Obviously, Sony Interactive Entertainment is fully satisfied with its new PC game exploration strategy. Since the launch of Horizon Zero Dawn on Windows in the summer of 2020, the pace of game ports First party is only accelerating little by little. And while the number of new PC releases in the pipes of the Japanese “consolier” has never been so high, the arrival of Spider Man on Steam and the Epic Games Store is a notable highlight in the development of this strategy.
Originally released on PS4 in 2018, then remastered for the PlayStation 5 in 2020, theopen world superhero from Insomniac Games enjoys a special status in the Sony catalog, since it is his game First party having met with the greatest commercial success in recent years, with more than 20 million units sold on PS4 alone. Today, it’s the fourth PlayStation Studios-branded game to be released on PC — also after Days gone and God of the war. It is also the first whose conversion is signed Nixxes, a Dutch studio specializing in ports, which Sony acquired precisely for this purpose in July 2021. The fact of seeing such a name attached to the project therefore only made whet our curiosity to see what the game might look like on personal computers.
Graphics settings: enough to go beyond the PS5 version, especially for the laser trace
As its official and complete title (Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered) indicates, this new PC version is of course based on the PS5 iteration of the game, and therefore benefits from all its improvements and modifications. Said PS5 iteration, even though it was part of the console’s launch games, is still today among the titles making the most admirable use of the machine’s capacities, with a use of the laser trace rather ambitious (all opaque and transparent reflections are concerned), and a multitude of display modes available (with or without laser tracewith frame rate target at 30, 40 or 60 fps, with or without VRR…) allowing everyone to play in the conditions they want, making the most of their equipment.
Good news, this malleability is found in the PC version. The title offers a good amount of adjustable graphic parameters, in particular concerning these famous reflections in laser trace. It is possible to opt for a very simplified version of the reflections, which can help graphics cards with the most modest hardware acceleration capacities to assume the thing all the same. Conversely, you can also choose to push all the settings to the maximum to obtain reflections that are even significantly more realistic than on PS5, with improvements in their definition, their geometric complexity and their display distance.
Be careful though, you will have to be very careful about the repercussions of such a choice on the frame rate. It’s that this fictitious Manhattan is filled to the brim with windows, car bodies, and still plenty of other reflective surfaces, which can quickly overwhelm the graphics processor. But that’s not all: the laser trace also weighs very heavily on the central processor – since it is he who must calculate the geometry of the reflected scene before the GPU can determine the path of the light rays there. For the laser trace to the maximum, it is therefore necessary to use an extremely fast CPU. The official recommended specs state an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X or an Inter Core i7 12700K at a minimum. Our own tests with a Ryzen 7 5800X confirm that the latter is too tight to guarantee a frame rate stable.
Performance: beware of “small” configurations
In general, it must be said that the game is very demanding on the hardware, both at the CPU and GPU level. Even without laser tracemoving at full speed through the city puts the first to the test, he who must both manage the very dense population of the boulevards, and be busy telling the GPU which of the countless triangles constituting the entire city he must draw. If you are using an entry-level or mid-range CPU, or a bit old, and you do not want to regularly experience the micro-blockages typical of a processor that has reached saturation, it is absolutely necessary not to not leave the frame rate unlocked, and set it to a very reasonable value, even if it is below 60 fps.
On the GPU side, our tests carried out with four different cards (associated with an Intel Core i9 12900K and 32 GB of DDR5) were rich in lessons. First, we note how even monsters like AMD’s Radeon RX 6900 XT or Nvidia’s RTX 3080 can struggle if we try to run the game in native 4K, at higher graphics settings. to that of the PS5 and at 60 fps. Fortunately, the title offers many smart scaling techniques, including DLSS and FSR 2.0, to remedy this (see below).
To talk about less elite models, the RTX 3060 Ti also confirms the gluttony of the game. While it is usually more than capable, on multiplatform games, of offering performance at least equivalent to that of the PS5, it does not succeed here simply not to reach the constant 60 fps with the laser traceeven at 1080p. Without laser traceit does, but with surprisingly little leeway. These difficulties are equally illustrated by the Radeon RX 5700, which even without laser trace – which it is incapable of anyway – regularly falls below 60 fps.
Comfort options do you want some here
We allow ourselves to hypothesize that these somewhat disappointing performances are the consequence of the degree of optimization specific to the PS5 of the original code. After all, we know that the Insomniac Games team is among the most brilliant in the world when it comes to console development; and transposing such a base to the open world of the PC must not have been easy. Either way, it’s utterly impossible to accuse Nixxes of botching the job, evidenced by the sheer amount of comfort options on offer.
We thus find in the option menu a whole profusion of anti-aliasing processing and advanced scaling, including DLAA and Nvidia’s DLSS (for owners of an RTX graphics card only), FSR 2.0 from AMD (for everyone), and even the time injection solution designed in-house by Insomniac Games, already used by the console versions of the title, and of quite convincing efficiency.
In terms of controls, the title is obviously fully playable with keyboard / mouse, and natively recognizes both Xbox controllers and PlayStation controllers – and even supports haptic feedback and DualSense adaptive triggers, as on PS5. The display adapts without flinching to all possible and imaginable screen formats, whether 4:3, 16:10, 21:9 (ultrawide), 48:9 (triple screens), or any other arbitrary ratio. Load times are also impressive. They are certainly not quite instantaneous like on PS5, but all the same devilishly fast… and this even when the game is installed on a mechanical hard drive: fast trips are always done in less than 10 seconds.
Finally, the icing on the cake is that the game offers full and official compatibility with the Steam Deck. On Valve’s PC/handheld console hybrid, it performs surprisingly well – although not perfect, by far – at 30 fps, in medium graphics preset and with FSR 2.0 in quality mode.
To discover our complete technical analysis of Spider Man on PC, we give you an appointment with our comrades of At Gamekult. Here we detail the effect of all of the game’s graphics settings, and go much deeper into its performance profile on different configurations, to help you figure out what to expect on your personal machine.