How much is Otto to blame for what he does during the last half of the game? While he shows some anger issues earlier in the game and understandably hates Norman, he doesn't seem like the man to murder thousands. Peter mentions that the neural interface could have changed Otto's mental state and drove him insane but the first time Peter sees Otto with the interface on and gets him to turn it off, he turns it back on despite Peter telling him that it could damage his mind for the rest of his life. Was Otto always crazy and just looking for a reason to go on a rampage, or was he always a good man with some issues who was driven insane by the interface?
Martin Li has a lot of this. Does he have a Split Personality? Are he and Mr. Negative one and the same? Does Li have control over Negative or vice versa? Is it all the result of the childhood accident that killed his parents?
How much of Norman's acknowledged "villainy" is him intentionally creating havoc like his comics counterpart, and how much is antipathy from the people he clashed with, like Otto, or from people he unintentionally hurt, like Li? On the one hand, accounts from Peter, MJ, and even Harry would seem to indicate that Norman is every bit the amoral, narcissistic failure of a father we know him to be from the comics. The final hours of the game, where we infiltrate Osborn Tower to find the cure for GR27, show a very different side of Norman, one of a grieving man determined to use all of his considerable resources to prevent more loss of life (namely, Harry's life) from the same disease that took his wife.
If one thinks about it, there's actually an even deeper layer to this. Otto mentions to Peter that the rift between him and Norman first appear after they founded Oscorp, as Norman began to focus more on biosciences while Otto kept focused on engineering and physics. It's later implied the event that finally drove them apart is when Norman, behind Otto's back, experimented on a young Martin Li in 1986, giving him his super powers and causing Li to accidentally kill his own parents. We're not given much detail, other than the experiment was supposed to be a medical treatment. Otto and Li both assumed naturally that Norman did this in pursuit of profits. But we also know Norman's wife suffered from the same condition Harry does in the present. The treatment Li got has the same experiment number as Devil's Breath (GR-27), which we know is intended as cure for Harry and his mother. It most likely also had been intended to be part of a cure for Emily Osborn (As Harry hadn't been born yet). If that's the case, this suddenly shifts most of Osborn's deplorable actions not as motivated by a desire for profit, but as a man struggling against a medical condition that's ravaging those who he loves the most. A man willing to do anything to save his wife, failing, and now trying to save his son. In a certain way this interpretation of Norman Osborn has a layer of Not So Different with Otto, who is also willing to do ethically questionable things in the fight of a progressing disease.
Angst? What Angst?: On account of Gameplay and Story Segregation, Peter lapses into a surprising quick and chipper mood despite the story putting him into huge amount of trauma. It can be jarring to see Spider-Man and Peter trade catchphrases and quips after the death of Miles' Dad, the horrible betrayal of Dr. Octopus, and the death of Aunt May. The greater violence committed by the supervillains such as the Demons cold-bloodedly executing civilians and the collateral damage, and intensity doesn't stop Peter from indulging in comic banter or flirting with MJ even when she is trying to single-handedly disarm a bomb while several civilians are being held hostage in fear of unleashing a bio-weapon. On this note, Photo Mode will have stuff like Miles Morales stop looking for his father in the site of a suicide bombing to take smiling selfies as people are being brutally murdered by terrorists in the background.
Even more so in the Turf Wars DLC, where almost no mention is made of Black Cat after her supposed death at the end of The Heist - and the only reference to her is made in a police report by Yuri, not Spider-Man.
Scorpion is a complete pushover. While fighting him alongside Rhino can be hectic, Scorpion himself is, by far, the easiest boss in the game. He is not immune to the basic web gadgets (Which will be fully or at least significantly upgraded by the time you fight him), he often stands still so you can web him and he has very little health compared to other bosses. It doesn't help that his attacks consist of an easily-dodged projectile and an annoying, but manageable, lunge combo. This is Lampshaded by Rhino, who calls him a hack during their fight and they spent all their time bickering at each other.
The subway fight with Mr. Negative is effectively a timing puzzle, a very simple one at that, that just requires you to dodge Mr. Negative's energy waves in a particular direction. They're easy to dodge and the fight is fairly short. The second fight with him, however, is MUCH tougher.
There was a minor fan backlash when the design of the new primary suit for the game, the White Spider, was revealed. Insomniac was quick to respond that the classic suit would also be available for players to use if desired. Each costume also boasts unique special abilities, but Insomniac also preemptively troubleshooted that potential can of worms by allowing the abilities to be selected independently of suits, meaning you can choose both your preferred suit and special ability.
The game's status as a PlayStation exclusive made many fans unhappy, given the franchise's large fan base and Spider-Man games existing on Xbox and PC before. Sony attempted to release a PS4 Pro bundle containing the game, as well as a $199 PS4 Spider-Man bundle during Black Friday November 2018, to help the fans left out enjoy the title.
Post-release, Insomniac confirmed they would be patching in a new difficulty setting titled Ultimate and a New Game+ mode. With New Game Plus, all Suits, Gadgets, and Skills transfer over, so those who were struggling with gaining Challenge Tokens would still be able to get trophies for unlocking everything.
The December 2018 patch not only includes the Raimi suit for free, you can now start a New Game+ from a NG+ save file.
A common complaint about the base game's plot was the anti-climatic resolution of Silver Sable's story thread. In it, she becomes a reluctant ally to Spider-Man in the third act, and has an off-screen HeelFace Turnexplained only though a single phone call even through most players expected at the very least a boss battle. As it turns out, Silver Liningstarts with the very boss battle fans had been expecting from the base game, and most of its main story is focused on fleshing out Silver's character and explaining her HeelFace Turn in more detail.
Fantastic Four fans who were upset about the embargo on Marvel media due to the movie rights having been owned by Fox are excited about finally getting some sort of content in this game, even something small like the Bombastic Bag-Man or the Future Foundation suit, especially since the Fantastic Four play a big part in Spider-Mans history.
As of Patch 1.14, both of those suits are available in the game.
Awesome Music: The music, composed by John Paesano, is considered overall great. Especially noteworthy is the Main Theme, which pays homage to the iconic theme composed by Danny Elfman for the Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy while having its own identity. However, the best version of this theme, by far, is "Destroying Your Own Creation", the theme for the final boss's second phase. A perfect combination of epic and tragic, fitting for the final confrontation between Peter and Dr. Octopus.
Base-Breaking Character: This version of Mary Jane has divided a lot of people. Some are annoyed by her poor decisions in-game or at least hate her stealth sections due to them being percieved as annoying, while others are fine with her personality and think it's a good way to not make her a Neutral Female in spite of not having either any powers or even any training.
Another point of contention is her caracterization as a journalist, particularly among fans of her in the original comics (See Older Than They Think below), who got annoyed at "yet another try to fix the character", which they think only futher perpetuates the Audience-Coloring Adaptation created by the Sam Raimi films, which utterly changed the perception of Mary Jane as a character for the worse outside of comic fans. On the other hand, some people argue that her caracterization is solid and well written on its own merits, particularly by depicting her relationship with Peter in a respectful, relatable and satisfying manner, and that it's an evolution of her characterization in the Ultimate Universe, so it still builds upon her comic book legacy.
