Spider-Man Remastered PC Review: A Tad Overpriced, but Worth the Wait


Spider-Man is finally on PC — and it might be the greatest decision Sony has made to expand its outreach. If the headline didn’t give it away, I’m talking about Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, the updated next-gen version of the 2018 award-winning title. As someone who doesn’t own a PlayStation console, this is quite eventful — being able to experience the iconic web slinger’s escapades first-hand, albeit a few years past its relevance. The friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man swings onto PC this week, bringing with it a range of graphical options that the PS5 and PS4 lack. Co-developed by Insomniac Games, this version comes with high-resolution assets, support for ultra-wide screens, and ray-tracing out of the box. This is in addition to the diverse peripheral controls designed solely for PC gamers.

Having had the pleasure of playing Spider-Man Remastered ahead of launch, here’s what I think of it. Full disclosure: I have never played the original game on PS4 or PS5, or even watched walkthroughs on YouTube. So as you’ll see in the review below, I will gradually take you through personal experiences during gameplay.

The PC version of Spider-Man Remastered is a basic port, offering a slightly refined affair with overhauled graphics. You play as the titular spandex-wearing superhero and swing around town, facing multiple baddies hailing from the Marvel universe. Those on PC can compare this experience to Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham franchise, whose blueprints and inspiration can be seen sprinkled throughout.

Spider-Man Remastered PC review: controls

Insomniac has offered full keyboard and mouse controls with Spider-Man Remastered on PC, with button-mapping to suit your convenience. The default layout is intuitive for the most part, except for the dodge button, which is set to the left control key. Getting used to it takes a while, since it translates to the “crouch” action in most video games. It’s an odd placement. During intense combat, I accidentally kept hitting the ‘Windows’ button instead of dodging, whenever the Spidey-Sense tingled, giving me all the more reason to swap.

Spider-Man Remastered also comes with full gamepad support, featuring an inbuilt setting to enable haptic feedback on the PS5 DualSense controller. This implies that PC players won’t have to set up the DS4Windows software to allow seamless compatibility. Now, I personally don’t own one, so I can’t directly attest to this.

That said, testing the game with a Logitech controller gave ideal results, with precise response times and comfort. Even if you aren’t used to playing on a gamepad, the mapping is designed perfectly to suit an action-adventure title as such. In fact, I would say it’s much easier to play Spider-Man Remastered with a controller than keyboard and mouse.

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While it provides intuitive keyboard and mouse controls, Spider-Man Remastered is best played with a controller
Photo Credit: Sony/Insomniac Games

Spider-Man Remastered PC review: graphics and gameplay

Every time you launch Spider-Man Remastered, it will throw up a pop-out window, letting you manually adjust settings before you enter the actual game. This is similar to most Square Enix titles, allowing for some important alterations such as V-sync and window mode, with a dedicated slider for the motion blur effect. And while the latter is notorious for causing motion sickness in most games, here, it’s nowhere as obnoxious.

Once you’re inside Spider-Man Remastered on PC, you’re in for a treat. The visuals look spectacular, with highly-detailed textures and lighting options that bring these fictional icons to life. Character models have clearly received special treatment here, as they seem least affected by changes in graphics quality. Even on the lowest settings, skin and clothing texture look decent, with sacrifices made in the reflection department. Likewise, any pieces of text, logos, reused assets, and buildings are marred by blurry renders.

Spider-Man Remastered on PC provides five different graphics presets to choose from: “Very Low”, “Low”, “Medium”, “High”, and “Very High”. Starting with the lowest, every parameter is set to the base bottom, excluding lens flares, chromatic aberration, and vignettes that add a level of angelic look to them. Akin to the photography in a Terrence Malick or Sean Baker film. In these settings, objects such as glass look plasticy, debris looks like unset clay, and far-off buildings lack detail. Some of this can be countered by tweaking the depth of field.

