It’s sad that to this day, the best Spider-Man game has been Spider-Man 2 for the PlayStation 2. It really wasn’t even that great of a game, it just did a few things well that made it stand out from its sequels and predecessor. It’s safe to say that Spider-Man games have been lacking over the years and, as a huge fan of video games and superheroes, I want this to be a fantastic experience. I feel this way because, until the Arkham series, superhero video games have not been very well received in general. While most of them are nowhere near as bad as the atrocity that is Superman 64, they are usually rather bland experiences that don’t make you feel like a superhero. They don’t make you feel super powerful or fast, they just make you feel like another dude in an action game. With that in mind, here’s five things I want to see in the upcoming Spider-Man game and why they cannot risk not being done well.
While this should be obvious, previous Spider-Man games have really messed this up. The recent Amazing Spider-Man didn’t even have your webs connect to buildings, which just can’t happen. This is what Spider-Man 2 on the PlayStation 2 got right. If your game can’t beat a game from over a decade ago, it needs to be fixed. This is what everyone loved about that game. Swinging around New York City felt fantastic. You had complete control of Spider-Man which allowed you to move through the city freely. You had control over your speed and direction and webs actually stuck to buildings rather than just being decoration as you fly through the air. This has been abandoned in recent Spider-Man games and fans have complained every step of the way. If it is not properly implemented here, I will be incredibly disappointed.
This is something that Spider-Man has struggled with for some time now. Ever since Batman Arkham revolutionized superhero combat with quick, fluid strikes and counters, it has become the new standard. Spider-Man, however, isn’t Batman. Insomniac would be much better off learning the Arkham system and putting their own unique twist on it. Thankfully, that does seem to be what they are doing.
Insomniac also seems to be adding an emphasis when it comes to gadgets in combat. This makes sense as Spider-Man is not as skilled a fighter as Batman. These gadgets could give players variety when dealing with enemies and could make for an enjoyable progression system. As you get more and more gadgets, you get more variety when dealing with enemies. It seems like it would be a solid idea, but I’ll have to see how it works in execution.
Spider-Man is not a brick; Spider-Man is a very funny and witty character who is similar to Deadpool in terms of his inability to remain quiet. I want all the one-liners Insomniac can fit into the game. I want Peter Parker to show his sarcasm and wit. This helps Spider-Man, and Peter Parker, feel like a person. This helps the player relate and when we relate we care about the struggles. Insomniac has already stated they want a more mature story of Peter Parker getting on his feet after graduating college. This sounds great, but don’t leave him without a personality to make this happen. We already had dark and broody Spider-Man in Spider-Man 3. We don’t need another one. Not again. Never again.
Spoiler: Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Now that that is all cleared up, I want to play as him. While Spider-Man is cool, Peter Parker will help us relate to the human beneath the costume. I don’t really want huge sections set up for him, but he could provide a great distraction and help with pacing. Dedicate most of the action to Spider-Man, and most of the slower moments to Peter Parker.
It would be fascinating to get a more hands-on role with Peter Parker’s relationships outside of the Spider-Man persona. Trying to get to a meeting with a friend on time while dealing with the crimes that happen along the way could give a real sense of pressure Peter is constantly under. He wants to maintain a normal life but his conflict of responsibility as Spider-Man could make for a fantastic story.
Traveling New York City would get old quickly without some fun side missions and random events; no matter how good the web swinging may be. There needs to be more here than just stopping random thugs. It is a great chance for the balloon missions from Spider-Man 2 to return. He is your Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man after all. Rescuing balloons for a kid is something that Spider-Man would do and would give us a nice break from fighting to practice our web swinging. Some racing mini-games that test just how well you have mastered your web swinging would also be an entertaining side attraction. Embracing photography would also be nice to see. This is the perfect game to have a photo mode and mini-game to go with it given Peter’s history of photography and work for The Daily Bugle.
These are just a few of the things I really want to see in Insomniac’s new Spider-Man. I’m incredibly excited and interested in seeing what we are getting. Thankfully, it sounds like Insomniac know what they are doing, and they have plenty of experience behind them to handle this kind of project. If everything comes together, I think Spider-Man 2 will have to move over and settle with being the second-best Spider-Man game.