God of War vs. Spider-Man: Which PS4 Exclusive is Better
God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man hold up as stellar exclusives first and foremost on their gameplay. Both are exceptional in this department, though actually for different reasons. When we look at gameplay in games, it’s the combat and traversal that typically come to our mind first and foremost. It’s across these two aspects of gameplay that God of War and Spider-Man excel.
With more deliberate combat clearly inspired by the Souls series, God of War is more action-RPG this time around. There’s a far more arcade-y feel to it than something like Bloodborne, but it can be equally punishing on higher difficulties. You’ve really got to focus on chaining together different attacks, using runic abilities, and coordinating melee and ranged assaults. Kratos simply can’t take the sort of damage he could in previous games. But this wonderful combination of engaging and more strategic combat with the fast-paced action that has always defined is excellent.
God of War can get bogged down a little by the progression and equipment mechanics, but those RPG systems do generally add to the experience. Once you’ve got your head around how everything fits together, we’re glad they’re there, even if they could be more streamlined. Where God of War comes a little unstuck is in the traversal department. It feels like a typical third-person action game, with Kratos and Atreus helping each other to scale obstacles and overcome puzzles. But it’s all a bit weighty and slow. That might have been deliberate, but it certainly isn’t exciting to play.
Spider-Man couldn’t be any more polar opposite. Literally just booting the game up and swinging across downtown Manhattan is a game all in itself. Plenty of games cast players as superheroes, but few actually make you feel like one. Spider-Man certainly does that, and we couldn’t get enough of slinging around the city, performing tricks, and generally just keeping the pace of momentum going.
When it comes to combat, though, Spider-Man is equally as cinematic and fast-paced as God of War, but it’s rather one dimensional. Not to say it isn’t entertaining, but the progression mechanics and variety of attacks wear thin as the game moves on. Combat becomes easier and less sophisticated, rather than the other way around in God of War.
There’s plenty of content in both games to enjoy. Spider-Man has a conventional open world blueprint with dozens of optional activities, most of which aren’t especially meaningful but are fun enough thanks to the way the game handles. God of War features puzzle gameplay that puts a bit more narrative clout into its side questions and activities which gives them more substance. Stopping to take them all in, however, can upset the balance of the story pacing. Both games feature brainteasers and puzzle gameplay to break up action, and they’re fairly evenly matched in this department.