Insomniac’s Spider-Man appearing at Sony’s conference wasn’t exactly a surprise, but no one expected just how, well, cinematic it was. Everyone’s favourite webhead swung through Manhattan, chased helicopters, stopped falling cranes from hitting the ground and parkoured through burning buildings. It made a fitting and explosive finale to PlayStation’s Showcase. 

If there were any complaints it was that things look just a little scripted – oh, hello hammering L2 and R2 to stop a falling helicopter – but, watching the same demo played again behind closed doors at E3, it’s far clearer that Spidey’s helicopter chase through New York isn’t quite as linear as it first appears. 

Watching the action again is just as exhilarating. Spidey grabs goons with his webs, swings them over his head or merrily ties them in knots from metal scaffolding. What’s clearer this time is the environmental possibility. While you can of course happily use your arachnid fists like a more acrobatic version of Rocksteady’s Dark Knight, you can also drag in a slew of props to aid in destruction. Sandbags and grates are just waiting to be tools in Parker’s webby arsenal.

“Combat’s really, really important in a Spider-Man game,” explains Insomniac community director James Stevenson. “It’s got to feel very acrobatic, very improvisational. We took a lot of time and effort on that. There’s a lot of different takedowns. You have a combo meter. Peter’s a genius. He builds all of his own technology. He builds his own suit so you’ll see more of his gadgets. That trip wire is just one of the things you’ll be able to use as well to take on enemies.” 

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