The DLC's Big Bad Hammerhead is a point of contention with fans. There are some who like him thanks to the fact that like with Mr. Negative, he's another C-Lister in Spider-Man's rogue's gallery who was turned into a major villain and brutally effective threat, with his character arc of being an old-school baddie being forced to evolve and get with the times being viewed as interesting. Others however dislike him because they find said characterization a baffling take on the character due to it divorcing him from his unique prohibition era mobster aesthetics from the comics in favor of turning into a generic cyborg brute, and it doesn't help that he's a more simplistic "Evil for the sake of evil" character as opposed to the more complex and sympathetic Mr. Negative and Doc Ock from the base game.
With him being the absolute most unsympathetic member of the Sinister Six, beating up Scorpion is this. Especially if you manage to make Rhino do the job for you.
Get three full bars of Focus plus the two for one finisher skill, find group of minions, and proceed to totally wreck six guys in a matter of seconds. If you have the Focus generating suit power, there's nothing quite as satisfying as completely demolishing an entire group of mooks.
Mix and matching gadgets, especially with the Resupply suit power, can be a very cathartic thing trying out the many amusing ways you can ruin thugs' day.
Many of the boss Finishers are definitely this, but the most cathartic are probably Scorpion (where Spidey spikes his tail into the ground, swings around it, and lands a dropkick on Scorpion's head) and Hammerhead in the DLC (where Spider-Man doubles him over with a hard gut punch, then swings around and plants his spine. Given how utterly loathsome both are, it can be very satisfying to pull them off.
After having to carefully sneak around enemies in the various stealth missions of the game, MJ snagging a taser in the final stealth level will leave you wanting to takedown every enemy, no matter how unnecessary.
Finally being able to bring down Screwball in the Silver Lining DLC after her being a Karma Houdini from the main game and the previous DLC content so far definitely counts. This is especially more cathartic if you hate her annoying personality and her challenges in general. Being able to bring her down for good will make you feel pretty good afterwards.
At the end of Silver Lining, finallygiving Hammerhead a beatdown he's had coming the entire expansion. And unlike the first time in Turf Wars, this time Hammerhead isn't able to keep his slimy, smug demeanor. Seeing the smug, sadistic psychopath finally have a Villainous Breakdown ending with him only able to impotently Death Glare the duo before collapsing is extremely satisfying.
Character Rerailment: Many feel that this game's incarnation of Peter Parker is far truer to the spirit of the character's mythos than his comic book counterpart has been since 2007-2008. Especially when it comes to a certain scene at the end of the game: in One More Day, Aunt May's life hangs in the balance thanks to her getting shot by a sniper aiming for Peter. To save her life, Peter sells his marriage to MJ to the Devil instead of owning up to his actions, even after May told him it was her time and to let her go. In the game, May tells him to let her go, and Peter, while distraught, ultimately sacrifices May's life in order to help produce enough of a cure for everyone else afflicted by the Devil's Breath, which many agree better fits the character's creed of Comes Great Responsibility. Many also appreciated the older Spider-Man in the game and the potential for Character Development, especially when he becomes a Parental Substitute to Miles Morales by the end of the game and the DLC, since it allows Peter to finally mature and feel like he's written like an adult.
The City that Never Sleeps: Hammerhead is a sadistic Maggia don who yearns for the "good old days" where mobsters like him ruled New York City with an iron fist, and the police knew to look the other way. When Sable International leaves their technology behind after the Devil's Breath incident, Hammerhead arms his men with as much as he can find and tears up the streets of New York with a brutal gang war against the other crime families so he can seize power from them, attempting to have numerous civilians killed. When Spider-Man and his cop ally Yuri Watanabe attempt to stop him, he provokes Yuri into shooting him by killing numerous cops while stealing the dangerous Project Olympus armor before having other crime bosses slowly drowned in cement, trying to broadcast their deaths across the city. When that fails, he goes into hiding and has himself converted into a cyborg, forcing an Oscorp scientist into upgrading his men with cybernetic enhancement, not caring that some of his men would die due to the procedure. When he resurfaces, he tortures Silver Sable with a power drill until she gives him the most dangerous Sable Tech in her arsenal.
Hostile Takeover: In David Liss's prequel novel, Michael Bingham, despite his pitiful beginnings, is an emotionally detached sadist who believes the world owes him and that he is the "rightful" Spider-Man. Gaining his abilities from medical experiments by Oscorp, Bingham saw a friend die from these experiments and realized he felt nothing for him, before killing two other patients who bullied him. Eventually naming himself "The Blood Spider", Bingham enters Wilson Fisk's services and proved to be dangerous beyond Fisk; to ruin Spider-Man's reputation, Bingham dresses as him to terrorize New York; kills a teenager; blows up a restaurant, killing eleven people in a staged hostage scenario, including a friend of Peter Parker, using one as human ammo; and murders a district attorney. At one point Bingham considers killing a baby, only not going through with it due to the trouble it'd cause him. Bingham plans on taking control over both Fisk and Norman Osborn, by stealing blackmail material and beating Fisk to a pulp to show power over him.
If you so choose, you can take a selfie at Uncle Ben's grave...along with your underwear suit if needed. You can do the same with the Town Hall terrorist attack... and with certain photo mode borders, turn the latter event into a holiday card.
Any of the Sinister Six's "jokes" could qualify. Scorpion is a repeat offender as most of his attempts at comedy come across as disturbingly comical. The best example is his response to Spidey's quip about the six not having a name yet where he says they'll name themselves the, "We killed Spider-Man and used his corpse for a blanket Six."
Spidey apparently just forgot the vial containing Sandman in one of his backpacks, possibly for years. Of course, it's terrible for Sandman but damn.
At one point, Peter changes into his costume mid-conversation with MJ while cooking their dinner, with MJ playfully accosting him for leaving his clothes in her kitchen. A funny gag on its own, but made far more hilarious if the player has one of the many joke costumes in the game, making it even more ridiculous. And with the addition of New Game+, it's entirely possible to play this scene with the Undies outfit.
One of the story trophies for completing The Heist DLC is "Bye Felicia." Spider-Man also says this in Silver Lining when he awkwardly finds out that Black Cat is still alive.
One of the story missions in the Turf Wars DLC is titled "Yuri's Revenge". While the mission itself is very dark in nature, showing the aftermath of Yuri's rampage through the Maggia in retaliation for Hammerhead killing her men, one can't help but chuckle at the mission's title which is a Shout-Out to the expansion pack of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2.
Demonic Spiders: There are quite a few bad guys outside of Spidey's rogues' gallery that can give him a hard time, namely:
Brutes. Their resistance to Spidey's regular attacks unless webbed up and their higher-than-average health are bad on their own already, but when given a chance, they attack fast enough that their single, hard-hitting punches rack up before you can use your healing factor. And due to their higher defense, this means they can't be dispatched with a Focus finisher unless they've been sufficiently damaged. Brute force alone won't be enough, so your Perfect Dodge timing had better be on point. There's a skill in the Innovator skill tree that makes them more susceptible to web attacks with the Triangle button, but regardless, always be on the lookout for these guys. The Demon version is even worse in this regard due to having a huge AoE shockwave attack that they love to spam.
The Heist DLC shows that the only thing worse than a Brute is a Brute with a minigun! In addition to being able to inflict massive damage at range, Minigun Brutes are immune to being webbed, disarmed, or thrown, eliminating most of the normal anti-Brute tactics.
