It’s good to be back. Back in 2019, I tore through all of Marvel’s Spider-Man on PlayStation 4; 100% completion and full Platinum. I did the same a year later when Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales was released on PlayStation 5. I’ve loved Spider-Man for a long time, and Insomniac’s take on the hero was just amazing. (Pun intended.)
Now I’m here revisiting the first game on PC. Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered launched on PlayStation 5 around the same time as Miles Morales, but now it’s making the transition to Steam and the Epic Games Store. Nixxes Software has worked hard on this port, bringing a more flexible iteration of the web swinging experience to PC. Not only are we getting Spider-Man with support for Nvidia DLSS, AMD FSR, and real-time raytracing, but it’s also Steam Deck Verified.
For me, playing through this new iteration has been about seeing the infinite possibilities in front of a PC version, versus the original console releases.
The Ray-Traced Spider-Man #1
I’m not going to go long on the technical prowess of this PC port. You’ll have folks like Digital Foundry who will give you framerate counts and frame timing at every level. Instead, I’m going to go over the general experience of playing on PC, including some of the tweaks I needed in order to get smooth play on my rig.
As of the last patch before this review, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is taking up 65.25 GB on my hard drive. As a baseline, this is the desktop PC I played on:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (8 GB)
- RAM: 24 GB
These specs put me right around recommended specs for the High preset. Running the game at 3840 x 2160 (4K) with Nvidia DLSS Performance mode and High Ray-Traced Reflections, I was hovering around 30-35 frames per second. That’s playable, but the power of PC means being able to dial in something better. Dropping Ray-Traced Reflections to Medium pushed that up to around 45 frames per second on average.
Nixxes and Insomniac offer a ton of options to tweak the experience. Available resolutions scaled from 3840 x 2160 down to 800 x 600 for me, but Nixxes has said the game supports ultrawide monitors. Upscaling methods include the aforementioned Nvidia DLSS, AMD FSR 2.0, and Insomniac’s own Temporal Injection. Each mode has four quality options: Balanced, Quality, Performance, and Ultra Performance. Dynamic Resolution Scaling, which is available on PlayStation platforms, is an option here.
Ray-Traced Reflections can be set to Off, Medium, High, and Very High, or you can choose to use Screen Space Reflections instead. There are other bells and whistles as well, including a few options for Ambient Occlusion, Shadow Quality, Texture Quality, Depth of Field, Level of Detail, Hair Quality, and Weather Particle Quality. Finally, there are toggles for Bloom, Vignette, Chromatic Aberration, and Lens Flares.
While real-time ray tracing is great, I really wanted to hit a consistent 60 FPS. I eventually settled on 2560 x 1440, DLSS Performance, and Screen Space Reflections. Ray-Tracing looks fantastic, but in certain situations, I found the performance was uneven on my rig.
While swinging high above the city, I did experience some performance dips. Pop-in felt low, but there were some noticeable level-of-detail transitions. I also saw some slight shimmer in some cutscenes with ray-tracing on. If you’re tweaking your performance, I’d recommend using the Times Square location. It’s a perfect spot to traverse in order to test heavy graphical load. When swinging through there, I’d lose 10-15 frames per second on average easily. Swing back and forth through there to get your settings straight.
The Parker Luck – Down to 800 x 600
I also decided to turn everything down to the bottom to see how Spider-Man Remastered would perform. I set the game to the “Very Low” graphics present, turned all the additional features off, and set the resolution down to 800 x 600.
All told, the game looked… fine? In cutscenes, the noticeable loss is in texture detail and the heavy aliasing on things like hair. In the game proper, the city of New York is a mess of jaggies if you stop to look at a screenshot, but while you’re playing, it’s certainly survivable. In fact, if I had turned on any type of anti-aliasing, I think it would’ve been a-okay. (It’s worth noting that this isn’t far from resolutions I’ll be talking about later in this article!)