Cranking the preset up to ‘Low’ only enables bloom, creating a natural glow effect when light bleeds through objects, like tree branches. Interestingly, the anti-aliasing is set to TAA (temporal), regardless of the chosen preset, leading to smoothened edges. You can set this to SMAA or simply turn it off to gain more frames at the cost of rough, polygonal edges. Enabling screen space reflections, as the name suggests, throw a spitting image of the tall skyscrapers onto windows. But when climbing walls, Spider-Man’s reflection can only be seen at specific, narrowed angles. This can be amplified by toggling on ray-traced reflections as seen in the PS5 version, though I couldn’t test it first-hand due to the lack of an RTX card.

All You Need to Know About Spider-Man Remastered PC

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Particle effects can also be adjusted, though it won’t be as prominent during gameplay
Photo Credit: Sony/Insomniac Games

Even on a budget build, the ‘Medium’ presets in Spider-Man Remastered manage to throw striking images, upping the ante with facial pores and individual, defined hair strands. In previous settings, these were airbrushed, making stubbles look like goofy ink smudges. Shadows and weather particle effects can also be adjusted to your liking, with higher values adding stress to your GPU — so tread lightly. Be mindful of how much these two variables matter to you, as you’ll just be swinging around town during 90 percent of outdoor sequences.

Similarly, you can fiddle around with texture filtering to get the best images when viewing from extreme angles. Unlike most options on the list, this one isn’t as demanding on modern GPUs. So, feel free to dial it to at least 4x anisotropic, ensuring reduced jaggies on Spider-Man Remastered PC. But if you still face difficulty running the game on your system, just take it down to the less-advanced trilinear filtering option.

It’s when you enter ‘High’ regions that you start seeing magic on Spider-Man Remastered PC. The lighting gets an instant facelift, while the graphics look hyper-realistic with visible dust particles floating in the air. Traversing the sprawling city of New York feels exhilarating, as you freefall down to honking cars and cheerful applause from bystanders. In quick response, you then thwip out your web and propel upwards, only to be blinded by divine golden sun rays off the coast — mimicking the final scene from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. I couldn’t ask for a finer experience.

The most notable difference when comparing low and high settings would be the textures, the effects of which can be seen live due to the menu’s placement, taking up half of the screen real estate. Furthermore, games that manage to apply their graphics settings without needing a restart are a plus in my books — and this one ticks the box.

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The settings menu placement allows you to see graphics changes live
Photo Credit: Insomniac Games. Screenshot by Rahul Chettiyar/Gadgets 360

Upon returning to the game, the settings take a few seconds to fully apply, causing a heavy stutter, or on rare occasions, a crash. And while I do appreciate the Spider-Man Remastered PC menu telling me what jargon implies what, it still lacks a VRAM usage indicator at the bottom right. So when you adjust these options, there’s no telling at what point you’re hitting the threshold and causing lag spikes — the schematics of which we’ll get to later.

On ‘Very High’ settings, the difference is negligible, featuring some light glows with higher quality weather particles. For some reason, the texture filtering never climbs to 16x anisotropic automatically. Nothing concerning, since the petty shift is only visible in Spider-Man Remastered PC cutscenes. Then there’s the varied display support, offering options between 21:9 ultrawide and 32:9 panoramic for an immersive experience, alongside several accessibility features.

Spider-Man Remastered PC review: performance

In addition to looking super appealing on PC, Spider-Man Remastered is fairly well-optimised. My test rig consisted of a 3.6GHz AMD Ryzen 5 2400G processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super GPU with 6GB VRAM, 16GB RAM, a full-HD monitor, and a 256GB SSD. Since the files are hefty, weighing 65.25GB, I took the typical gamer approach of installing it on a hard drive. But unless you’re running a decked-out PC, this isn’t the ideal route.

SSDs are commonly associated with faster load times. But here, the impact is seen instantly in-game with smoother frames, quicker asset loading, and transitions between cutscenes. We also left motion blur on here, as it never feels as jarring and emphasises Spidey’s acrobatic moveset. On the lowest settings, Spider-Man Remastered chugs out a maximum of 105fps, while dancing between 73–76fps on average. During intense fights or populated set pieces, it fell to 68fps.

