Marvel's Spider-Man

Tutorial rant

SpidermanPS4 5 - Tutorial rant

BEFORE YOU READ THIS: inb4 "git gud queers"

God I hate the tutorial for this game.

This game, the Arkham games, and the Doom reboots have some of the most annoying "tutorials" in the world, simply by nature of not really being tutorials.

I don't know where this trend of cold starts or near-cold starts came from, but it is genuinely one of the worst features of modern gaming.

Some background: I (20M) have been playing video games my whole life. NES as a toddler, PSone with the portable screen when I started school and my dad started having extended hospital stays. My partner (21NB, They/Them) however didn't play almost at all growing up. A touch of Zelda and Pokemon, some Overwatch with older siblings, but not enough to be able to pick up any game and just *get it* the way a lot of us can. In fact, those same siblings often had to help them through the more difficult portions, and would make fun of and almost discourage them while helping! However, they want to play more, and they especially want to play games that I like and am passionate about, because they know gaming is important to me.

I recalled Spider-Man PS4 being pretty intuitive my first playthrough (I bought it release weekend haven't played since before we met, so we recently tried that- oof.


Right out the gate, it was visibly a nightmare for them. They had next to no experience with even double analog stick gameplay, so webslinging was uncomfortable, the tutorial throws you into the first battle, flashing dialogue on the side of the UI that only pauses the gameplay sometimes instead of every time it aims to teach you something, and in pursuit of throwing you into the story right away, there are stakes to the tutorial that make the prospect of not getting it the first time kind of grim.

They stuck it out for as long as they could, but about half way through that first tutorial encounter, they just felt bad enough about the time it was taking them to learn in what essentially felt like a first mission instead of a tutorial that they quit playing!

Watching them play has genuinely made me see the games I love differently; things that I praise games for on my original playthroughs, such as DOOM (2016) forgoing plot or a tutorial for standard shooter mechanics make me a little upset when I come back around to them.

I have to wonder a little: are game designers desires to cater to core audiences and "hardcore gamers" actually making it harder for outsiders and new blood to start on their own? From where I'm sitting, next to someone who genuinely wants to learn yet struggles all the same, it really kinda feels like it.


TL;DR: read it, we're quarantined, you have the time lmao

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