Thugs with rocket launchers are aggravating. They don't pose much of a threat by themselves, but their shots can sneak in on you while you're swarmed by other mooks if you're not paying attention. And it will take off a chunk of your health until you're at one point left. Luckily, the combination of the Spider-Sense, a crosshair that locks on to Spidey and a repeated beeping sound helps clue you in to an oncoming rocket. Still and all, you can never be too careful.
Thugs with whips can really mess you up in the middle of any fight. You can't hit them head-on, nor can you web them up as they deflect all of them. But the reason they really get annoying is due to the fact that Spidey's main style of fighting is to knock enemies into the air when you get overwhelmed or surrounded. These guys will pull you back to the ground the second you get into the air and will continue to do this until you take them out. And they also hit like a truck.
Demon Swordsmen. Normal melee units, including the normal swordsmen, are just slightly more annoying than the unarmed mooks, but these bastards are on another level; they're much quicker and will predict almost any and every attempt to neutralize with the launch uppercut, on top of having significantly souped-up attacks of the normal swordsmen. Fittingly, Round 2 vs Mr. Negative is basically a souped up version of this mook.
The Sable goons with jetpacks will quickly become a serious headache. They constantly circle around you while you're dealing with foes on the ground, are hard to target with your attacks, and their grenades will shock you and disable your gadgets with infuriating efficiency. Fortunately, they're quite vulnerable to being webbed up and slammed into a wall.
The Turf Wars DLC decides to up the ante by introducing Thugs equipped with both shields and jet-packs. They'll charge and collide into you from your blindspots for massive damage, drop emp attacks that chip away at your health and disable you from using your gadgets, and are immune from attacks from the front. With that said they're actually neutralized with ease if you are able to counter them with your gadgets correctly.
Both of the Bonus Bosses Taskmaster and Tombstone ended up being really well received by the players: Taskmaster for being a really engaging Mirror Boss with a cool design, and Tombstone for the back-and-forth banter with Spider-Man during his fight that paints him as a likable and respectful Blood Knight.
J. Jonah Jameson. Thanks to his humorous accusations of Spider-Man, the fact that he actually raises some good points, and being genuinely concerned for the people of New York City, good ol' JJJ steals the show once again despite not actually ever showing up in person.
Captain Yuriko "Yuri" Watanabe, who has quite a number of fans thanks to her good chemistry with Spider-Man (especially their "Spider-Cop" banters) and being his genuine helpful ally through the entire game. Their voiceactors being married in real life also adds to the popularity.
As far as suits go, the Last Stand suit is surprisingly popular with the fanbase thanks to its simplistic, yet cool street brawler aesthetics. The fact that unlocking it also unlocks the incredibly useful Unrelenting Fury suit power (Which makes it impossible for shielded enemies or Brutes to block your blows) helps a lot.
Epileptic Trees: Encouraged by this tweet, where Marvel announces the game will receive some bonus content in honor of the "Fantastic Four week"note January 8-16, and asks people for their guesses. Theories range from mission(s) with FF, to simply the Amazing Bag-Man suit.
Screwball by the time of the 3rd DLC seems to develop a one-sided crush on Spider-Man, saying lines like " I think i'm in love " every time Spider-Man progresses in her challenges or her in love with your carnage attitude during combat challenges.
One of the Easter eggs is a marriage proposal added in at the request of a Vlogger. By the time the game came out, however, said person's significant other had already left him, citing irreconcilable relationship issues.
Starting New Game+ and hearing Peter's Spider-Cop routine from the start of the game right after completing the DLC campaign puts a rather harsher spin on his Cowboy Cop antics.
Almost every suit power is either useless or this. The Spider-Bro suit power, unlocked when you craft the Stark Suit, is basically a rapid-fire electric web shooter that can take out entire groups of enemies in seconds. Any enemies left standing once its barrage is over (if there are any) will also be electrocuted, leaving them vulnerable to attack. The Web Blossom suit power results in Spider-Man firing off webbing in just about every direction, which not only immobilizes entire mobs of enemies, but can result in a ton of Web Takedowns depending on their positioning, turning normally scary mobs of enemies into a total non-issue. Despite claims that it would be nerfed, after several patches and expansions it never has been. A properly timed Quad Damage from the Fear Itself suit turns nearly every boss fight into a breeze by letting you take them out in as little as one or two cycles. Resupply is only available at the very end of the main campaign, but ensures you'll never start a fight with less than a full array of gadgets, lets you refill gadgets like Impact Webbing and Trip Mines in the middle of stealth sections, making them a breeze, and gives you all the Electric Webs you'll ever need in a mob fight to keep every enemy stunned, all of which are very useful in the DLC campaigns. Unrelenting Fury, which breaks through enemy guards (shields, batons, swords, etc), makes heavily-defensive bosses into helpless punching bags, to the point you can just turn it on at the start of Taskmaster's second fight and knock him out with impunity within seconds without giving him a chance to act.
Impact Web, Tripwires and the Noir suit's takedown silencer turn Taskmaster's stealth challenges into jokes, as you can just zip around tossing gadgets at every enemy to thin the herd and pick off the remaining enemies with the zip kick to score the high combo you need to get Ultimate ranking.
Getting the skill that lets you do a Web Takedown on gun users when you do a Perfect Dodge. While it doesn't apply to rocket launcher-using foes, it does apply to the Sable Jetpack goons in Demonic Spiders above, and perfect dodge timing isn't that difficult to get a hang of at all. The result is that many ranged foes can be one-shotted without much issue and gets them out of your hair a lot sooner.
The suit mod which slows down time after you do a Perfect Dodge basically gives you infinite bullet time with each trill of the spider-sense, and this skill works in every scenario, i.e. mook fights, sable fights, sniper battles, the rocket-launchers, the jetpack fighters, and boss fights. The double boss-fights with Electro-Vulture and Scorpion-Rhino become easy thanks to the extra breathing room you get, as does the final Dr. Octopus boss. A NG+ playthrough with this and some of these other mods makes Ultimate Difficulty a cakewalk.
Car chase-related enemy encounters. If you just so happen to swing anywhere near the vicinity of an active car chase in progress, gun-wielding enemies will start sniping your health with effectively no way to dodge or defend against it so long as you're in line-of-sight, and if you have no Focus from swinging around, that's Scratch Damage that you can't immediately heal off. One could say it's meant to encourage a player to try to dive on in and get it done with, but if you've already completed that encounter before and aren't looking for more Crime Tokens, it gets really obnoxious.
Doubly so when the objective includes "take no damage", a frustrating near impossibility when your Spider-Sense doesn't seem to work right with vehicles, so as soon as the mission starts they get a shot off you didn't know was coming and you either abandon the mission or jump in just to get it over with.
Sable troops can randomly come in heavy armor (though more often than not, as pretty much every stun baton-wielding enforcer has it). It doesn't deflect your attacks like Brutes, however - instead it just makes them take upwards to triple the punishment compared to criminal enemy types, as well as shrugging off some of your Web gadgets. The result is while they distract you, their ranged units get to pepper you and make your life hell mid-combo. They don't even carry any new tricks, either.
