So, you’ve snagged Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, one of the hottest Sony PlayStation exclusives since… well, since Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Maybe you’ve read the sterling reviews. Maybe your favorite content creators told you it’s worth the buy. Maybe you’re simply a longtime fan here to have some more fun with Peter Parker and Miles Morales – in fact, we reckon that’s most of you.
You can swing your way straight into Spider-Man 2 without our tips. It’s an easy enough game to get the hang of, but we hope you’ll find the following suggestions worth the heads-up – and the few extra moments before starting your new journey in NYC.
Fiddle With The Difficulty Modifiers
Perhaps you’ll fall in love with the hardest difficulty modes available. Perhaps you’ll prefer things breezier. But no matter where you think you’ll land, we advise you spend some time familiarizing yourself with the wide gamut of difficulty modifiers in Spider-Man 2, from the damage calculations to the slow-motion dodging to the more automated hop-on-to-the-bad-guy’s-car moments.
Hands down, this is the best way to get a feel for every main mechanic, because when the pressure is off you can try out different attacks and combos against run-of-the-mill thugs. Adjust to your tastes before going forward with the story!
Take Your Time
We’ve all felt the push to blitz through great games. Whether it’s thanks to our busy lives or simply because there’s a never-ending slew of new games on the horizon, it’s easy to rush even the best entries in the medium. Spider-Man 2 tends to reward patience, as the far greater amount of content in this deceptively-titled threequel can take many hours to complete. It can be deceptive – the game often wants to keep the narrative momentum springing forward for you – but hang out for a while anyway.
Every district in this gorgeously-lit new spin on New York has at least half a dozen recurring optional objectives, and unlike with some open world video games, it’s generally worth doing it all. More gadgets, more skills, and occasionally, yes, even more great story beats all await you if you’re willing to get a real feel for our heroes’ home turf.
Play The First Two
“Are you seriously telling me to play other games on this list of tips for this game?” Yeah, we are, because we just know there’ll be folks jumping in with Spider-Man 2. And to be clear, that’s hardly illegal, and sure, you’ll get the basics down between Miles’ opening monologue and the relative straightforwardness of franchise lore to begin with.
But both Spider-Man and its Miles Morales sequel are tremendous games worth experiencing in their own right, and yes, there are a lot of little moments you will appreciate more in this game with full knowledge. Insomniac’s been crafting an ongoing saga with their spin on this legendary IP, and while they’ve done an admirable job keeping newcomers up to speed, it’s a bit like jumping into an ongoing comic run halfway.
Keep Things Fresh
The switch-offs between Peter Parker and Miles Morales are a real treat, and maybe the biggest fresh trick in Spider-Man 2. The core web-slinging is there for both, and the kicks and punches aren’t terribly far apart, but so much more is expressly unique to one playable character or another.
In many ways, the developers have managed to imbue enough mechanical diversity between how each character controls to come across like the Spider-Men are entirely separate – less ‘Super Smash Bros. clones of each other’ than you might expect. So, if you’re holding off on the main story for a few sessions, and you’re getting tired of Peter’s fighting style and general ‘game feel’? Move forward a little, swap to Miles, and vice versa. It seriously breathes more life into any day we’ve spent with Spider-Man 2.
Crank Up Those Haptics
If you’re adamantly unfond of the PlayStation 5 controller’s haptic feedback – or worse, it affects you in some detrimental way – then obviously, skip past this one. But if you’re even a little bit into the nifty console feature, crank things up to the highest setting, because Spider-Man 2 might just have the most impressive implementation of it we’ve yet seen.
From the timed thrumming of subway trains, to the way Peter and Miles sort of slam softly into the cement on their way down from a glide, to the thrilling whooshes of swinging through the wind, these are some pretty darn convincing sensations.
Progress Through Those Districts…
We’re not saying you need to play Spider-Man 2 to 100 percent completion (though you certainly should if you want to do so). But tackle a few district challenges every time you boot up the game for a couple of hours, because this is your biggest doorway into the kinds of tokens you’ll need to continue upgrading your Suit Tech at a better pace than if you played through purely the main story.
In fact, we’d go so far as to say Spider-Man 2’s difficulty is deliberately tailored to the ideal that players will engage with at least a third of this stuff. (Completing it all will keep you well ahead of the level of abilities your Spider-Men will need in order to bring down the latter-stage bosses.)
That being said, you’ll unlock the various forms of side content and collectibles over the course of the first half or so of the story. So, don’t expect to get everything done in the wee hours before Peter and Harry even hop on their bicycles for a few scenes. Comb a district or two for the photo ops (you’ll unlock these very quickly), and then come back when you’ve got access to a few more things. Rinse and repeat.
Cancel The Pain
Very early on, you’ll be introduced to the parrying system. Not everything can be parried – that’d be a bit much! – but a great many regular attacks, as well as certain boss techniques, can have their damage mitigated or even ricocheted.
Here’s the thing – you’ll want to pay attention to enemy movement telegraphing more than any blatant indicator of a parry opportunity, because in our experience, they’re not always marked accordingly. Imagine our surprise when, in the late game, we suddenly figured out how to parry the attack of a standard grunt-type foe we’d been knocking unconscious by the hundreds. You don’t need to be a parrying pro to survive in Spider-Man 2, but you can significantly lower the number of times you’ll need to heal in this fashion.
Next: Spider-Man 2: Who Is Kraven The Hunter?