9 Big Things We Learned About Sony's Spider-Man Game
We've already seen Sony's glorious Spider-Man PS4 game in action, but plenty of questions remain. What's the story of this unique universe? Who are the big villains? And why does Spidey's suit look so funky?
I got a behind-closed-doors demo of the upcoming superhero adventure with Insomniac Games creative director Bryan Intihar, and while a lot of things remain unanswered, I did learn some key new details. From story and gameplay info to the hugeness of the game's open-world Manhattan, here's what Insomniac told us about Spider-Man PS4.
The game puts equal focus on Peter Parker and Spider-Man
For starters, you can stop speculating — that is in fact Peter Parker under the hood of Sony’s Spider-Man. Intihar said that you'll be playing as a more experienced, 23-year-old Peter, who's graduated college and is balancing a day job with being New York City's superhero.
According to Insomniac, the everyday life of Peter Parker is just as essential to the story as the heroic web-slinging antics of Spider-Man are. Intihar wouldn't confirm whether you'd get to play as Peter Parker in everyday situations, but I got the sense that you will.
"The best Spider-Man stories are where Spider-Man's and Peter Parker's worlds collide," said Intihar.
Credit: Marvel; Sony
Spider-Man's suit is a big story spoiler
There's a big reason why this Spider-Man's suit looks unlike any we've seen before, and according to Insomniac, telling us about it would spoil the game's story. Intihar also noted that as with previous Spider-Man games, you'll be able to unlock and equip a variety of bonus outfits as you progress through the game.
Insomniac was inspired by classic Spider-Man games
When I asked Intihar if Insomniac referenced previous Spider-Man titles when making this game, he responded with a resounding yes. The creative director cited Activision's 2004 Spider-Man 2 game as a particularly big inspiration, as that title laid the groundwork for what an open-world Spidey experience could be.
"That's the [first] game that really made you feel like Spider-Man," said Intihar. "We played a lot of those [games] and did research on what people liked and wanted to see improved."
You can explore all of Manhattan immediately
You won't have to wait long to live out your fantasies of freely swinging throughout Manhattan as Spider-Man, according to Insomniac.
"From the minute you load up the game, you can swing and traverse the city," said Intihar. "We don't lock off anything. I would never do that in a Spider-Man game."
The game will feature a less typical rogues gallery
In the gameplay footage we saw, Spidey isn't fighting iconic baddies like Doctor Octopus or Electro. Instead, our hero's throwing down with an obscure comic villain named Mr. Negative. That could be a common trend throughout the game, as Insomniac said it's trying not to retread common Spider-Man conflicts. According to Intihar, you can expect a mix of popular and lesser-known bad guys throughout the game.
Marvel writers are likely involved
Spider-Man is likely being written with help from established Marvel writers, though Intihar wouldn't confirm whether folks such as Dan Slott or Brian Michael Bendis are involved. Insomniac isn't talking about the voice cast just yet either.
"We do have people involved from Marvel, but we're not talking about that yet," said Intihar.
Quick-time events won't be excessive
One of the few criticisms of the Spider-Man gameplay reveal is that the game seems very heavy on quick-time events, which don't give the player a whole lot of control over the action. However, Insomniac said not to expect an excessive amount of those events. According to Intihar, combat and traversal are at the core of Spider-Man; the cinematic quick-time events will simply be there to accentuate the action.
Spider-Man isn't connected to other Marvel games (for now)
Marvel is building a variety of exciting new games like Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite and Square Enix's upcoming Avengers project. But those won't cross over with Insomniac's Spider-Man, at least for now.
"We're just focusing right now on making this game awesome," said Intihar. "What happens down the line, I don't know."
Insomniac really wants to get Spidey right
Throughout my 30 minutes behind closed doors with Intihar, the one constant was just how excited he seemed to be about making the game. The director said the studio's passion for Spider-Man is what inspired some of the game's best concepts.
"One of the greatest things about this game is that everybody knows Spider-Man, and one of the hardest things about this game is that everyone knows Spider-Man," said Intihar with a laugh. "Even on the dev team, we have [people who are] like, 'Well, I expect him to do this or I expect him to do that.' It can be a challenge, but some of the best ideas come from [those disagreements]. We just want to tap into that passion and enthusiasm for the character and do him justice."