Occasionally, unarmed Ryker Escapees will hang back and fling Molotov cocktails at you. Although your Spider Sense will warn you of the incoming projectile, it's an area-of-effect attack that can't be blocked, can't be webbed, has a large radius, sticks around, and interrupts any animation if you're caught in it. It's extremely easy to find yourself fighting a mob of inmates, interpret the Spider Sense as another inmate's punch or armed attack, and then suddenly have fire raining on you from above. Worse, they'll usually toss their Molotovs when you have little to no room to dodge even if you do see it coming. And since any unarmed inmate can do this at random, it can mess up your priorities about which enemies to deal with first.
In the mainstream comics, Otto has a crush on Aunt May, and even paid his respects when he found out she had passed away in a later story. Here, he both releases the bio-weapon that infects May and refuses to give up the antidote, resulting in her death.
The death of Stan Lee in November 2018, coupled with the June 2018 death of co-creator (Steve Ditko) makes his cameo in the game poignant. Likewise, the fact that the game ends with Peter Parker losing Aunt May, his last remaining family, alongside the off-screen death of his co-creators, adds to the sense that Peter and Spider-Man is really an orphan in every sense.
Aunt May dying in the game's ending is this to the main comics series now that it's revealed that May has contracted cancer just months after the game's release in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1.
Heartwarming in Hindsight: The game and DLC were developed at the same time as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and the finale of The City that Never Sleeps becomes this after the film came out. It shows Peter and Miles developing a surrogate father-son relationship, down to Peter using a "dad voice" when reminding him to not skimp physics, and slowly taking on duties to train him, which Blond Peter from Into the Spider-Verse never got to do, and with Miles' spiraling in loneliness in dealing with his Spider-Powers. It's pretty uplifting that there's at least one version where Peter actually gets to mentor Miles for real and ensure that his early days as a superhero are not as stressful as Peter's teenage days are.
Josh Keaton previously played Spider-Man in The Spectacular Spider-Man. The Spider-Man from that series fought Electro, who joined Doc Ock's Sinister Six because Octavius promised to return him to normal from his Energy Being form. In this game, Josh Keaton voices Electro - who joins Doc Ock's Sinister Six because Octavius promised to turn him into an Energy Being. Talk about the grass always being greener on the other side.
Also, Josh isn't the first voice actor for the titular Spider-Man to then voice Electro, as Chris Daniel Barnes, voice of the 90s animated series' Spider-Man and Josh's costar in Shattered Dimensions and Edge of Time, voiced the character in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series 6 years prior to this game.
The premise is the exact opposite of that of Batman: Arkham Knight. After 8 years, the hero's arch-enemy is out of the picture. Here everyone expects peace, but crime goes up. In Arkham, everyone expected total anarchy, yet crime dramatically dropped.
The addition of the Raimi films' suit (the Webbed Suit) makes aspects of the game come full circle, especially on a replaythrough. The scene where they clearly referenced Spider-Man 2's train scene with Spider-Man saying, "That totally worked last time" becomes more funny with that suit equipped and the plot with Doc Ock being inspired by the same film comes full circle.
Hype Backlash: The praise of the game got so high, particularly when it outsold even God of War (PS4), that it eventually started to receive a bit of flak for being completely derivative as an open-world game.
Several reviews have noted that while the game is excellent, as an open world game it really sticks to the formula. For a few examples, the in-game map is covered in fog that's removed by interacting with towers a la Ubisoft. There's a bunch of collectibles and a skill tree like most recent open-world game. All three of these things have been in use for almost a decade before the game came out, and are seen as overused by professional critics.
The DLCs have drawn similar criticism due to taking place on the same map with the same gameplay elements while not adding any new skills or abilities to Spider-Man's arsenal.
Zigzagged with Otto becoming Dr. Octopus. Anyone even slightly familiar with the Spider-Man mythos already knows this would eventually happen. The part that remains quite hidden was when it happens and the twist of why it does.
As soon as Miles Morales shows up, you just know he's going to become a new Spider-Man sooner or later. True enough, a mutated spider hitches a ride on MJ from Norman's lab back to the FEAST compound specifically to bite him and give him his powers, which he does by the time of the mid-credits scene.
Jerkass Woobie: Norman is the man responsible for why the events of the game ever happened in the first place but you can't help but feel bad for the man. He lost his wife due to a disease she had and his son also has his mother's illness. This wasn't the monstrous Green Goblin we know and hate but a man just so desperate to save what was left of his family.
Like You Would Really Do It: Averted. Aunt May is a character infamous in the comics and movies for coming close to death but surviving, or dying and then coming back, so nobody thought they actually would kill her.
Felicia Hardy, the current Black Cat, is a brilliant master thief that steals for the thrill of it but only choosing to rob those who can afford it or those that "deserve" it. In the main game proper, Cat leads Spidey on a hunt for her Cat Dolls challenging him to stop her from stealing $50 million dollars worth of loot. This was all a ruse, with the loot being a lure to distract Spidey while her Dolls shut down the police departments security systems, allowing Cat to recover her confiscated equipment. In The Heist DLC, Black Cat is working to steal Maggia drives that contain financial information for Hammerhead, telling Spidey that he has her son hostage and letting Spidey believe he might be the father. This was a lie so that she could recruit Spideys help in stealing the drives for herself and she promptly fakes her own death, only resurfacing one last time to save Spidey from Hammerhead and give him information on how to take down the Mob boss for good. A thief at heart, Felicia nonetheless has a strong conscience while still loving Spider-Man, while fully using this to her ruthless advantage.
The Heist DLC chapter gives us Walter Hardy, the former Black Cat, whom is just as devious as his daughter. Faking his death years ago to protect himself and his daughter from the Maggia, Hardy manages to get a hold of Spider-Mans phone number and disguises himself as a cop right on top of a police station. Calling himself Detective Mackey, Hardy tricks Spider-Man into uncovering loot he hid years ago. When Spider-Man finishes up, Hardy leaves with his loot, knowing Spider-Man wont tell his daughter the truth because Spider-Man is a "decent guy." He also asks Spider-Man to look after Felicia. While only featured in a simple side-mission, Hardy more than lives up to his anecdotes as a brilliant criminal.
#Puddlegatenote A fan on Reddit posted a screenshot of one of the gameplay videos which showed an updated version of the E3 2017 demo, accusing Insomniac of downgrading the graphics. Screenshots of many buildings appearing altered from demo footage, as well as Spider-Man's suit, may or may not be perceived to be of lower quality, but the main focus is a fight scene with a lack of puddles on the floor. This quickly spread across social media. Digital Foundry's analysis of the game revealed that it, in fact, runs at a higher resolution than the E3 demo and that the puddles were most likely pared back because the way the game handles reflections produced severely inaccurate results in that particular location.
"Spider-Man is a murderer!"note Many Let's Players have commented on the amount of supposedly "non-lethal" takedowns that Spider-Man uses which would almost certainly cripple the recipient for life if not outright kill them, such as swinging an iron manhole covering full force into their skull, kicking them off the side of a skyscraper, webbing them to a burning car, or power bombing them onto solid concrete from at least three meters in the air.
"It Makes Me Feel Like Spider-Man" note An IGN review had this statement thrown around a lot, along with the general overuse of the word, "feels like". Fans were quite ruthless in their mockery. It effectively became the Sony equivalent to "Too much water", also from an IGN review.
Peter putting his hand over an emergency stop button has become a popular reaction GIF.