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It is recommended that you install Spider-Man Remastered PC on your SSD, as here, it helps with smoother frames and quicker asset loading
Photo Credit: Sony/Insomniac Games

Moving up the ladder, the low preset maxed out at 92fps, but struggled a bit when swinging outdoors in Spider-Man Remastered PC. From here onwards, grappling around town would cause frames to drop to the 50s, causing micro-stutters that aren’t obvious to the naked eye. With bloom enabled, the game averaged 68fps and dropped to 60fps during outdoor combat or particle explosions.

At medium, on our budget build, Spider-Man Remastered PC manages to shell out 80fps maximum, while maintaining a smooth 64fps performance on average. Meanwhile, mingling with crowds or swinging past towers plummeted the framerate to 50. Understandable, given the sheer volume of artefacts it needs to process in a short interval.

Shifting to High preset, elements like lens flare and depth-of-field became prominent, with freeform traversal appearing janky, dipping to 30fps at one point. Still playable, but inconsistent when compared to other metrics in this preset. Standard gameplay averaged 52fps with highs of 70fps (interior segments). During a lengthy wave-type combat segment in Spider-Man Remastered involving guns, rocket launchers, and shock batons, the lowest recorded framerate was 40fps. There’s no discernible slowdown, but some camera smoothening could have helped.

With similar PC specs, if consistent frames is your goal, go for the Medium preset with Spider-Man Remastered. Push for High if you don’t mind some dips at random.

But it wasn’t until I hit the Very High preset — where Spider-Man Remastered averages 47fps with constant slips to the 33fps region — that it made for an unpleasant gameplay experience.

According to the official spec sheet, running Spider-Man Remastered on these settings demands an Nvidia RTX 3070 or AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT GPU. Even if you aren’t into ray-tracing, 8GB VRAM is necessary to get satisfying results, with added benefits of DLSS. As mentioned earlier, the settings menu doesn’t offer a threshold indication, thereby forcing players to go look up the requirements online.

Should you buy Spider-Man Remastered on PC?

When compared to past PlayStation ports such as Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone, Marvel’s Spider-Man (Remastered) is in a much better technical state. It’s quite forgiving on both performance and visual ends, allowing players to run the game on old-gen hardware, dating back to the GTX 950 days.

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When compared to past PlayStation to PC ports, Spider-Man Remastered is in a much better technical state
Photo Credit: Sony/Insomniac Games

The performance issues I encountered, although uneven, didn’t shatter the immersion for me, and it manages to run like a charm on a tight, budget-build system. Bear in mind, this review isn’t even based on the final build of Spider-Man Remastered, which is expected to be delivered as a day-one update.

Spider-Man Remastered on PC warrants a second playthrough, especially for PS4 owners who still haven’t been able to get hold of a PS5. New players on PC are in for a treat, as they can expect a compelling narrative, bound by smooth, free-flowing gameplay that rivals the Batman: Arkham games. (I’m counting out Batman: Arkham Knight here, which had a terrible launch on PC.)

That said, I do believe that the Rs. 3,999 price tag is a bit too much for a basic remaster — for a title that’s now nearly four years old, with the PS5 remaster itself nearing its second anniversary. Sure, one could argue the “remastered” tag carries a bit more weight, but that doesn’t explain why God of War (2018) launched with identical features at a Rs. 3,299 price tag earlier this year. But hey, at least Marvel’s Spider-Man is now finally on PC.

Pros:

  • Decently optimised
  • Stunning visuals
  • Intuitive keyboard and mouse controls
  • DualSense haptic feedback
  • Motion blur is not obnoxious
  • No need for restart when changing graphics settings

Cons:

  • No VRAM usage indicator
  • Lacks camera smoothening
  • Swinging around town causes micro stutters
  • Quite demanding specs for ray-tracing
  • Graphics difference is negligible in higher presets
  • Pricey when compared to past PlayStation PC ports

Rating (out of 10): 8

Gadgets 360 played Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on a PC with AMD Ryzen 5 2400G 3.6GHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super GPU 6GB, and 16GB RAM.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is priced at Rs. 3,999 on Steam and Epic Games Store.


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