Sony Computer Entertainment and Insomniac's upcoming "Spider-Man" for the PlayStation 4 is shaping up to be the definitive interactive experience featuring the aforementioned wall-crawler. By focusing on the strengths of previous titles and incorporating some fresh new ideas of their own, Insomniac has earned my trust that this franchise is safe in their hands.

Doing whatever a spider can

The demo allowed me to free roam around New York City and take on objectives given to me by Spidey's confidant, Yuri Watanabe, at my leisure. It's very clear that Insomniac looked at previous "Spider-Man" games and evaluated which aspects of them worked and which didn't.

The web-slinging evokes the system introduced in "Spider-Man 2" for the PlayStation 2. As in that game, you need something to attach your webbing to such as buildings, and you can wall run, web-zip, and parkour to get around quicker. Of course, Insomniac also added some personal touches to this system. With the press of the L1 and R1 buttons, Spider-Man can zip straight to points of interests such as statues. The X button also allows players to zip forward. Those who feared that the web-slinging would be largely automatic can rest easy, as the getting around is not only fun, but requires a degree of precision and finesse. You can swing like Spider-Man, jump like Spider-Man, and most importantly, mess up like Spider-Man.

Catching thieves just like flies

But it’s not all about cruising through the Big Apple. In the words of the late Uncle Ben: with great power, there must also come great responsibility. Eventually, Spidey will come across police radio transmissions requesting backup. It’s here that players are given the choice to drop what they’re doing and thwart the crime being committed.

In the demo, there was a gang of criminals working for Kingpin over by a construction site, and, at the end of the demo, I faced another member of the wall crawler's rogue gallery, the Shocker.

It's in these sequences that the combat comes into play. Players familiar with Rocksteady's "Arkham" series will feel at home with this combat system.

When a foe is about to deal a blow to you, your Spidey sense kicks in, giving you a cue to either dodge or attack as you see fit. Also like "Batman Arkham Asylum," Spidey has a bunch of gadgets that can give him an edge over his enemies. Among them is a grenade that covers surrounding enemies with webbing, essentially trapping them and leaving them open for some free hits. As with other "Spider-Man" games, the fighting plays second fiddle to the swinging, but this is shaping up to be the best combat system this series has ever had.

Look for "Spider-Man" on PlayStation 4 this September.