"Where's the Raimi suit?" note Fans have been clamoring for the Tobey Maguire movie suit to be included in the game since the very beginning, to the point that numerous clickbait videos with fake footage of it are extremely common to find online to this day. It's become so overblown that many fans not only don't care if it shows up anymore, but see the whole thing as nothing but a punchline now.
This got so bad that when the suit finally showed up on December 20, 2018 as a free download, some fan reaction was more along the lines of "I should apologize to Insomniac for pestering them" rather than excitement.
Also, the replays of the game with the Raimi Suit made everyone joke the game as the "Spider-Man4 we deserved".
Misaimed Fandom: Certain players of The Heist DLC came away feeling that Peter should genuinely be in a relationship with Black Cat instead of Mary Jane feeling that she's a much better fit for him. This is spite of the fact that the DLC presents Felicia as lying to Peter, manipulating him and (like her earlier history in the comics) either not knowing or caring about his civilian identity. Her Form-Fitting Wardrobeprobably had something to do with it...
Sony's ownership of Spider-Man's film rights has nothing to do with the game being PS4 exclusive; It's an exclusive because Marvel wanted to collaborate with Sony, and the decision to make it exclusive came from them. Others also note that Marvel and Disney have never had any experience making a AAA game, unlike Sony whose Playstation exclusives are among the best and most successful games of the last ten years.
The marketing of the Expansion Pack, The City Never Sleeps, as a Season Pass prior to the release of the game itself led to accusations that Insomniac was carving up portions of the game and paywalling it. The fact that Black Cat's side mission in the base-game served as a Sequel Hook for it only intensified that feeling. Come the release of the first part, The Heist it turns out the DLC does indeed take place after the events of the game's story and are actually largely self-contained and tied into one another.
Martin Li/Mr. Negative knows that what he has planned would sully his good reputation, but launches a rapid-fire series of suicide bombings at City Hall in an attempt to kill Norman Osborn anyway, which murders Miles' father and knocks out and severely wounds Peter in the process, followed by trying to find a deadly bioweapon that Oscorp intended to be a cure for genetic diseases, so that he can spread it across the city and wipe out as many people as possible. All out of pure spite for Norman.
Otto passes it right after becoming Doctor Octopus by unleashing Devil's Breath on Manhattan, killing hundreds if not thousands including Aunt May and almost starting a worldwide pandemic.
Hammerhead crosses this in his first scene by blowing up the apartment where Black Cat lives once she got back in the conclusion of The Heist, and it only goes worse from there. His proper introduction scene in Turf Wars has him brutally and sadistically executing Yuri's men, and clearly drawing it out just to try and make her scared and suffer. If somehow neither of those was this, then stealing humanitarian aid supplies thousands of innocent people will explicitly die without purely out of Greed certainly does, especially given the game highlights how it has nothing to do with Hammerhead's main goal and was purely because he could.
Yuri Watanabe crosses this when she puts Revenge Before Reason and shoots Hammerhead in cold blood in front of Spider-Man and other police officers. This, doubled with her one-woman assault on the Bar With No Name that resulted in a lot of dead Maggia mobsters, shows that Yuri has finally gone off the deep end in her vengeance against the mob.
Narm: A Spider-Man game's still Spider-Man, so it's inevitable that there's some ultra-cheesy and downright weird stuff.
Every single time Spider-Man even comes close to the pavement, people will fall over no matter how far away he was from them - or if they're not even looking at him. Then they'll just get back up and start cheering for or bitching at Spidey.
If you manage to unlock some cel-shaded suits such as the Vintage Comic Book Suit, and the Spider-Clan Suit, wearing them during cutscenes will be difficult not to laugh at due to having Spider-Man appear as if hes a cartoon character living in the real world à la Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
One of the side quests involves finding Peter's old backpacks littered across New York, all 55. The backpacks all have old mementos of Peter which, while great for lore building and backstory, you wonder how he still has his secret identity with items like his old medical records and his going away card from the Daily Bugle lying around town.
Otto's design in this game. Here, he has a receding hairline that makes him resemble George Costanza or Mao Zedong. It makes his scenes as Dr. Octopus a little more giggle-worthy.
The genetically-modified spider that MJ accidentally releases in Normans secret lab stays with her for an absurdly long time (especially if you do side missions in-between the story missions) without actually doing anything to her or going somewhere else (this includes MJ jumping off a skyscraper and swinging around the city with Spider-Man) all the way to the FEAST compound, where it finally leaves her, goes straight for Miles Morales, and bites him as soon as it gets on him. Even though its understandable that Miles is destined to be bitten and become the next Spider-Man, the fact that the spider itself is so specific on its target is a bit narmy.
In a stealth sequence near the start of the "Step Into My Parlor" mission, the only way to advance is to lob a lure almost directly over a Sable agent's head from a few feet away behind some cover in a relatively cramped hallway. The agent only notices it once it lands on the ground behind him and beeps, prompting him to turn around and stare at it intently so the player can stun him from behind.
On the topic of stealth, it's hard to feel sneaky while leaping around dressed in the brightest possible colors. It's taken to hilarious extremes if you do stealth missions while wearing the suit that turns your head into a flaming skull.
The scream Spider-Man makes when falling off the building after Black Cat disables his web-shooters in The Heist DLC. It's incredibly overdramatic for a drop that wouldn't do much harm to him, and it doesn't help that the scream is obviously recycled from the Scorpion poison sequence.
Though the sight of Yuri's first kill is disturbing, the trails of police tape leading up to it are so elaborate that the thought of Yuri going to the trouble of setting them up is downright comical.
Not to mention, many of the crime scenes are littered with strap-like wires. Though they are obviously the straps Yuri uses as the Wraith in the comics, they go unexplained in-game, making it seem like she's just going the extra mile to be creepy on purpose.
Although Otto's appearance can be Narm to some, it does add to his FaceHeel Turn, as seeing Otto slowly lose his mind and become a horrifying threat despite looking like an Adorkable old man is surprisingly effective.
The way Octavius delivers his scream of fury when he drops Norman Osborn from a skyscraper after the latter gives him a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech is so high-pitched that he comes across as extremely dorky but it also demonstrates just how deeply his former friend's speech cut into him.
A lot of people compare the fighting style to the Batman: Arkham Series, but Spider-Man 2 had a very similar combat system, not to mention other action games with combo meter and chain attacks such as Devil May Cry which preceded the Arkham Series and inspired them and Insomniac. Even then, The Amazing Spider-Man games had an even closer match of the combat system, being inspired by the Arkham games themselves. It's to the point where, minus some control changes, the devs clearly took a page out of those games' books.
Some commentators argue the web swinging as being the best in the series, citing past games that have you latch onto the sky. That said, while the swinging is good, it was previously done, and in a more Difficult, but Awesome, complex way, in Spider-Man 2.
Fans loved how you could mix and match Spidey's suit with exclusive powers, so you could wear any outfit you wanted without drawbacks. It's not a completely original idea though, as Spider-Man and its sequel Spider-Man 2 Enter: Electro had collectible and unlockable costumes with special abilities (such as the Symbiote Suit giving you unlimited organic webbing which is based on the actual comics lore) and the sequel had something similar with its "Create-a-Spider" mode 17 years prior.
