Developer: Insomniac Games
Genre: Open World
Release Date: 2018
What’s that overhead? Look out! Here comes Spider-Man! Spider-Man marks the first time that Insomniac Games is working on a licensed product, telling a unique story centring around popular Marvel Comics icon, Spider-Man. Not tied into another piece of media, the partnership between Sony Computer Entertainment and Marvel Games was specifically created to create a quality game first.
Spider-Man has brought together the largest production team for a single game at the studio in their entire history.
The title was first revealed at Sony’s E3 2016 stage, and while VP/Executive editor at Marvel Digital Media would confirm the original 2017 release in April of that year, when the gameplay demo of Spider-Man capped off Sony’s E3 2017 the title would be delayed until the sometime during the first half of 2018.
The origins of the game go back to 2014, when Marvel Games would first approach Sony interactive Entertainment, and propose that they publish a Marvel title to be treated as a major first party title for PlayStation. This would mark the beginning of a new direction for Marvel Games, as their head Jay Ing would say to Gamesindustry.biz following the reveal of the game that the company would look toward selectively partnering with proven studios to build great games fans would look forward to, taking cues from how the larger company has built the cinematic universe. Their partnership with Sony and Insomniac for Spider-Man is said to be ongoing.
Sony would go about contracting Insomniac Games for the job, coming off a handful of smaller titles for the Oculus Rift and the multi-platform Song of the Deep, it marks the first time in the companies 22 year history that they would work on a series they didn’t create. Spider-Man would be created on top of a modified version of the Sunset Overdrive game engine.
Some key members of the team working on Spider-Man include Bryan Intihar, who produced Sunset Overdrive, and is in the role of creative director for the first time on Spider-Man. Ryan Smith is the game director, having held various programming related positions with Insomniac for over 10 years.
Thankfully ditching the whole origin story thing that every Spider-Man reboot seems to keep retreading, Insomniac is telling the story of a more established, 23 year old Peter Parker on the cusp of graduating college while having filled his role as Spider-Man for the past eight years. Taking down one of his major enemies, Wilson “The Kingpin” Fisk near the outset of the story has the unintended consequence of leaving room for a new gang to move on his territory.
The “Inner Demons” begin making their move on New York, and while Spider-Man is caught up between Fisk’s men and the Inner Demons at one of Fisk’s construction sites, Peter learns that one of New York’s best known business leaders and philanthropists, Martin Li, is actually leading the Inner Demons under his alias “Mister Negative”. While nobody on the team has stated this, it’s possible that inspiration was taken from the “Brand New Day” arc of The Amazing Spider-Man comics.
Throughout the story, players will have to balance the responsibility of Spider-Man, and the daily life as Peter Parker as the two intertwine inevitably, with relationships becoming muddy in the process. For example, Aunt May works at one of the many shelters owned by Li.
Much like previous games based on the license, Spider-Man will be a third-person, open world action adventure title, set in a representation of modern day New York. Gameplay demos such as those shown off at E3 2017 show a free-flowing combat system reminiscent of, but not identical to, the one popularized by the Rocksteady Batman Arkham series.
In addition to normal strikes, contextual cues will allow Spider-Man to leverage his special abilities in combat, such as super strength, web slinging and wall crawling to his advantage, for example using his webbing to toss a concrete block at a heavy foe. Stealth systems will allow Peter to get the drop on his enemies, making full use of his wall crawling abilities and there will be the occasional quick time event.
During key segments and missions, Peter will have to deal with problems outside of the suit, helping tie in the dual identity angle to the hero and his problems.
While Spider-Man may introduce or include cameos from a wide variety of his cast of Marvel rouges, there are only a handful confirmed to appear, which we will outline below.
Peter Benjamin Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man was only a teenager when he went on a field trip to a science exhibit that would change his life forever. Bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter developed the innate strength, senses and agility of a spider, as well as the ability to scale walls with nothing but his bare hands. Peter was a scientific prodigy in and of himself before the introduction of his powers, and through that he develops his mechanized, wrist mounted web-slingers which he uses to do whatever a spider can. His first thought with his powers wasn’t to become a superhero, though what he does try varies based on who’s telling the story, the part where Peter allows a thief to get away for his own revenge always ironically swings back on Peter as the thief goes on to rob and murder his Uncle Ben, cementing a point in the mind of the young hero – With great power comes great responsibility.
Mary Jane Watson is set to appear in the 2018 game, though what her exact role will be is unknown. Throughout the comics and movies, Mary Jane has served as confidant, friend, love interest and even wife. The one consistent is that she’s a classic “Girl next door” archetype who Peter cares about and is one of the conflicts between his life as Peter and his life as Spider-Man.
Another woman important to Peter is his Aunt May, who also has appeared in many different incarnations and roles depending on the media in which she appears. One of her most recent depictions is within the Marvel Cinematic universe, where Aunt May is far younger than previous incarnations, perhaps in her 30s. Here she seems somewhere in the middle, just a decade or so on from her Cinematic counterpart. She works with Li’s F.E.A.S.T. shelters, showing her philanthropic nature.
Wilson “The Kingpin” Fisk might look like a husky gentleman, but his patented white suit jacket hides a physique which is more in line with a highly trained Sumo wrestler, with muscles on his muscles. He has no particular superhuman powers beyond his strength, he knows how to use both that strength and his usually diamond tipped walking stick to his advantage in combat. While he is physically intimidating, his skills in leadership are his true power, usually commanding the New York criminal underworld in a way that earns him his title of “Kingpin”.
Martin Li is a Chinese immigrant who has gone on to establish himself as one of the top businessmen in New York, and a philanthropist to boot, funding almost exclusively a series of soup kitchen shelters known as F.E.A.S.T. Li hides a sinister alternate persona, Mister Negative, who commands the Inner Demons gang, is the polar opposite of the generous Li and cares only for commanding as much territory as a crime boss as possible.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.