As far back as when it was first announced, Insomniac Games made it clear that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 was going to be darker in tone than its two predecessors, and its recent gameplay showing at Sony’s last PlayStation Showcase has certainly driven that point home. With Peter bonded with the Symbiote and villains like Kraven the Hunter and Venom taking the stage, it’s clear that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is going to tell a darker story- but in spite of that, just like its two predecessors, “heart and humour” will still be key to the upcoming sequel.
That’s as per creative director Bryan Intihar, who recently touched on the topic in an interview with Eurogamer. Speaking about the game’s darker tone, Intihar said that that comes organically with the narrative choices the studio is making.
“Whether it’s Kraven – which we confirmed in the beginning of the sequence – and obviously, we showed Venom when we first announced the game and now with the Symbiote and Pete being bonded with the Symbiote, there’s naturally going to be some darker elements to the story,” he said. “That’s just being respectful to those characters, and what they bring to the overall experience.”
That said, Intihar says the game still strikes a balance rather than leaning into those darker tones too heavily, and that some of that can be seen in the recent gameplay reveal as well.
“What we’ve talked a lot about is – whether it was Marvel’s Spider Man or Miles Morales – our games are all about still having heart and humour,” he said. “It’s really finding that balance between those darker themes and characters, but also delivering that very human story where there’s a lot of heart and humour… I think that’s what was tricky. But I do think we found that nice balance at the end of the day.
“I think you saw that in the gameplay reveal. We have the moments with Ganke and Miles and the Falcon that he’s trailing behind – the Talon drone – and then at the very end, you get that line about Peter changing and Miles saying, ‘you know, he’s never like that’, right? So we have those human elements, both on the serious side of where we see the Symbiote affecting Peter, but also on the lighter-hearted side.”
Intihar went on to say that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’s narrative team – which is comprised of Jon Paquette and Benjamin Arfmann, both of whom also worked on Marvel’s Spider-Man and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart – has done “a great job” of striking the right balance where the game’s tone is concerned.
“They do a great job,” he said. “But, it’s very, very difficult. But that’s what we owe to the players. We owe that to them, to find that balance between these darker themes with the Symbiote and Kraven and Venom, and maybe others. But also, you know, to make people laugh.”
Plenty of other details on Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 have also been revealed of late, with Insomniac having confirmed that the sequel’s open world map will be roughly twice as large as its predecessors’, and that players will be able to switch freely between Miles and Peter in the open world.