A great port of a great game

Sony’s announcement of releasing first-party games on PC came as a shock to the system. Not because the idea to see a God of War on Steam was weird – this phenomenon had already happened – but because of the company’s desire to really push the release efforts on the platform by being over-boosted by a few high-profile games here and there a third or more of the PlayStation portfolio is coming in 2025. Essentially, PC fans will be getting a slew of great Sony titles in the near future. Of course, this also includes what is to come Spider-Man Remasteredwhich is proving to be a solid port of one of Insomniac’s best games.

First released on PlayStation 4 in 2018, Marvel’s Spider-Man was great. Following the exploits of a veteran Peter Parker, fans were treated to a goofy (if slightly bloated) storyline in which Peter’s personal life gets nicely complicated and the stakes of his responsibilities as a superhero are raised. An early fight with the Kingpin leads to an encounter with a group called The Demons. There are explosions and jokes. Soon, Peter and several other characters become involved in a grand conspiracy that culminates in the birth of the Sinister Six. Good times.

A close-up of Doc Ock, with details of the road reflected in his glasses.

screenshot: Sony/Kotaku

Spider-Man Remastered is the definitive version of this hit action-adventure game. It released on the PS5 in 2020 and presented the same storyline, the same great combat mechanics, some nice accessibility features, and the best web swinging that can be found in games. It also included new and previously released DLC, as well as a snazzy new coat of paint; Fans could zip through New York in either 4K Fidelity mode, which ran at 30 fps but offered enhanced lighting effects and ray tracing, or Performance mode, which offered dynamic resolution at a stable 60 fps. More recently, an improved performance mode has been added that enables ray tracing by adjusting the game’s resolution, reflection quality, and more.

All of this resulted in an improved version of a very good game. The same goes for the PC port, coming August 12, as it offers even more visual improvements. We’re talking performance-enhancing NVIDIA DLSS, support for multiple display configurations, unlocked frame rates, and more. Players must have a proper rig to walk Spiderman at the higher settings and there are a few issues that need to be fixed for this version to be fully recommended. All in all, Peter Parker has never looked better.

For those of you who haven’t played the original game, let’s briefly cover what you can expect from it, regardless of which version you’re playing. SpidermanThe narrative of is bolstered by impressive voice acting and a solid bit of world building. The streets of New York feel alive as pedestrians go about their business only to be interrupted by a car chase or a grocery store heist. If you intervene, some viewers might cheer or ask to take a selfie. Others might be upset that you ran into them trying to catch a criminal. Regardless, all your deeds will be remembered. If it’s not John Jonah Jameson reminding people how you let the rhino escape, it’s the inevitable damage to the city that reflects your recent battles.

Spider-Man clinging to a wall on a screen that displays accessibility features including "change button taps to holds," "swing/parkour mode," and "Improved auto-aim."

screenshot: Sony/Kotaku

Of course, the usual open-world “requirements” are in place. Visiting a watchtower will pepper the map with any number of extracurricular activities to do in a given area. However, most of what’s available is entertaining because it feels great to be Spider-Man. This is especially true for the more action-oriented segments. Spidey dominates combat, easily hopping from opponent to opponent and juggling them in the air before tying them to a lamppost. Certain enemies – like shield-wielding jerks or rocket-wielding soldiers – may require different maneuvers to defeat them. Do not worry. A nice list of unlockable skills and gadgets bolsters an already decent move-set. And thanks to his Spidey Sense, you can dodge incoming attacks with a well-timed button press.

The fights inside Spiderman can be challenging at times. If you fail to use stealth against large numbers of enemies, or decide to take some of the tougher wave-based encounters off guard, you may find yourself restarting from a previous checkpoint. However, none of these encounters ever feel unfair. In fact, thanks to combat mechanics and responsive controls, they’re almost always entertaining.

When you’re not punching baddies in the face as Spider-Man, hide from them as MJ or Miles Morales. They hide behind things and knock over objects or hack devices to lure guards away from an area, usually at key moments in the story. These stealth sections aren’t as engaging as one would like, but they help bridge the near-constant combat.

Spidey hops down a street in broad daylight, the sky reflected in the windows of a nearby police station.

screenshot: Sony/Kotaku

We could spend all day explaining why Marvel’s Spider-Man was the best superhero game when it came out (its sequel, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, is even better) detailing its plot and various gameplay mechanics. Just know that it’s still a great time to play regardless of platform. Let’s shift focus back to this remastered PC port and talk about visuals. The game looks great. Running it at 2K and 60 fps was a breeze. With NIVIDA DLSS on, you can experience a frame drop when swinging through town, only hitting 56 fps, but for the most part Spiderman stayed at or above 60.

As I continued to tinker with the settings, switching to HDR resulted in deep darks and richer colors. This mode can be adjusted to reduce the glow of bright lights and the like. Most settings kept high, dipped very high here and there (for things like texture quality/nudged ambient occlusion from SSAO to HBAO+), things were going pretty well for the most part. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case when I tried to use ray tracing.

For one thing, it was a no-go to put ray tracing very high. Spiderman requires 10 GB of video memory and my NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti only has 8 GB; I could stand and take a screenshot, but trying to move anywhere would crash the game. That was more my fault than the game’s. However, I had issues with ray tracing, even at lower settings. My frame rate would drop to around 40 fps in the middle and 30 fps in the highs. There would also be image noise or artifacts around objects that would be really distracting.

Spider-Man overlooks Manhattan from a pole above a building at dusk.

screenshot: Sony/Kotaku

To be fair, the construction of Spider-Man Remastered I tested was not the final build. DLSS wasn’t fully optimized, ray tracing was temporarily disabled for AMD GPUs, and more. However, we are constantly working on optimization; A few patches were released prior to launch that fixed most of these issues. I also need to consider my PC build. While my GPU is great, I’m currently running an 8th Gen Intel processor pending an upcoming upgrade.

All in all I can say that Spiderman going really well. The work being done to minimize ray tracing memory requirements and optimize frame rates at all settings will help mitigate what is probably the game’s only problem. I did notice some audio sync issues and got dark screens with no input options when trying to adjust a setting, but they’ve since been fixed in a patch. The real draw is how customizable the game is in terms of settings. It’s possible to push things so far that what’s displayed on your monitor looks better than what’s available on consoles. You’ll need a strong enough rig to get the best of the best visually – 4K 60fps with ray tracing at max will have to wait for a patch – but even at lower levels the game looks fantastic. There’s also keyboard and mouse support, haptic feedback and dynamic trigger effects for DualSense controllers, ultra-wide monitor support, and more to dor things to your liking. It’s even Steam Deck Verified for those of you who have secured one of Valve’s nifty handhelds. Again, your mileage may vary based on current setup/available devices.

The question of whether to buy or not Spider-Man Remastered should be based on the strength of your PC. And maybe if you could snag the elusive PS5. Beyond that, however, there is no reason to pass on remastered. By the looks of it, it’s a solid port of a spectacular Spider-Man game.

https://kotaku.com/spiderman-remastered-review-pc-insomniac-ray-tracing-1849391687 A great port of a great game

Curtis Crabtree

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