiving. Spider-Man was built on the tasks in the world being easily accesible and getting to those tasks feeling good. Good points but tbh I wouldn’t change a thing about the webslinging. It’s borderline pristine.

  20. Feeling like the character your playing as should never be effortless, but it shouldn't take 10,000 hours to get to that point either. No one feels like Link in the Legend of Zelda as soon as you start swinging a sword; it takes time to get used to that sort of combat. But once you've learned the skills and have practiced for a reasonable amount of time then the player will only have to get better at it. I do think webs swinging in Spiderman games need to be easily accessible but still challenging Force the player to use their brain. When you are driving a car over several years it will become easier for you, but you still have to remember to be smart while you're driving, and no matter how skilled and experienced you are at driving if you mess up then the consequences will be just as bad as a brand new driver who hasn't the slightest clue.

  21. I had the same thought when I played. You feel too invinsible and don't feel adrenaline of height. It's like there were no gravity at all.

  22. Ultimately, I think it comes down to what type of game you want to make. I think the combo and scoreboard style is very arcade-like, which I don't think suits this game. If you plant a scoreboard or combo meter, when swinging around, you start noticing the "game" behind the fantasy. In that regard, it can be very immersion breaking, and cramming combo metres and scoreboards into everything you do in the game can become tiresome and take away from the core experience.

    It is important to know what kind of experience you want the player to have. Instead of scoreboards, for example, they could have made certain engage-attacks be "locked" behind performing the right swinging trick that combos into that attack – which would open up some options for conscious decision making when swinging into combat.
    – I think putting the more arcade missions in as optional content is the way to go, so you get both an immersive story and can join in the "arcade" game-like feel of the side missions, which requires you to master certain aspects, as you see fit.

    I will say though, as I haven't played through the game yet, that using the swinging in interesting ways gameplay-wise should be a priority.
    If it adds some interesting decision making on how to engage certain situations during story missions, I'm all for it – I just don't think a combo meter or scoreboard is the best solution to it.

  23. One idea for the left and right web swinging is that if you use both webs you get more stability and/or movement options and if you use one one hand you could attack mid swing
    I haven't played either of the Spiderman games you mentioned, so idk if it is a mechanic in some form, but I thought it might be a good idea.

  24. I was waiting "A Story About my Uncle" when the swinging part came. That game is literally the Swinging Simulator. I loved that when it first came out

  25. This one I kinda disagree with. While the other games had a bit of a gimmick to their swinging to great a different sensation, they eventually became annoying. I like the swinging in Spider-Man PS4 because the game I challenging in different areas. If the swinging mechanics had tricks or a skill-curve it wouldn't feel right. Many people will find that to be a flaw or an annoyance to the game. Not a plus.

  26. The very last video I watched of yours told game developers to _"avoid overly complex control systems altogether"_, and even blasted Detroit Become Human for requiring too much fine motor controls.


  27. This has probably been seen, but they had to make it easy for marketing and demos, because people were so hung up on the web swinging feel right.

  28. I'm surprised there is no mention of Worlds Adrift. It is completely physics based with a grappling hook traversal system. No other game has allowed me to feel more like Spider-Man just because it uses more accurate physics.

  29. Honestly one of my favorite parts of Spider-Man PS4 is the web-slinging. I played for over 15 hours and barely did any of the story because I enjoyed just swinging around New York and doing side quests. I agree with what the devs were going for when it comes to the simplicity of it.

  30. I don't exactly agree with you, but I do see where your coming from. O definitely enjoyed mario odyssey's controls a lot more, but for me spiderman's swinging is supposed to make u feel free and limitless. I do believe having extra obstacles would make it feel slower and more limiting. But then again this topic is incredibly subjective 😄

  31. I'm fine with Spider-Man automatically choosing what you are attatched to, because of Spidey Sense. Though I do agree that Spider Man should be drawn closer to the building you are connected to. The way web swing right now, it just feels okay. I tried holding R2 and forward to go somwhere. and it worked fine. the only other thing I had to change was slightly adjusting the camera. Since holding R2 and froward alone web swings, wall run, dive bombs and automatically lets go of the web.

    A climb button would help a lot with making traversal require some skill, making you be aware on when you have to climb. It would also be neat if web swinging to wall running would be like Ultimate Spider-Man where depending on how fast you are swinging, you would run a certain distance on the wall. But also have it like Spider Man 2 were Spider-Man would slowly run down a wall. I basically wanted the web swing to be like Ultimate Spider-Man but with not al floaty web swinging and all the options that Spider-Man PS4 gives you, and fall damage.

