Spider-Man 2 Tech Delivers Where Other 2023 Games Fail, Comparisons Show Big Visual Leap

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is almost here and Wccftech’s Alessio Palumbo has given his overall thoughts on the game, but what about the technical nitty-gritty? Our review lavished high praise on the game’s visuals and performance, and the folks at Digital Foundry definitely agree in their detailed analysis.

Spider-Man 2 looks to be pretty much a best-case scenario for a boundary-pushing current-gen console game, avoiding some of the issues we’ve seen with a lot of other recent titles (low native resolution in Performance mode, unstable framerate, etc.). No, it seems Spidey has his cake and eats it too. You can check out the full Digital Foundry video below, provided you have around 20 minutes to spare, or you can scroll down for our recap of the most salient points.

First off, one of the early knocks against Spider-Man 2, based on trailers likely watched on small phone and laptop screens, was that the game didn’t look much better than the original Spider-Man (or at least the PS5 remaster). Digital Foundry provides multiple side-by-side comparisons that show this is definitely not the case. The NYC of Spidey 2 is much denser and features more detailed geometry, varied materials, advanced lighting, and, of course, ray tracing is now standard in all modes. Said ray tracing has also been improved, with higher-quality reflections, secondary reflections, and more. Seeing Spider-Man 2 side-by-side with its predecessor, it’s clear what a noticeable glow-up this is.

As for performance, Spider-Man 2 largely sticks the landing without the really drastic resolution cutbacks we’ve been seeing in a lot of recent big titles. Fidelity mode is a dynamic 1440p to 4K, and it largely holds its 30fps target (or 40fps if you’re playing on a 120hz screen) with only occasional drops of a couple of frames during particularly intense set pieces. Performance Mode’s native res is a dynamic 1008p to 1440p, which may sound a bit low on the bottom end, but again, we’ve seen multiple games this year where Performance mode will dip into the sub-720p range. Performance mode delivers a mostly solid 60fps, with only brief drops into the mid-50s. As a bonus, Spider-Man 2 also has a number of VRR options, including “Smoothed” which caps the action at 60fps or “Uncapped” which does indeed allow uncapped framerates which can go as high as 65 to 80fps in Performance mode and 45 to 60fps in Fidelity mode. The cost of going the uncapped route is that the dynamic resolution range gets a bit wider – as low as 936p in Performance mode.

So yeah, Insomniac has provided console players a remarkable array of options for balancing their image quality and performance, and really, it sounds like there’s no real bad option. In a year where a mid-gen console refresh is starting to feel necessary due to disappointing performance in a lot of major games, Spider-Man 2 is refreshingly worry-free.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 swings onto PS5 on October 20. Again, here’s Wccftech’s full review of the game.

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