Marvel’s Spider-Man comes to PC, and it’s still brilliant

August 11, 2022

Marvel’s Spider-Man was one of the highlights of Sony’s first-party line-up on the PlayStation 4, and we rated it 4 stars out of 5 back in the day. It’s also the latest in a line of formerly-PlayStation exclusive titles which have been ported to the PC, as Marvel’s Spider-Man, specifically the Remastered version formerly exclusive to the PS5 (and sold as part of a special edition of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales) makes its way to Steam on 13 August. We’ve spent some time with the PC version, which has received several patches as we’ve been playing, to report back on the key differences with this PC release.

Graphic Updates

With a PC release comes support for much more powerful hardware, and Spider-Man has been built to support a range of new options and features. NVIDIA’s DLSS and DLAA are supported, while the latest patch has also added preliminary support for AMD FSR 2.0. Ray-tracing is supported across both NVIDIA and AMD cards, with Insomniac recommending at least an NVIDIA RTX 3070 or AMD RX 6900 XT. There’s also support for ultra-wide monitors, with aspect ratios of 16:9, 16:10, 21:9, 32:9 and 48:9 all allowed, even across triple monitor set-ups.

Playing Spider-Man on PC, and the game doesn’t feel like it’s lost a step, despite it being 4 years since the original PS4 release. While some of the animations aren’t quite as fluid as its sequel, Miles Morales, would build upon, Marvel’s Spider-Man still looks great on PC. All of Spidey’s costumes have stunning intricate detail, fully rendered and examinable during both cutscenes and gameplay, although best observed in photo mode where you can zoom in as much as you want to catch all the textures and imperfections. The lighting, too, takes a significant boost with improved shadows and even some subtly enhanced realistically simulated from dynamic lighting sources, like fires from exploded cars or debris. Reflections, through ray-tracing, to my eye look about as good as they did on the PS5 version of Remastered, which is to say they’re significantly better than the base PS4 version, and great on surfaces like skyscraper windows, but can have some noticeable pop-in and pop-out in highly reflective indoor locations like Fisk’s Tower. There also some occasional odd bugs we observed that should be ironed out in updates, like helicopters glitching out in the sky.

While you can drop in-game quality to suit your specs, you’re also better off making sure Spider-Man is running off an SSD as well. Even with uncapped frame-rates, that FPS can dip, not especially in gameplay, but definitely in cinematics when there’s a lot going on, or a transition from one environment to another. However, possibly the best PC addition comes in the form of that ultra-wide support. Marvel’s Spider-Man takes many cues from the multitude of cinematic adventures the web-crawler has spun onto, and seeing it in a proper cinematic format like 21:9 makes it feel even more like a part of that tradition.

The City That Never Sleeps DLC Included

As a version of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, the PC release comes with the original three-episode DLC expansion The City That Never Sleeps already included. This pack continues the story from the main game, as well as expanding on some of the characters like Black Cat, Silver Sable and Yuri Watanabe. The main baddy, unfortunately, is nowhere near as interesting as the villains in the base game, and comes in the form of mob boss Hammerhead. It’s overall a decent extension of the mechanics and story of the core game, although it can feel a bit repetitive, especially in its side content – although there are some neat new locations added, from art galleries to stealth craft.

Same Great Game, Best Played with a Controller

Importantly, Marvel’s Spider-Man is still maybe the best representation of Your Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man we’ve seen in video games. The city of New York is your playground, and the sense of fun and freedom from simply web-slinging around the city is worth the price of admission alone. Combat relies on Spidey’s strengths – acrobatics, dodging incoming attacks, and juggling enemies in the air as he webs them up. The story bounces its focus between several plot-lines, and on replay not all of them feel as well served as in my first playthrough. While most will remember the inclusion of Doc Ock as one of the strongest emotional threads in the game, as it draws upon what worked in the cinematic Spider-Man 2, one of the other chief villains Mr. Negative feels comparatively under-served as Doc Ock gains more narrative importance. However, there are more than enough memorable characters and heartbreaking moments that will still make this a story to remember, I can imagine especially if it’s one of your introductions to the character, as it hits all the right notes.

If you’re going to play Spidey on PC, it’s probably best to stick with a controller. You’ll need to physically connect your DualSense controller with a wired connection in order to experience the full range of haptic feedback on offer from the PS5 release, but really anything other than a mouse and keyboard is probably the way to go. While the mouse is smooth for aiming while web-slinging, and a fine way to experience the game when just exploring, when the action starts you’ll want to have a controller to execute the fast-paced button combos you’re expected to pull off.

Overall, I’m sure there’s plenty of PC players who’ve been hearing for years now how good Marvel’s Spider-Man is on PlayStation, waiting for their chance to give it a crack. I’m happy to report that it’s survived the transition, and not only that, but looks better than ever – as long as your rig has the horsepower to pull off its more powerful ray-tracing features.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on PC was reviewed using code provided by PlayStation Australia.