    The only time I liked the web swinging was in the DLC during combat. where at the start of the 3rd DLC there were flying enemies and you had to swing around the arena trying to catch up them.

  32. Wow, hard disagree on the Batman Arkham fighting system. I found it way more challenging and satisfying. Spider Man is just copying the broad strokes and gives 5e main character less health for a little variation.

    I didn’t like the web swinging all that much either for what it’s worth, felt a little cheap to me, and swinging full on into a building should indeed have some negative consequence.

  33. I cannot believe the gall of this video to leave out the absolute classic Spider-Man 2 for the GC. Web swinging in that is difficult but fantastic. Great video besides that obvious mistake.

  34. The only thing I would change in the web swinging is remove the ability to correct spidey direction once you detach from the web, with the camera stick. It makes no sense (in physic) to turn around a corner just moving a stick mid-air. Spidey should be shoot forward in a line from the direction of the swing, if you then need a change of direction you must manage it with other short webs

  35. "Spidey doesn't have a finite number of webs that replinish when he lands".

    Actually, his webshooters do need to be refilled, and he can't really do it in midair.

    However, the game doesn't implement this part of the lore.

  36. Ya I agree that the Arkham knight fighting system was a bit more generous (because it attempts to make you a perfectionist like batman), but there certainly is a lot more combo's and tactics in there than in spiderman. I'm not saying arkham's better, but they had a lot more time to perfect their system. Do you know how hard it is to perfectly counter all of the blade dodges every single time? that shit hard and saps your health like crazy. aside from that you have more freedom in incorporating gadget combos into you fights without needed to switch things out in a gadget wheel or use only one standard button, the more gadget variations in a fight the better you basically are. Hell, even the gliding capabilities have evolved to allow you to use almost your entire arsenal while you are heading into a fight, planning before it even begins on the fly. Also if you start a new game plus it completely gets rid of the head indicators which alert you an enemy is about to attack. It automatically makes you try much harder to even survive the fight let alone perfectly finish it. also, there are about 4 times more finishers, stealth takedowns, and other features in Arkham than there are in spiderman. I mean they can't completely copy everything from rocksteady as most of it isn't intended to be something spiderman "would do". but I definetly still love both games and enjoy the similarities and differences. The verticality and traversal of buildings in spiderman is of course a little more hands-on as you don't just have a simple grappling gun that will get you to the top. You can slowing swing all the way up, run up the building, dilate time to grapple onto a ledge and a few more options which are definitely really spiderman-like.

  37. Meh, I still enjoyed the ever loving crap out of the swinging. It felt very zen to me and not necessary as a challenge. That being said, I would like to see them expand on it in such a way that there are more advanced options and tricks so that it can become Tony Hawk-esque while still being breezy enough to make the travel time between missions easy. I would also like more swinging based missions as well. In deference to your combat on Batman though, I actually really like Arkham’s combat. It’s great as an example of easy to learn difficult to master combat design. Pulling a single flowing combo while using all of Batman’s combat moves and gadgets is an amazing feeling.

  38. The disappointing thing about this game is that it mostly feels like it is playing itself. Traversal can be accomplished by holding forward and r2 with few other inputs and is too hand holding. It was fun at first but it got old quickly. They worried way too much about making the swinging look "cinematic" but the mechanics are so simple that people looking for more in the swinging get bored easily. On top of that the swinging doesn't feel like you are the one adding momentum to it. I can't explain it well but it seems like the game decides when you get momentum and it's not your choice. It definitely is nowhere near as good as Spider-Man 2's swinging.
    Also, for the combat they decided to take inspiration from one of the most dull combat systems in the modern era: the arkham games. WHY. Those games combat literally feel like they play themselves. I feel braindead when I play the combat in those games. Why do so many games feel the need to use that style of combat system? It's fucking awful. Another thing is how repetetive the animations get for the combat. Can I get another animations besides the stupid 3 hit kick combo that doesn't even look cool? Lol sorry for going off but man I was disappointed with this game. All flash no substance

  39. I appreciate the points, but I personally feel that Spiderman struck the balance perfectly. Mobility is simple, but mid air combat is not. Introductory combat is simple, but its much more in depth later. If I pick up a game called Spiderman I want to pickup the game and instantly feel like Spiderman, but I also want to feel more like Spiderman the more I play.

