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Why Spider-Man 2 Makes the PS5 Upgrade Worth It

More than three years after the launch of the PlayStation 5, it seems like a good time to assess how the ninth-generation Sony console has fared. Stricken with stock issues arising out of the pandemic and later struggling with a fairly unimpressive game library, the PS5 is now finally a worthy buy. With the release of Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2, I feel the PS5 is now a true upgrade over your trusty old PS4. Let’s unpack why Spider-Man 2 is so remarkable and how it fulfills the PS5 promise.

FYI: still confused? Check out our PS5 vs. Xbox Series X vs. Nintendo Switch comparison to find out what’s best for you.

Fully Realizes the Graphical Might of the Console

The PS5 was always going to revolutionize console gaming and gaming in general. The kind of hardware seen in the PlayStation 5 (and Xbox Series X) was mostly unprecedented in previous consoles, even the PS4. In the buildup to the launch of the PS5, people were palpably excited to see what PS5 games would look and feel like.

For a long time, fans were left waiting for any AAA exclusive to make its way to the PS5. Spider-Man: Miles Morales was available at launch, but it wasn’t a full game in the sense that its predecessor, Spider-Man, was. You could count God of War Ragnarok as a big-budget and fantastic PS5 title, but as beautiful as it looked, it didn’t implement every new feature the PS5 had access to, like ray tracing.

This is where Spider-Man 2 becomes so impressive. It’s arguably the very first AAA title to make full use of the PS5’s next-gen capabilities, primarily “ray traced reflections.” Even in the lower quality “Performance” mode, the game doesn’t switch ray tracing off, and seamlessly provides the best visual experience the developers intended.

Once you get your hands on the game, you’ll realize the remarkable achievement Spider-Man 2 for PS5 really is. It’s not only a landmark upgrade over the PS4, but it also rivals modern gaming PCs in terms of striking the right balance between visual fidelity and performance, thanks mostly to the incredible optimization it enables.

Good to know: wondering about the raw power of the PS5? These desktop GPUs match or out-perform the PS5 GPU.

Fulfills the Promise of Next-Gen Loading Times

Another much-touted feature before launch was the highly advanced PS5 storage that would allow for near-instant loading times, finally getting rid of loading times disguised as forced animations. While gamers were able to experience these fast loading times in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, it wasn’t as impressive as it now is in Spider-Man 2.

Insomniac’s third Spider-Man game finally brings the instantaneous loading times gamers dreamed of when the feature first caught the attention of the community. Before I played the game, I was aware of the impressive feature, but that didn’t prepare me for it.

The first time I switched from Miles to Peter at the press of a button, I was amazed at how fast and smooth it was – and that’s not even the best part. Once you unlock fast travel in the game, you can point to any spot in the map, and the game instantly jumps there: no black screen, no extended animations, everything fully rendered.

This may not sound groundbreaking, but that’s exactly what it is. I doubt if any big-budget game has achieved this in the past. Spider-Man 2 more than justifies the top-ranked spot the PS5 holds among the best gaming consoles of 2023.

Makes the Best Use of DualSense and 3D Audio

The advancements brought by the PS5 weren’t limited to visual fidelity and performance. The PS5’s 3D audio aimed to provide gamers with a new level of immersion. Even the PS5’s new DualSense controller packed in a ton of advanced features to enhance gameplay, and the most impressive were the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.

Spider-Man 2 is able to maximize the impact of these new technologies by achieving the best implementation of them in a highly popular AAA game. We did see the 3D audio features used to a great extent in Returnal, but that game wasn’t able to capture the attention of gamers to the extent Spider-Man 2 did. You’re introduced to these features pretty soon in the game, as you fly around the city using web wings or break collectible crystals.

The new haptics and dynamic triggers allow you to really “feel” what’s happening at the moment. And most impressive of all, the 3D audio kicks in when you experience rain in the game, with the audio delivered either through headphones or TV speaker. You need to check a few settings to make it work, but it’s well worth the effort.

All of the PS5’s game-changing features seem to have finally coalesced to provide gamers with the first true taste of next-gen console gaming. This makes it the right time to buy a PS5 if you’ve been holding out until now.

The PS5 Finally Has a Worthy Library

Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2 isn’t the only heavy hitter you have in the PS5 game library. Besides the first two Spider-Man games, titles like God of War: Ragnarok, Horizon Forbidden West, Returnal, Ghost of Tsushima, Demon’s Souls, and The Last of Us Part 1 are best experienced on PS5.

Similar to The Last of Us, many other titles are getting remastered for the PS5 to be able to take advantage of all the next-gen features of the console. The Last of Us 2 Remastered, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Remastered Collection, Control: Ultimate Edition, Nioh 2 Remastered: The Complete Edition, and Death Stranding Director’s Cut are just a few of the best games available on the PS5.

And that’s not all. Thanks to the revamp of the PlayStation Plus tiers, you get access to a vast library of older PlayStation titles at a cheap monthly subscription, similar to the Game Pass on the Xbox Series X/S.

As we get into 2024 and beyond, many games are likely to skip the PS4 entirely and release exclusively on the PS5, similar to Spider-Man 2. This would only make the PS5 upgrade even more worthwhile as time goes on.

Tip: buying a PS5? Learn how to transfer game data from a PS4 to a PS5.

Image credit: Unsplash

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After a 7-year corporate stint, Tanveer found his love for writing and tech too much to resist. An MBA in Marketing and the owner of a PC building business, he writes on PC hardware, technology, video games, and Windows. When not scouring the web for ideas, he can be found building PCs, watching anime, or playing Smash Karts on his RTX 3080 (sigh).

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