That’s a long way to say that Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered scales really well. That’s not surprising, considering the minimum specifications have an Intel Core i3-4160, Nvidia GeForce GTX 950, and 8 GB of RAM needed to run the game at 720p/30 FPS. If you haven’t updated your PC in quite a while, Spider-Man will still treat you right.
Slinging a Mouse and Keyboard
Before we get to the Steam Deck performance, I want to dive briefly into mouse and keyboard control. You can just hook up a controller and play Marvel’s Spider-Man as it’s meant to be played, but Insomniac and Nixxes also offer standard PC controls and key mapping.
I found that in combat, I wasn’t a huge fan of the standard key mapping. I assumed the number keys would be Spider-Man’s gadgets, but 1, 2, and 3 are actually bound to Healing, Finisher, and Suit Power. Gadgets are on the scroll wheel by standard, while holding Mouse 3 opens the Gadget Wheel. There is no way to keybind each gadget to its own key, sadly.
I also had an issue with Dodge being on Left Control in the standard keybinding. That binding puts Dodge, a fairly important ability, just outside of my comfort zone. That said, it’s also bound to Mouse 4, something the tutorial doesn’t tell you. I ended up binding Dodge to Caps Lock to bring it closer to the WASD area.
While combat on the keyboard wasn’t my cup of tea, traversal was actually easier with a mouse. Being able to pinpoint aim for the Zip to Point makes getting around New York much easier overall. In fact, while I would play with the controller most of the time for the latter part of the review period, mouse and keyboard was my chosen method for the Traversal Challenges. Swinging through the world with mouse aim is just… far better.
An Amazing Fantasy – Playing on Steam Deck
I know this is what you’re here for. Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is Steam Deck Verified, meaning it’s fully playable on Valve’s handheld. As I noted above, Spider-Man is very scalable on PC and God of War already made its playable appearance on the Steam Deck.
Marvel’s Spider-Man looks and plays fantastically on Steam Deck. It boots up on the platform on 1280 x 800 with AMD FSR, Dynamic Resolution Scaling targeting 30 FPS, and the Medium graphics preset. I dropped the resolution down to 1280 x 720, which cleared up a few performance dips. At these settings, Marvel’s Spider-Man lives around 35-40 FPS, with hitches down to as low as 20 FPS in certain camera transitions in cutscenes.
Turning off Dynamic Resolution Scaling allowed me to switch Upscale Quality to Balanced. Here, I found that I was getting 55-60 FPS in enclosed areas and hovering around 32-40 FPS while web-swinging around the city. I did notice that FSR introduced some artifacts while Spider-Man was moving quickly, so I eventually turned it off and went with 720p, no upscaling, and TAA. I could live with a consistent 30 FPS swinging high above the city.
All told, it was certainly playable, meaning I was able to enjoy web-swinging in bed and bathroom as needed. The Steam Deck shouldn’t be impressive anymore, but playing Spider-Man wherever I want to is still a goddamn win in my book. It’s enough to make me wish that Sony still wanted to throw its hat in the ring on portable systems.
Once I had settled on system specs that worked for me, it was just a matter of seeing how long I could play on a single charge. Through a number of playthroughs, I found I could enjoy Spider-Man for around 1 hour and 30 minutes before I needed to recharge. Your mileage may vary depending on settings, but that’s where I stayed for most of the review period. It’s not necessarily a road warrior, but again, you’re playing Marvel’s Spider-Man on a portable.
If you’ve already burned through Marvel Spider-Man on PlayStation 4 / 5, I can’t entirely recommend spending the cash on this full-priced re-release. If this is the first time you’ve been able to play the game, however, Nixxes has put together an amazing PC port. Not only that, but it’s fully playable on Steam Deck, meaning you can take Spider-Man with you wherever you go. Add in the fact that modders are going to be doing some great things — the McFarlane design with the huge eyes needs to make an appearance — and you have the most fully-formed release of the game yet. Which is to say, even if I wasn’t reviewing it, I would’ve bought it again.