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Watch 10 minutes from Spider-Man’s thrilling E3 2018 gameplay demo

Spidey swings around the Big Apple

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man already seems like one of the highlights of E3 2018, having made a splash when it closed out Sony’s press briefing. The PlayStation 4 exclusive is playable at E3, and Sony has posted a 10-minute gameplay video taken from the build at the company’s booth on the E3 show floor.

The video is comprised of multiple clips showing off different elements of Spider-Man, starting with a segment that’s nothing but Spidey web-swinging around Manhattan. The controls are very simple — you hold R2 to swing, and then let go to detach and fly through the air. You can also press X to jump off a web line, which will propel Spider-Man forward and help him build speed as he’s swinging. As you swing around the city, you’ll see small circular reticles pop up in the environment. These icons signify spots where Spidey can “perch,” which works by pressing R2 and L2 together.

The next section of the video consists of basic melee combat between Spider-Man and some Demons, masked Chinese gang members. The action looks fast and fluid, similar to the way that Batman’s combat works in Rocksteady Studios’ Arkham games, although dodging is on the circle button instead of triangle here. Spidey can hold the attack button (square) to launch enemies into the air, and hit triangle to use a web ability. Pressing L1 and R1 simultaneously initiates an environmental attack when available. These look absolutely devastating, including one in which Spider-Man yanks a door off a car and then swings it around and wings it at a dude.

Next, Mary Jane gives Spider-Man a tip about some Demons holed up in a Chinatown warehouse. The snipers on top of the building don’t see him coming, and then he heads in to take out the rest of the gang members inside. Spidey hangs out on rafters, from where he can survey the situation and press X to zip from perch to perch. There’s another fun environmental attack at the 3:45 mark, where Spider-Man uses his webs to pull a rack of shelving down off the wall — and right on top of a helpless thug.

In the second half of the gameplay video, Yuri Watanabe — Spider-Man’s confidante in the New York Police Department — sends him to a bank robbery in progress. He finds none other than Shocker in the vault, which kicks off a lengthy boss battle in the bank’s lobby. The environment is impressively destructible; by the end of the fight, the lobby is completely destroyed, but Spidey has subdued the supervillain.

Spider-Man is set for release Sept. 7 on PlayStation 4. For more, check out our own impressions of the E3 demo, as well as our piece comparing and contrasting Insomniac’s version of Manhattan with the real-life place.

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