In terms of characterization, some have taken to praising the game for "fixing" MJ by making her no longer a Damsel Scrappy. This seems to be a case of Audience-Coloring Adaptation concerning the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies and Ultimate Spider-Man comic series, where MJ suffered a major case of Adaptational Wimp, while in the original comics she's long been depicted as both competent and useful in Peter's Spider-Man activities, both before and after the Raimi films. Even turning her into a reporter, besides the fact it essentially copies Lois Lane, was something previously done in Ultimate Spider-Man, both cartoon and the comic (specially the former). Likewise, this isn't the first game to give MJ an active role. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows had MJ as a shotgun wielding NPC who staves off zombie-like symbiotes while partnering, not only with Spidey, but also with none other than Luke Cage, all while retaining a lot of her original comics' characterization.
A lot of people have noted that Peter and MJ being "on a break" seems to be based on the current comics situation after the One More Day fiasco. In both the Classic and Ultimate era, Peter and MJ had phases of them being on-and-off-again, and even their relationship in the Spider-Man Trilogy in the little loved Spider-Man 3 shows them having tensions even after they started dating (where the first two films showed their better-remembered courtship).
Similarly, the idea of Miles Morales existing in the same universe as Peter Parker, and being a protege, has been called an interesting twist, but its something the comics did first, as of the All-New, All-Different Marvel relaunch.
A number of fans have praised Spider-Man PS4 for showing an adult post-graduate Spider-Man after nearly every cartoon and live-action version featuring him in high school and college. Except this is more or less default for the games, since Activision's first 3D Spider-Man games Spider-Man and Enter Electro both featured an adult Experienced Protagonist Spider-Man, and the two Raimi movie-tie in games didn't really deal with Peter's student life at all. Only the Ultimate Spider-Man game features Peter as a high school student.
The DLC The Heist has a plot of Felicia Hardy potentially being Peter's babymama which turns out to be a con she's pulling. As it happens, such a plot was once very nearly considered for Spider-Man in the main titles. The writer Bill Mantlo who covered the Peter-Felicia romance in The Spectacular Spider-Man (and famously wrote the issue where Peter reveals his identity to Black Cat only for her to reject his Peter Parker identity upon reveal) once considered and pitched a plotline of Felicia giving birth to Peter's illegitimate child out of wedlock. He made a serious pitch but was given the Executive Veto by EIC Jim Shooter who cited the can of worms and political controversy that would unleash were it to happen for real.
The deaths of Miles' father Jefferson and especially Aunt May hit the player like a sack of hammers.
Likewise, seeing Yuri Watanabe slowly undergoing a Sanity Slippage and deteriorating her friendship with Spider-Man throughout the Turf War DLC, which culminates in her crossing a Moral Event Horizon and shooting Hammerhead dead in front of her fellow officers, will punch you so hard it'll feel like it came from Hammerhead himself, especially if Yuri is your favorite character in the game.
An unintentional Meta-example for new players comes with Stan Lee's cameo as the short order cook, as it was one of his final cameos before his death a few short months later.
The Scrappy: While her appearance in one of the main game's side missions was considered amusing, Screwball entered this territory in the game's DLC chapters. Along with her obnoxious in-your-face attitude and rude, condescending remarks during her challenges, she attracts a lot of ire due to her side missions basically being tougher reskinned Taskmaster challenges that are made even more annoying due to her constant commentary. Her increasing prominence in the DLC at the expense of other villains like the aforementioned Taskmaster has led to a lot of players feeling that she has long since worn out her welcome. Though it's also not hard to imagine finally defeating her in Silver Lining as being the Take That, Scrappy! moment that it was all leading up to.
Before Fast Traveling is unlocked, it can get rather annoying to stop what you're doing to go stop a crime. Even with Fast Travel unlocked, crime skyrockets, making going anywhere very difficult without having this happen.
The towers that block the map screen add some Padding to an otherwise well done overworld.
While Taskmaster's challenges are difficult, they are still fair and your performance is what determines your score. Screwball's, not so much. Since her combat challenges have high point requirements, you have to "photobomb" and defeat enemies at certain sections of the area that appear at certain times in certain locations, which appear to be randomized. In practice, this means that in combat challenges not only will you often be nowhere near the area you need to be at, the much slower enemies don't enter these areas without you and if firearms are involved, will likely never enter the spot to begin with. The end result is a challenge where even the most skilled players can fail just because of bad luck with enemy placements. Her other challenges are much easier however, since the photobomb spots are not random and you can learn the pattern.
The game has 4 distinct weather/day combinations that are used in the story; Midday, Sunset, Midnight and Rain. Unfortunately the rain option is not part of the options you unlock upon beating the game, and thus cannot be used in free-roam outside a few story segments. Many players find this disappointing, as it's just as visually stunning as the other settings. Not helped by the fact that Insomniac has claimed the game was to have a weather selector at launch and later implied it was coming with a patch, yet 9 months later it has yet to materialize.
Ship-to-Ship Combat: While Peter and MJ are easily the most popular pairing in the game, both because of their shared history in the franchise and because of their characterizations in the game itself, there is still a significant amount of people who would prefer if Peter were to hook up with Silver Sable, Black Cat or Yuri.
The Final Boss fight against Doctor Octopus is by far the most memorable part of the game, due to being an emotionally heavy and visually gorgeous climax.
The scene where Peter's evicted from his apartment is also seen as the embodiment of the game capturing Spider-Man's hard luck double life and doing justice to both.
The cutscene where Peter and MJ text to each other while Spider-Man is swinging, is seen as the perfect moment of the developers capturing and updating Spider-Man's romantic woes to a contemporary setting while also being hilarious at the same time.
Stop and examine any window in the game; chances are that the room inside (if it's visible) will be a copy-and-paste of the room right next to it, and in corner rooms the room will change completely depending on which window you look through (and smaller windows also tend to be the exact same room only stretched/resized, often in a manner that doesn't make sense). When its not, its because the windows are instead reflecting the city skyline...just not the skyline that's actually facing them, with some displaying a full skyline even though they should be obscured by a landing pad or rooftop right next to them.
The game has other problems with reflections, but one of the worst examples of this is a sequence where you go into a hall of mirrors during the Halloween mission. Despite the fact that the game has dozens of mirrors surrounding you, none of them reflect anything at all, making it questionable as to why this sequence was even developed in the first place.
An intentional example: Examining the boat NPCs shows that they're low-poly models that look like they came from a game in the early 2000's. This is actually a nod to Spider-Man 2's boat missions.
To save on processing power, far-off pedestrians default to a motionless A-Pose. Normally you can never see this, but they didn't tell the people who programmed the Black Cat side mission, since the telephoto lens is strong enough to let you see crowds of pedestrians standing stock-still with their arms hovering at their sides. It's most evident when you're at the Battery Park stakeout spot.
Strawman Has a Point: Jameson may be an egotistical sleaze bag yet he does raise some valid criticism about Spider-Man's effect on the city. Most notably, Jameson points out that the NYPD surveillance towers, which Spider-Man helped repair, would intrude on civil liberties and violate the privacy of New Yorkers.
Tainted by the Preview: Although excited fans had some concerns with the pre-release material, these complaints died down quickly after the game (and the DLC) came out.