  40. Web of shadow had great air fights. Better then the new one in my book at least. The new Spider-Man wins in everything else though. Wel..Maybe not in cameos ^^ Would love a proper VR Spider-Man

  41. When it comes to grappling hooks giving you full control, Windlands is perfect.
    You've got left and right hooks, you decide when to let go and when to keep holding and the speed of traversal is greatly depending on your skill. Air control is also somewhat weak, so you need to master the hooks.

  42. You are missing one very important aspect in this video. Which is funny given that you acknowledged it with the quote you used.
    In the game Peter has been Spider-Man for 8 years. 8. That a hell of a long time, so of course swinging is going to be easy to get used to and not have this massive learning curve/being extremely challenging that would make no sense given that Peter has likely used swinging as not only part of being Spider-Man but as a way to get around the city for normal everything this.

    Big disagree from me.

  43. Totally didn't expect to see Rocket League in this video but it's a great example of a game where you need a lot of mechanical skill. I have a lot of friends who gave up after one gaming session because how hard it is to even hit the ball when you start with the game.

  44. sure the Arkham system combat starts out really easy but it gets much harder. You really have to focus and use every trick in the book if you want to make it through the challenge modes and new game plus

  45. Mark I love your videos, but I'm becoming increasingly convinced you've never actually played any of the batman arkham games.

  46. Web of Shadows is still my favorite web swinging of all time. I couldn’t even play it as a kid because it was too complicated for my baby ape brain.

  47. anyone here play that attack on titan game that's what I wish the web swinging here was youtube has videos if you want to see how it works its so unbeliveble when you pull off a move vs a titan cheap looking but the gameplay is more than worth it just thinking of swinging makes me want to play as scary as it is for a new player whan just getting out of the titans line of site alone is almost not possible hope you injoy it

  48. the Spider-Man PS4 web swinging for me feels, for lack of a better term, scripted compared to Spider-Man 2 or even Web of Shadows.

  49. making swinging challenging would have ruined the game. As making everything challenging will be just too much.
    we have to give the players the 'FUN' part too

  50. I dont remember all the details but I think spider man can always make sure his webs stick to surfaces w no effort because of his spider sense.

  51. I really like the web swinging in Spider-Man, I think the only way to truly improve it would be to raise the skill ceiling with less forgiving high level maneuvers, and like you suggested, rewarding players for integrating web swinging with the combat

  52. This is my first comment but I've been watching your videos for at least two years now and I believe you have made me a better designer/developer. I just recently picked up Spider-Man and I love that you did a video on the subject of how the game lets you feel like Spider-Man. While I understand and would like to see a more technical web-slinging mechanic I personally think that it was a smart move to make the web-slinging so simple. I can't speak for everyone, but I've never felt the need to fast travel in that game. Why would you when web-slinging is so much fun and getting across the map didn't take too much time. I think it was nice that combat was challenging (ie let you be like Spider-Man) and the traversal was simple (ie makes you feel like Spide-Man) but that's my take on it. I do wish there were more missions like the Electro/Scorpion mission though as it was excellent!

    Also while I am here I wanted to let you know Boss Keys gives me life and I try to watch them at least twice a year and your genre roguelike video is a masterpiece. Thank you for what you do.

  53. Maybe when Spiderman exits a swing by jumping, he could create a parachute out of web and then float to… oh, now I've got Rico Rodriguez all over my Spiderman.

  54. I thought that the movement when trying to be precise was incredibly difficult.
    therespecthe are so many different points to zip to and moving with the analogue stick is hard to use and slow making it unsatisfactory.
    I think the movement being easy was a good decision since you simply move so much and so far it would be frustrating to keep failing again and again.

  55. I have 2 points of disagreement.

    Arkham's combat is actually in depth. Much like Mario Odyssey, you only need a few moves, attack and counter. But stuns, gadgets, critical strikes, special knockout moves, clam stun and beatdowns, evades, everything make it very satisfying with a not too bad skill ceiling. Otherwise, agree on sticky-ness of Batman and how zipping to enemies in Spiderman actually needs you to work for it.

    I believe that the swinging isn't easy, but underdeveloped. Integration of swinging and combat should be done, yes. An added system for momentum, speed, angling, etc. in swinging? Yes please. More need to use the dive button, the wall run, etc.? Yes. But complicate the swinging itself, the Hold R2 and use X thing? No. Add on to a simple system. No need to make something you will do for so long too difficult. It is after all an open world game and not a linear game. In Titanfall 2, you can use the grappling hook, jetpack etc for mobiltiy or use other things for a different style. All Peter has is swinging. Making it more detailed would be nice, but not harder.

    Keep up the good work, I love your videos!

  56. One game that had a great grapple mechanic: Super Metroid. The Grapple Beam was my favorite upgrade in the whole game. Unfortunately Nintendo doesn't give you much time to use it. You pick it up in Norfair, but you can really only use it to get to the Wrecked Ship. There's a side passage in Brinstar to pick up the X-Ray Scope and a shortcut in Norfair bridge Crocomire's area to the entrance of Lower Norfair, but that's it. Once in Wrecked Ship you pick up the Gravity Suit, and then go into Maridia, and THAT is where the Grapple Beam is most useful. Big, open spaces with lots of space to swing and fly through the air—err, water?—and some nifty grapple walls that let Samus cling to walls (like Spider-Man!) And all of this grapple fun leads you to Draygon, the boss of the area, whose defeat rewards you with Space Jump. Infinite jumping makes grappling around unnecessary—the areas you can get to after acquiring Space Jump (the sandy upper Maridia, lower Norfair, and Tourian) have ZERO grapple blocks. The only place Grapple Beam is required post-Space Jump is to break a crumbling grapple block to open up the path to the optional Spring Ball—and then you Space Jump up the shaft.

    Unfortunately, it's left to ROM hacks to fully explore the potential of Grapple Beam gameplay. 'Super Metroid Redesign' and 'Z-Factor' are two that make better use of it. Big spaces and having to fly blindly into the unknown to find the next grapple block. (It plays better than it sounds.)

  57. Honestly I've never played those older Spiderman games but I adored the swinging in the PS4 version.

    I would find myself swinging around, doing cool maneuvers, and trying to go as low as possible all for fun while traversing. It was simple and easy to use as well as feeling great to do. It felt extremely good to just swing around since it felt so like what I felt Spiderman swinging should feel like.

    Many times in the game id find myself just swinging from place to place rather than fast traveling since it was so fun to do so. Plus when I got calls while swinging it would give me a reason to stay in the air longer which let me play around with the swinging mechanics while I listened to dialogue, overall giving me moments where I could increase my skill level at the mechanic while enjoying both the mechanic itself and some lovely worldbuilding.

    I've loved the videos I've seen from you but I highly disagree with this one. While I do believe that swinging could have been implemented more in the ways of combat I do not believe that the swinging should have been made more mechanically difficult. I feel like adding difficulty to something that felt so good to do and doesn't need to be difficult would have just bogged down gameplay while making those first couple of moments I was out swinging along stick with me far less and hook me into the game far less.

  58. I feel like the mechanic of speed boost in The Free Ones is very similar to the one in Just Cause Series. Just the other way around.

  59. Looking forward on how Insomniac can up the challenge of swinging in the next Spider-Man game. Keen to know if the mechanics can be 'easy to learn but hard to master', if that makes sense

  60. When Rocksteady first designed the Free Flow combat system, they said it was sort of meant to be a rhythm game. And that's where i personally, and many other people i imagine, get their fun in Arkham combat.

    It's not about the fear of dying in combat, Batman always comes out on top in even the hardest fights in the games. To me, its about the need to be perfect. You're Batman, a mortal man, fighting against hundreds of dudes with guns and swords with not much more than your fists. For him to BE the Batman, he needs to be perfect. Otherwise, he's just a nutter in really expensive cosplay. Just like a rhythm game, breaking your combo doesn't mean the game is over. But you're left with that feeling that you could have easily done better and you're score is so much lower than if you had been flawless.

    And that's what makes me F E E L like Batman. When I've demolished a few dozen baddies without a single scratch on my ear tipped head.

  61. i think it should be more challenging to swing as when you do master it it feels really satisfying

  62. If there's one thing I wanted to say about this topic, is that you would have to balance fun and frustration. it's the reason I don't play Mario games. I struggle with the Precision platforming and the enemy dodging and halfway through I get stuck and bored and I don't want to play anymore.

