“Turn­ing in mid-air to snap Avengers Tower feels like peak Spi­der-Man”

Mar­vel’s Spi­der-Man’s care­fully thought-out and mod­elled col­lectibles made a com­ple­tion­ist of Ben­jamin Grif­fin. Now smile for the cam­era!

Games Master - - Upfront -

Few tasks are more me­nial than sniff­ing out videogame col­lectibles. These use­less items serve no pur­pose than to ar­ti­fi­cially in­flate a game’s length. In the case of Mar­vel’s Spi­der-Man, how­ever, I’m de­ter­minedly track­ing down the lot. Through­out New York, Spi­der-Man’s webbed 55 of his old back­packs to build­ings (hey, he had a lit­tle time on his hands), and each one con­tains a nos­tal­gic me­mento: his bulky first web-shooter; a vial con­tain­ing the Sand­man’s das­tardly grains; a busi­ness card bear­ing the de­tails of ace lawyer Matt Mur­dock, who you might also know as Dare­devil. You’re un­cov­er­ing Spi­der-Man’s his­tory with each bag you bring in.

Se­lect­ing any of these col­lectibles prompts a line from Spi­der-Man.“A toy de­signer made this pro­to­type to get me to li­cense my like­ness,” he says of a plushie. “Too bad there’s no way to get paid with­out re­veal­ing my iden­tity.” Then there’s the self-help book ti­tled ‘Work/Life Bal­ance For Id­iots’, which would help the fa­mously tardy su­per­hero, “If I ever find time to read it.”

Ob­jets d’heart

De­vel­oper In­som­niac cre­ated fully ro­tat­able 3D mod­els for each col­lectible, and the lov­ing at­ten­tion to de­tail shows. Turn the King­pin’s spe­cial spice to­wards the light and you’ll make out greasy fin­ger­prints across the cap. Look closely at the menu saved from Pe­ter and MJ’s first date and you can pe­ruse dishes right down to the baked lasagna. When this much care’s been put into in-game col­lectibles, you’ll make the ef­fort to col­lect them.

Only in this game it never feels like ef­fort. Take an­other col­lectible, land­marks, which you record with Parker’s cam­era. True to form, he’s got a quip for each one. “I won­der if king T’Challa got his pow­ers from be­ing bit­ten by a ra­dioac­tive pan­ther,” he re­marks out­side the Wakan­dan em­bassy. Web-sling­ing down a busy boule­vard be­fore turn­ing in mid-air to snap a pass­ing shot of Avengers Tower or Doc­tor Strange’s house in slow mo­tion feels like peak Spi­der-Man. Even if your ac­tual shot is a blurry mess, Parker al­ways digs it, and that en­thu­si­asm is in­fec­tious.

Your in-flight en­ter­tain­ment dur­ing all this comes cour­tesy of J. Jonah Jame­son, for­mer Daily Bugle edi­tor and bile-spew­ing host of a rant-filled pod­cast fea­tur­ing sound bites like, “You know what I blame? The in­ter­net. Ex­cept the part of the in­ter­net that car­ries my show.” And as an ex­tra in­cen­tive to hunt col­lectibles, you’re gain­ing XP ev­ery time your feet leave the floor, whether you’re wall-run­ning, sling­shot­ting, or swan-div­ing di­rectly through a flock of baf­fled pi­geons.

Our time on this Earth is lim­ited, but due to the way In­som­niac cou­ples col­lectibles to back­story and makes reach­ing them fun and mean­ing­ful, I’m happy to spend a large part of it 100%-ing Mar­vel’s Spi­der-Man.

“when this much care is put into col­lectibles, you’ll make the ef­fort to col­lect them”

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