Creative director Brian Horton talks about how the upcoming semi-sequel is looking to blur the lines between set-pieces and gameplay.
We’ve seen a lot of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales over the past few weeks. In particular, footage from the game’s opening has been coming in pretty hot and heavy, from a cutscene early on in the game, to a crucial moment where Miles awakens to new powers. to a scene that shows a tense webswinging chase with the Rhino through New York City. to bits and pieces of the boss fight against him itself.
And the thing that has really stood out in all of that footage is how much more cinematic the game looks than its predecessor. Marvel’s Spider-Man had plenty of set-piece moments, but Miles Morales seems to be upping the ante with how cinematic and seamless they are.
That, it seems, was very much a focus for Insomniac Games. Speaking with Game Informer in a recent interview (which you can view below), Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales creative director Brian Horton said that creating a “more seamless” and “immersive cinematic experience” was something Insomniac consciously worked on with this game, especially in terms of the transitions between set-pieces and gameplay.
“The wonderful thing about Insomniac Games is we never rest in our success,” Horton said. “Marvel’s Spider-Man is an amazing game, we all love it, many people are still playing it today, it’s incredible. But we knew that there are areas we can improve upon, and one of them was trying to get more of a seamless cinematic experience, an immersive cinematic experience that flowed very naturally from gameplay into cinematic moments back into gameplay again. That was one of our core pillars. How do we take our set piece moments and make them even more spectacular? By removing any rough edges in them, and bringing their peaks higher.
He continued, citing an example of one such set-piece moment of the game Sony have shown: “So whenever we are doing an activity- like for instance on the bridge, I’m doing what you may consider maybe a QTE, but I have to web up a bus, right? And I’m using my web shooter, so it is a systemic move, just presented in a more exotic way. So we try to make sure any of our more exotic sequences felt like actual gameplay with the buttons that you would use in normal gameplay. That was one of our big focuses.”
Horton went on to add that the complete removal of loading screens is something else that has helped the game deliver a more seamless experience, which combines with the more cinematic set-piece moments quite effectively.
“We wanted to make sure that connection between missions and the open world, [that] there was no loading screens,” he said. “That was a foundational difference. We just had to be really careful in how we constructed our missions, to make sure that you never see a loading screen.”
Horton concluded: “Those things, in addition to the spectacle missions being better, just smoothing out those transitions has made the game feel, you know- like, yeah, we’re trying to one up ourselves, to answer your question. And it is something that we will continue to build as we move forward.”
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is out for the PS5 and PS4 on November 12.