For some, the mere announcement of Dan Slott having some involvement in writing the game's story had this effect. It turned out in the end that his involvement amounted to being involved in the early stages as a creative consultant and thus certain fans were relieved he wasn't the lead writer.
While the initial gameplay footage was well-received, the amount of QTEs and the web-swinging animations were considered to be its weakest point. Later changes to the latter implies that at least the animations were/are still WIP. In the final game, the QTEs can be turned off and the swinging mechanics and animations have received several improvements.
The reveal that the game will receive paid-DLC barely a month after release has turned many people extremely sour on the product. Insomniac Games came out to state that the DLC was not content cut from the base game so it could be sold later as many were fearing but original content created by a subsidiary team that wouldn't be finished by the time of the game's launch, but many are still angry that DLC was not just planned, but being worked on before the game was even released. Even this complaint was largely abandoned when people found out the DLC chapters were a 3-part standalone story that clearly takes place after the main game.
That One Achievement: Some of the bonus objectives set by the random crime encounters are quite difficult:
The no-damage objective is not too difficult once you mastered the dodge mechanic, but the one case that will make you rip your hair out is the one where you have to pursue criminals in their getaway car. You might not even realize that they're shooting at you until a chunk of your health bar is removed and the no-damage objective is automatically failed. Even if you dodge all their shots and get on top of their vehicles, if you're not mindful about which side the criminal will poke out of the car, then you can still fail the objective. And after all that, you have to successfully stop the car without injuring yourself in a button-mashing event.
The 'kick enemies into the air' or 'perform air attacks' aren't so bad at the beginning of the game, but if you wait until near the end, those whip-wielding convicts and Sable jetpack soldierswill make your life a living hell trying to achieve those objectives. The former can pull you out of the air without warning and are hard to kill, and the latter can actually interrupt your mid-air combos and push you back, leaving you vulnerable to other enemies.
Round 2 vs Mr. Negative is a pain. As mentioned above, Phase 1 of the fight is Mr. Negative as a souped-up version of the Demon Swordsmen with even stricter timing to hit him and a few more attacks. Phase 2 features said boss creating a HUGE demon that uses claw swipes and a giant sword, while he himself becomes far more aggressive and begins spawning enemies to swarm you, including the aforementioned Demon Swordsmen.
The fight against Hammerhead in the Project Olympus armor during the Turf Wars DLC, for the simple reason that his attack pattern was seemingly designed for the express purpose of cheesing the hell out of the game's complete lack of any Mercy Invincibility. Basically, he'll launch three to four attacks at you in quick succession, each one capable of knocking away about a third of your health. Fail to dodge even one of them, and he'll lay the hurt big-time. Oh, and it's set in a building site and the camera is zoomed-in on Spidey, meaning that even if you successfully dodge but a wall or obstacle gets in your way, the dodge doesn't count.
SCREWBALL in the Silver Lining DLC. After a series of progressively more difficult (and borderline That One Level) challenges, you finally engage the live-streaming villain one on one... in an extended Chasing Your Tail boss sequence that doubles as a Final-Exam Boss as she utilizes every tactic you learned in her challenges to follow her whims. She uses multiple Photobombs during her chase sequence that you must complete or you lose the mission and start over. On top of that, she's still running away while you're stuck landing the Photobomb sequences and if she gets too far away, you lose. Screwball also brings drones into the mix that detonate EMP spheres along the chase path, which often slow you down enough to miss a Photobomb or let her escape. Needless to say, there's a major Catharsis Factor in finally taking her down.
The stealth levels as MJ and Miles can be somewhat tougher than the Spidey levels for those not used to stealth games, but one that can actually be difficult is Miles' last mission, the one where you have to avoid an angry Rhino, who knows that you're somewhere due to dropping a loud steel toolbox. This is mostly because said character moves around a lot more than the average mook, is a lot easier to alert, and you only have just enough time to move to the next safe area. Worse yet, if you fail your opportunity, this character will eventually just find you due to being smart enough to move around in an enclosed area.
The mission in The Heist DLC where you chase Black Cat through a subway tunnel is a pain because, while the game wants you to Web-Zip through the tunnel, this is actually a not-very-effective way of travelling through the tunnel and it's easy to lose Black Cat. Add on the random columns of electricity and debris falling from the tunnel, and the only positive of this section is how mercifully short it is.
Getting the highest rating in Taskmaster's challenges, especially the races. Stealth challenges are easy as you can just abuse the hell out of gadgets, and combat challenges may take a few tries but are rather easy overall. However, the drone races require extreme precision as missing even one ring usually means a fatal loss of points, and the bomb challenges require you to get a good time bonus, which are tight enough that even the smallest misstep means you lose the best rating.
Screwball's challenges as well in The Heist DLC. The hardest of them all is the Gadgets challenge, where Screwball hacks your web shooters and leaves you with only Trip Mines and Suspension Matrixes, and you need to use both of them together to get the most points and earn the best rating. Worst of all, the Gadget challenge has "Photobomb" locations that will pop up from time to time in which you can earn extra points through a minigame by defeating enemies inside them. Problem is one of the locations is on the suspended billboard with a very small area, which requires you to precisely time your suspension attacks only when the enemies are exactly below the billboard, then shoot the trip wires onto the billboard while the enemies are suspended in the air so they can be pulled toward it and count as extra points. Screwball's annoying "commentary" that pops up constantly, even mocking you if you don't do your very best, isn't helping things easier at all.
And Screwball's challenges in the Turf Wars DLC get even harder with the introduction of stealth missions. Like with Taskmaster's, you have to clear out a group of enemies quickly and quietly without being seen lest you fail the mission. Unlike Taskmaster however, Screwball's stealth challenges introduce a new hazard in the form of motion sensors, sweeping spotlights that will make you fail the challenge if they catch you. While you can stop them by webbing them up, it doesn't take long for them to get up and running again meaning that you constantly have to keep webbing them and manage your time wisely so they don't blow your cover in the middle of a stealth takedown. Having to balance time management, making sure you kill enemies at the right opportunity, nailing every photobomb opportunity, and disable those lights on top of all of that can be more than a little overwhelming.
In general, the Hammerhead hideouts introduced in the Turf Wars DLC are a real pain thanks to the fact they are infested with almost every Demonic Spider in the game: rocket launcher-weilding goons, brutes with miniguns, whip goons, and shielded jetpack goons... later waves become an absolute clusterfuck thanks to all these enemies fighting you together, and their ridiculous damage output and durability make for one hell of an uphill battle even with gadget spam on your side. And if you die at any point during the hideout level, even if it's the last wave of enemies, you have to do it all over again from the beginning. Good luck trying to complete those extra objectives.
Chase missions are already kind of a pain, but one sidequest involves trying to catch pigeons — twelve of them, all over the city. They're pretty fast and capable of suddenly changing altitude - including sometimes flying above the buildings Spider-Man needs to websling.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Many fans' reaction to the costume's new white spider symbol, though Word of God claims the white areas are carbon-fiber armor and striking surfaces. Also not really a big issue in the larger scheme of things since there are multiple costumes and players can switch back to the classic suit with no repercussion. Others weren't fans of some of the changes to the characters, such as rehashing Peter's mentor dynamic with Dr. Octopus from the second Raimi movie mostly because it's less fitting for an older Peter Parker than the still young character of Spider-Man 2, or nerfing Norman Osborn by giving him sympathetic turns when fans insist that he's more entertaining and dangerous when he's the "bad man turned worse" of the comics.
