(Screenshot: YouTube, Insomniac Games)
Since the reveal of the trailer 10 months ago, we have yet to hear a peep from developer Insomniac Games on their PS4 exclusive Spider-Man game. All we know so far is that there is a speculated release date. Based on a GameStop listing, it is rumored that Spider-Man PS4, the working title of the project, is slated to release on Tuesday, December 26.
Taking the reveal trailer with a grain of salt, the actual quality of the game has yet to be fully understood. Although, to be fair, these are the same people who brought us our childhood favorites like Ratchet & Clank and Spyro.
With this in mind, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at previous installments of Spider-Man video games to point out what they did right and what went wrong to help give an idea as to how Insomniac Games could proceed. For this, we’ll be looking at two of the more popular entries, Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man Web of Shadows (2008.)
While Spider-Man 2 can be easily dismissed as outdated, there are still aspects of it that are relevant today that many games don’t do. For starters, you didn’t have to play “the floor is lava” anymore, your webs actually attached to buildings and it was the first true Spider-Man game to have a living and breathing open world (for the time, that is,) both of which are popular tropes used in modern gaming altogether. Putting all of that aside, the one thing that comes to mind is that the tutorial for Spider-Man 2 is actually pretty fun.
While they did the same tutorial in the 2002 game, they managed to move it to Spider-Man 2 with little-to-no change. The instructor is sarcastic and, much like yourself, doesn’t really want to be there, making the learning less tedious and more comedic and enjoyable. Everytime you mess up during the tutorial phase, he’s there to make sure you know about it.
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows implemented a combat system that received positive reception from fans. The combat, as repetitive as it may be, was fun, fast paced and was exciting to witness. The string of combo moves used in Web of Shadows could be expanded upon and integrated into a free-flow combat system, like what is used in the Batman Arkham games and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.
One of the biggest flaws from the more recent installments, namely The Amazing Spider-Man games, is how the stories lack depth. Go here, beat some people up, rinse and repeat. For Spider-Man PS4 to be a success, they need to integrate a deep story, detached from the films, and place it within a living and breathing open world. They could use the Sinister Six as their main antagonists and give you the ability to take them down in any order you choose. Each of the six villains would force you to change your strategy and provide non-repetitive side-missions, more than just beat-em-up or rescue people.
Based on the trailer, we have seen what appears to be a pretty decent open world with fun looking combat and a pretty awesome spider-suit. What do you think about the new Spider-Man? Do you have high hopes or are you skeptical? If you have yet to see the trailer, you can find it here: