Swinging around in the new Spider-Man is so much fun, it’ll make you look past the Ubisoft-style collect-a-thon. We discuss that and much more on this week’s Kotaku Splitscreen.
First, Kirk and I talk some more about Destiny 2's Forsaken expansion, addressing the question “how much should creators listen to fan feedback?” and talking about the brilliant new Dreaming City location. Then Kirk sits down with video producer Lindsay Ellis to talk about Disney, Star Wars, fascism, and YouTube. After that I rejoin the show to cap things off with more Spider-Man love, which Kirk finally acknowledges is as good as I said it was.
Get the MP3 here, or read an excerpt:
Jason: Do you see what I’m saying about how the core mechanics are so good that you don’t even mind the fact that it’s a Ubisoft-style collect-a-thon?
Kirk: Nope, because getting around is so fun.
Jason: Yeah, you’re swinging around, and you never want to use fast travel because swinging is so much fun. It’s like, ‘Hell yeah, I’ll do this crime even though it’s the same crime I’ve done twenty times already.’ But it’s just so much fun to swing and fling webs and punch people in this game that I’d might as well just keep doing that. It’s very enjoyable. The story, as you’ll see, is a very good length and never wears out its welcome, and swinging from place to place is so much fun that you want to keep doing it even after the story ends, even when you’re not doing story stuff.
Kirk: Yeah, the web traversal mechanics are such a great mix of accessible and foolproof and yet also rewarding of mastery. I think a lot of these kinds of games work very hard to find balance, and [Spider-Man’s] really got it, where I’m going for style points. I could go from point A to point B just by holding down the trigger, and steering Peter in that direction. He’ll do it, and look pretty cool, and it’ll still be fun. But when I get really into doing the timed thing where you do the double-trigger pull and then you land and hit it at the right time and it blows him forward, you can build up your momentum and go really really fast.
Jason: Have you unlocked those trick jumps yet?
Kirk: Yeah. There are all these moves, and I have to repeatedly go back through the moves list because there are actually a lot of moves and I forget a lot of them. One of the moves is when you’re running along the wall, if you hold down circle, he jumps around the corner and shoots a web and then swings in a 45-degree turn. You can do that naturally without doing that, but the better I get at that stuff, the more it looks really cool and I constantly feel good about it.
The camera work, they’ve gotten so good at distending the lens and moving it in a certain way behind him, so it always feels like you’re moving and you’re able to see what’s happening, but it’s so exciting. The helicopter chase sequence that was at E3, where he chases this helicopter and then jumps on it, and he fights the guys, and the helicopter’s crashing, and he grabs it and swings it between two buildings—I had seen that, but I was falling out of my chair. That was just so well done.