Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 sees the return of Mary Jane Watson’s dreaded stealth missions from the first game. However, this time out developer Insomniac Games upgraded MJ’s combat abilities to the point where she might as well be in a different video game with how good she is at taking down bad guys now.
MJ’s stealth missions indirectly provide you a breather between Peter Parker and Miles Morales’ high-octane action sequences. Instead of swinging through buildings and putting Kraven’s hunters into hurricanrana drivers as Spider-Man, you sneak around compounds meticulously incapacitating criminals as MJ. Although her stealth missions still kinda suck the air out of the web-swinging fun, players are getting a kick out of watching the yellow cardigan-wearing heroine go full John Wick using her powerful stun gun to blitz through mercenaries.
How did MJ get so proficient in combat? At a certain point, MJ answers this query by saying something to the effect of “Good thing I took that Sable training.” Sable, of course, is Silver Sable, the antagonist-turned-ally from Insomniac’s first Spider-Man who roundly kicked Peter’s ass. Not only can MJ toss bricks and such to kite enemies into sequestered takedowns like Ellie in The Last of Us Part II, but she can also duck into cover like Lara Croft and tank arrow shots to the shoulder (in a cutscene). By the end of Spider-Man 2 MJ’s upgraded stun gun is basically a Mass Effect pistol.
“Mary Jane’s stun gun was low-key the most powerful thing in this game,” IGN executive producer Brian Altano wrote on Twitter. “Took down damn near every enemy with one hit while the Spider-Men had to use superpowers to beat up on guys for 10 minutes.”
Evidently, MJ’s “Symkarian” training did her wonders, because players are calling her Mary Jane Wick and making memes praising her newfound combat abilities. Here are some of our favorites.
Minor spoiler warning incoming: Insomniac even lets MJ go full “John Wick Mode” by abandoning her stealth gameplay entirely toward the end of the game, giving her a third-person, over-the-shoulder shooting segment that feels more akin to Gears of War than a Spider-Man game. It’s wild.
Although MJ’s Spider-Man 2 stealth missions are still a far cry from being as enthralling as, say, the action setpieces in Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series, they’re definitely an improvement over the first game’s bits, and at least the memes are pretty good.