  63. There is a Spider Man game with fantastic traversal options. Web of shadows gives you so many options which makes it so much fun. But the problem is that the camera can't keep up and webs don't attatch to the buildings at all. That and the gane doesn't need you to know all the mechanics at all. In fact it doesn't teach half of them. There is no situation in web of shadows where you need to use half of the traversal mechanics. But at least traversal and fighting are intergrated together. Even though during combat, you'll just zip towards an enemy to travel in combat rather then swing. I think the objective best traversal system is Ultimate Spider Man because it's managable, requires some skill to get somewhat decent at web swinging. Though the combat and swinging is very seperate. Spidey 2's swinging is good but the physics are very clunky.

    Just to clarify, I like Web of Shadows and Ultimates tarversal system equally, but I just think objectively Ultimates is better because you can learn half of the mechanics natuarally. While Web of Shadows, I only knew the options from a someone talking about web of shadows and shattered dimentions on youtube. Also you do need to know the traversal mechanics in Ultimate in some missions, while in Web of Shadows, you don't at all.

    Also something a learned in PS4 spidey, if you just hold forward and R2, Spidey shoots a web, let's go of a web, wall runs, runs, parkours over objects and dive bombs. Just from holding two things.

  64. In the comic it's often said that Spider-man likes to web-swing to free his mind and relax a bit, specially when he is so used to it after some years (like in the game), so making the swinging challenging would ruin a bit that idea.

  65. In addendum to your point about Insomniac wanting the traversal to be a certain way, I think this game being the first of its kind also matters. There's been Spider-Man games with good web-swinging (Spider-Man 2, Web of Shadows), good story (Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Ultimate Spider-Man) and good combat (Web of Shadows, Ultimate Spider-Man, Shattered Dimensions) but we've never seen a truly cinematic Spider-Man game, which doesn't just make you feel like Spider-Man but has the character imbued in its bones. Being written by Jon Paquette with additions from Dan Slott and Christos Gage themselves, this game is for true Spider-Man fans just as much as it is for newcomers. That being said, I think the importance of the ease in traversal was severely understated. If the traversal was too complicated in the first place, I think it might have ran the risk of alienating players. However, now that they have a traversal system which is almost unanimously considered the best traversal in any Spider-Man game, they're free to improve on it for the next game. I genuinely think that the idea of the left and right arms playing an individual role in traversal is the key to the next level of web-swinging. This first game is a benchmark for all Spider-Man games to follow, and that just means they're more creatively free to go any direction they want.

  66. I like the combat in the Arkham games better than Spider man. I wish Spider man had a death cam where the villein pops up to mock you.

  67. I disagree, the swinging is rewarding and for a lot of side missions it's necessary to master this skill. You didn't talk about a lot of other techniques and side missions on the game that will improve your web swinging.

  68. If I may add my 2 cents to an old video, I think that the web swinging for clumsy casual gamers like myself was excellent but I do agree on more web swinging combat scenarios. I think Fisks construction sites were a bit wasted as I expected the multiple floors buildings to be excellent opportunities to swing around while kicking ass. The Sable soldiers could've achieved that as well. Hopefully next game.

  69. I don't have any thought about the spidey games since I'm not really familiar with them but watching you talk about grappling mechanic for 15minutes made me want to play that little Attack on titan fan game again where you could shoot two grapple (that I bound to left click and right click) and you needed to aim for the neck of giant potato-titan (kinda like in the anime). It was really amateur but so fun. So sad it was took down.

  70. I don’t really want getting from point A to point B to be a challenge in a game. I think they did an AMAZING thing by making the traversal, fun, fast, and facile.

  71. I was going to say something about how all the things you mentioned ruining the fantasy, but you did address it at least in a single sentence.
    Then went on to praise two games most fans agree have the worst web-swinging mechanics of them all. Because muddying up the controls by having them set to two different buttons doesn't feel fluid,. Nor does having you latched to a building because you didn't let go, swinging around it like a pendulum.
    And Insomniac had the right explanation. You're not playing brand new Spidey. You're playing 8-year Spidey. If he feels at all sluggish, he isn't Spider-man. If he functions just like a regular human with a single grapple in any other game, he isn't Spider-man.

    I get that you would prefer it be more mechanically intensive, but that just wouldn't be Spider-man. It would be one of the characters in one of the other games you mentioned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *