Every now and then a game comes along that is hyped up beyond belief BUT manages to actually live up to it.
Well that’s 16 hours of my life I will never get back... which is only a shame because I would give anything to relive every brilliant, thrilling moment of it all over again.
That. In a nutshell. Is how sumptuously brilliant Insomniac’s PS4 exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man is.
Imagine some of the best elements of Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed and Crackdown but with your favourite superhero and his super spidey powers at your beck and call and you will be getting some way to knowing just how good this openworld sensation truly is.
The storyboard springs you straight into the action and swinging your way around the city is simply breathtaking.
The sense of freedom and speed married with the amazing design and graphics makes this not only great to play but also watch!
The combat is super quick and slick and ridiculously satisfying.
The crowning achievement of the combat system comes when you get to showcase your ever sharpened skills in superb boss battles and pivotal story moments.
As I mentioned this is a game that is so good it is actually nearly as enjoyable to watch as it is to play and much of that is down to the exquisite cinematic presentation we come to expect from Marvel movies and products.
There is so much to do and such variety that the 16 or so hours it took me to complete Spider-Man literally flew by faster than one of his melee attacks.
There are some elements of grind, particularly in some of the optional side activities which are a touch monotonous and feel a bit like padding. But as I say these are optional so don’t interfere with the overall experience.
As with any superhero game some of the combat animations and takedowns can become repetitive - see the Batman titles for example - but again in the grand scheme of things I would consider that nit-picking.
For a first effort on a Marvel franchise, Insomniac has absolutely smashed it. Like a big kid I actually got such a buzz being Spider-man swinging and webbing my way through New York.
But just as important is how expertly the developers handled the life of Peter Parker.
This is an utterly fulfilling thrill ride which is simply one of the must play games of the year for 2018. It also lays the perfect foundation for what could become - like the Batman games - a long-running franchise.