Marvel’s Spider-Man is swinging onto PC via Steam four years after its PS4 debut with new features and graphic capabilities to make this the ultimate friendly neighborhood experience.
At this point, you most likely know that the game is great after all the heaps of praise poured on to the PS4 and PS5 versions. With this in mind, this won’t be so much a review it will be an assessment of the specs.
For the record, I played the game with an RTX 2070 graphics card, a mid-end card that can handle most triple-A games. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what’s been added to the Spectacular Steam version of Spider-man.
Like God of War (2018) before it, Marvel’s Spider-Man on PC supports NVIDIA DLSS. This makes the frame rate look crisp and clean, even without a top-end graphics card, and in a game where you spend most of the time swinging through a vast urban jungle, that’s a big deal. Traveling through New York feels electrifying and helped reinvigorate me to play this four-year-old game all over again.
Playstation has also gone the distance with its DLSS implementation. Most PC games only have the option to turn it on and off. Spider-Man, like God of War, allows for different settings including ‘Quality’, ‘Balanced’, ‘Performance’, and ‘Ultra Performance’ in accordance with your preferences. For a company that focuses primarily on exclusivity, it’s nice to see them adding special touches to their ports.
I first tried out the ‘Quality’ DLSS setting which kept the visual quality nice and sharp. Without the DLSS it had a framerate of 85 FPS, with it turned on the average framerate was around 98 FPS. The jump in frames is very much notable.
I also tried the highest DLSS option to improve the framerate: Ultra Performance. The average framerate I got was 105 FPS. A 20 FPS increase is nothing to scoff at and it certainly ran well but the visuals took a real downgrade to reach those frames so I wouldn’t recommend it.
On my PC, the DLSS Quality option worked best overall. 98FPS is more than enough to get Spidey sliding smooth as butter. You get a beautiful performance without sacrificing any visual quality.
With that being said, people with AMD graphics cards haven’t been left out either as the game also supports AMD FSR 2.0 with the same options as DLSS. This allows the game to run well even on older computers. For the Ultra Performance option, I got 109 FPS, an increase of about 24 FPS, or 12 FPS higher than the Quality option.
Marvel’s Spider-Man on PC also supports another NVIDIA product called Deep Learning Anti-Aliasing or DLAA. It’s a new AI-based anti-aliasing mode that can sharpen the game’s image and geometry quality.
I tried to use DLAA and compared it with the game’s conventional Temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) and the DLAA only slightly improves image sharpness. The difference is barely noticeable if you don’t focus on it. What’s worse however is that DLAA reduces performance much more than TAA. Using DLAA I get 85 FPS, but using TAA I can get 94 FPS with almost the same quality. This might not be the case with your PC but it was an issue with mine.
Ultimately, unless you have a super high-end PC, you probably won’t need DLAA. The game runs more than fine without the minor visual differences.
Spider-Man is the first time PlayStation has made a PC port that’s implemented ray-tracing as a feature. Even God of War lacked ray-tracing across its frozen lakes.
Like DLSS, Playstation was kind enough to have two ray tracing settings to toggle through: ‘High’ and ‘Very High’.
I tried it out on both quality options and they both looked really good. The resulting reflections from buildings, skyscrapers, cars, or even water splatters on the streets, all look realistically vibrant. Unfortunately, I had issues with the performance as my average framerate of 85 FPS went down to 52 FPS on ‘High’ and 30 on ‘Very High’. The game is still more than playable but I personally prefer a higher framerate to prettier visuals.
Speaking of ‘Very High’, there wasn’t that big of a difference between the two options with ‘Very High’ only looking a little brighter than regular ‘High’. You probably wouldn’t even notice the difference if you weren’t paying special attention to it.
Controller of Choice
Like previous Playstation titles, you have the option to play Spider-Man with a Playstation DualSense controller. All you need to do is plug it in and get going.
The DuelSense controls however lack a few of the haptic feedback and dynamic trigger features that they have on the PS5 version. You’ll still feel a jolt when shooting webs, or when doing Heavy / Finishing Attacks but the force and tension of swinging from building to building is now gone. It’s not a big deal but their inclusion would have been nice.
All that being said, playing with the mouse and keyboard still feels comfortable. The default button selection is very easy to use. Your left hand can focus on movement with the keyboard and your right hand can focus on the camera with the mouse. This means that if you don’t have a controller or gamepad, you don’t have to worry, the game is still more than playable.
Performance and Bugs
When it comes to performance, Spider-Man on PC runs great. There is almost no stuttering or framerate drops. It’s stable and smooth as long as you have PC specifications that are qualified to play it in certain settings, this game runs optimally.
I did however find one bug in the game. There was a visual glitch involving moving objects like birds jittering and breaking model. The only way to fix this was to turn the game off and on again. It was a pain, but fortunately, the bug rarely happened even if it was still noticeable.
Marvel’s Spider-Man on PC
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered continues Playstation’s streak of highly polished PC ports. It offers a myriad of cutting-edge features that give PC gamers plenty of options to enjoy the game in the way that’s best optimized for them.
Features such as DLSS and AMD FSR 2.0 really help to improve the game’s performance for PCs to achieve better fidelity. Plus the addition of ray-tracing features while having some faults will also give gamers who have high-end PCs a chance to play the game more optimally.
Of course, beyond all of these technical aspects, Marvel’s Spider-Man is a truly great game that pays a great amount of homage to the iconic superhero. It’s well worth a purchase on Steam and all of the polish it’s received for this port makes it better than ever.
For more general information on Marvel’s Spider-Man, check out our interview with two of the game’s developers: Nixxes Software founder Jurjen Katsman and Insomniac Games core technology director Mike Fitzgerald.
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