Vulture in particular is sidelined in favor of the rest of the story villains. While each other villain is encountered at least once in gameplay before their boss battle, Vulture has to share his one and only appearance with Electro.
The prison breakout shown in the RAFT gameplay trailer happens at the last third of the game- rather than say, have the Sinister Six all break out early and the plot being that Spidey must spend the whole game tracking them down and defeating them one by one, instead the game mostly focuses on the fight against the Demons and how the escalation of the conflict drives New York into becoming a Crapsack World. While it's nice to give Mr. Negative and his goons some focus (considering his relative newness as a villain), it's still a missed opportunity.
With one of Mr. Negative's power being corrupting people, you would expect at least one of the three playable characters to be brainwashed by him at some point. It would have been nice for the heroes to successfully bring someone back from villainy in the game, given how neither Negative nor Otto pull a HeelFace Turn despite Spidey's best effort.
A minor one, but during the mission where Mary Jane sneaks into Osborn's secret lab inside his penthouse, she accidentally releases a group of mutated spiders, one of which would hitch a ride with her back to the F.E.A.S.T. compound and goes on to bite Miles Morales, giving him his powers. While this goes in line with the comics, where Miles would eventually become the new Spider-Man, it would make things even more interesting for the sequel if Mary Jane herself is bitten as well in addition to Miles, so there could be a possibility of her becoming a new Spider-Woman, especially since this incarnation of Mary Jane is a very proactive Action Girl who's always eager to get in the middle of the action.
At the beginning of the game it's revealed that some of the police are on Fisk's payroll...and then it's dropped entirely after that first mission. One could argue that the evidence used to lock away Fisk could've also revealed what cops were under his thumb but regardless having Spidey have to deal with corrupt cops throughout the game could've been interesting,
From The Heist, Spider-Man having a son with Black Cat could have been interesting, however at the end of the DLC, Cat reveals that she lied about having a son to manipulate him.
For a DLC titled Turf Wars, the turf war itself is mostly just in the background, with none of the Maggia crime bosses have any meaningful role in the plot, and the main, most dangerous threat is still Hammerhead and his faction. With some exceptions of Enemy Civil War here and there, the story itself is mainly about Yuri Watanabe's Start of Darkness.
Even though Turf Wars, as stated above, is all about Yuri Watanabe's crusade against Hammerhead and the Maggia, and her subsequent Start of Darkness, she plays no part in the main plot of the final DLC, Silver Lining. You'd think that a character who's been built up as Jumping Off the Slippery Slope in her vendetta against the Maggia would at least play some part in Hammerhead's ultimate defeat, but instead he's taken out by Spider-Man and Silver Sable. The only closure you get on Yuri is in one side mission where she confirms she's become a murderous vigilante, all but confirming she's become Wraith offscreen.
Uncanny Valley: The main characters, especially Peter and MJ, can look awkward to some. Their faces are extremely detailed but at the same time there is something cartoony about them, with some subtle facial movements that go for realism, but aren't fully convincing. Plus, the hair in this game is extremely rigid and static, which doesn't look too bad on short haired characters, but kinda does on long haired characters. Particularly MJ and Yuri, who have prominent fringes falling down their faces, creating a weird effect. Thus, there is some awkwardness here and there that, while doesn't detract from the experience, it's hard to at least not notice it. Also, characters in photographs often look very realistic which clashes with the rest of the game a little.
Mr. Negative, a fairly minor and somewhat newer villain in the Spider-Man comics, appears in this game as a major antagonist.
Captain Yuri Watanabe, a lesser known Spider-Man ally, also makes an appearance. She's also known as the vigilante Wraith.
Miles Morales appearance at the end of the 2017 E3 trailer was a shock to many.
Screwball, a minor Spider-Man villain, makes a cameo in a side mission to everyone's surprise.
Taskmaster is typically an Avengers foe rather than a Spider-Man villain (though they have fought before, Tasky is hardly a "rogue" to Spidey), so his appearance here where the Avengers aren't present is quite surprising.
Some people did not expect Stan Lee to make a cameo in this game in a similar vein to many Marvel films.
While an original suit was expected and Kaine Parker's Scarlet Spider suit was heavily requested, the announcement of Spider-Man UK as the third DLC suit in The Heist took many people off guard.
Due to fans requesting heavily for it since the game's announcement, no less, and Insomniac saying nothing about it for over two years, many people were pleasantly surprised that the Raimi suit eventually did show up.
Even before release, the E3 2016 trailer showed off awe-inspiring shots of Spider-Man web-swinging through the city, which were taken from actual gameplay, not pre-rendered cutscenes. And the final game itself, as evidenced by Photo Mode, features the same quality. One particular screenshot showed just how much detail there is on the Scarlet Spider suit mask alone!
Even the rooms through windows on buildings are detailed and visible through them. Everything about the game is just beautiful.
What an Idiot!: Technically subverted, but one can't help but scratch their head during Octavius' initial confrontation with Peter patching up his suit. Peter starts to explain himself, only for Octavius to abruptly come to the conclusion that Peter is helping Spider-Man. Really? REALLY?!
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Spider-Man (PS4) is not a game for little children, and even a few older children may be shocked at some of the stuff in the game. While the game is still very colorful and has a T-rating and isn't anywhere close to the Batman: Arkham Series (which had a borderline nihilistic attitude to superheroics), it is much darker and has more realistic violence compared to all the previous Spider-Man games, and the most recent movies and cartoons. There's a city hall meeting ambushed by suicide bombers with a fairly grim portrayal of the aftermath complete with terrorists summarily executing helpless citizens as a small child searches for his father's body. There's an endgame plot centered around releasing a poisonous bioweapon, swearing, illegal drug deals, and an onscreen suicide by gunshot with noGory Discretion Shot. Yes, a Spider-Man game with an uncensored suicide. Needless to say, there's quite a few dark moments in this one. The DLC likewise is a kind of adult romantic comedy with a lot of teasing jokes about Peter's love-life and specifically his sex-life, which is still mild but certainly meant for the age-group old enough to have relationships.
On Spidey's Social Media feed, Fisk's lawyer will use the term "Fake News" (in all caps no less) to try and discredit the patently obvious. In this case that the guys attacking cops from Fisk's tower while wearing Fisk-branded Uniforms are, in fact, working for Wilson Fisk.
David Obademi, a minor character in the Silver Lining DLC seems to be Insomniac's take on the then current USA's immigration debate. He's a member of a minority group whose motives and loyalities are not immediately clear, and as it turns out he's on the country illegally. However, he is a perfectly good fellow who acts shady because he knows he would get in trouble if anyone found out about his status. In the end he is an altruistic fellow in a bad situation, and Spidey manages to find him a job in the US.
Win Back the Crowd: The game's success with critics and gamers alike easily made it an example of this in regards to major console games based on Marvel Comics properties, considering that the last such game — The Amazing Spider Man 2 — had met with lukewarm reception at best.
The Woobie: Peter has to deal with Martin Li and Dr. Otto Octavius as major antagonists, having one of his best friends Yuri Watanabe lose faith in him and go off the deep end, as well as the death of Aunt May. All in all, it's hard not to feel bad for him.