You know what makes a great Spider-Man game? It’s when players get to vicariously live out the life of a misunderstood superhero who happens to be the only webslinger around who can do what a spider does. Spider-Man has a unique skillset, one which has served as inspiration for many a video game hero over the years.
Only Spider-Man can spin a web any size and crooks just like flies though. The glory days of Peter Parker swinging around New York City were the games that managed to combine agility, grace and ingenuity together into a cohesive whole. And while the final Spider-Man games from Beenox may have managed to at least make web-swinging interesting and more intuitive in two terrible terrible games, it was the other aspects of Spider-Man that were decidedly lacking in the quality department.
That’s because this Spider-Man had spent too much time in the Arkham Asylum of Batman games, resulting in his agile arsenal being reduced to a shameless copy-paste of ideas that the dark knight had mastered. For the return of the webhead, developer Insomniac wants to double down on the arachnid anarchy that Spidey is capable of, giving the hero his own iconic and kinetic language.
“First thing, you’ve got to have this amazing open-world city to swing around in. You can free-roam across New York, and traversal has to be awesome – it has to feel amazing to be Spider-Man,” Community Director at Insomniac Games James Stevenson said to the Standard UK.
It has to be skill-based, but it also has to be intuitive, it has to be fast. Webs stick to buildings, which is physics-based, but you can use parkour and wall-running, so you’ve got to nail that too.
The second aspect is, Spider-Man has to do Spider-Man things, whether that’s being stealthy and taking down enemies, or if it’s in combat being an acrobatic improviser who can flip around and dodge attacks. He’s not a big brawler, he’s nimble, he’s using the environment, pulling scaffolding down, using his webs on stuff. No other character has webbing, so that’s a big thing to make sure he’s using.
Also Peter’s this brilliant guy who builds amazing technology, so he has these awesome gadgets he can use too. We want to give players this really big toolbox – you can traverse, use webs, use the environment, use gadgets, use your agility – to get through all these situations. Giving them a whole playground of Marvel’s New York City, this concrete jungle with Marvel stories sprinkled throughout the whole thing.
There’s no exact date yet for Spider-Man, beyond a sticky (heh) 2018 release. Until then, I’m going to dust off my PS1 and listen to Stan Lee’s soothing voice guide me around skyscrapers in that rather fantastic slice of 1998 video gaming action. Excelsior!
Last Updated: November 1, 2017