Marvel’s Spider-Man — Insomniac Games Firmly Denies Graphics Downgrade Allegations

Marvel’s Spider-Man — Insomniac Games Firmly Denies Graphics Downgrade Allegations

A change in lighting in a scene of Marvel's Spider-man sparked allegations of a graphical downgrade, which Insomniac Games firmly denies.

Parts of the internet are up in arms about an alleged “downgrade” of the graphics of Marvel’s Spider-Man by Insomniac Games. This probably won’t surprise you, because parts of the internet are always up in arms about something.

The allegations are due to changes in the size of a puddle in a scene, and some lighting changes between the build presented at E3 and leaked footage from the release build.

Community Director James Stevenson took to Twitter to categorically deny the possibility of a downgrade, explaining that the changes in lighting are simply due to the fact that the sun was moved during the course of development, changing the overall lighting of the scene.

He also explained that the reduction of the size of the puzzles showcased is simply due to usability, art, and design reasons. It had nothing to do with performance.

Stevenson is absolutely correct in his mention that a change in the position of the light source can radically alter the look of materials in a game.

Identical situations occurred with other games. Even as far as four years ago, our findings about lighting changes in the initial stage of inFamous: Second Son caused many to accuse Sucker Punch of having downgraded the game. And boy, did I regret naively writing that article: it simply intended to show how a game can evolve during development and the relevance of lighting to the overall look of a scene, but it caused a great development team and talented artists to receive unwarranted flak. With great power (ok my power isn’t all that great, but still…) comes great responsibility, and I failed that day.

Further investigation proved beyond any doubt that there was no downgrade whatsoever, but changes in the position of the sun in that particular scene simply altered the angle of the shadows. Due to this, there was less visible contrast between highlights and dark areas. In other scenes that received similar lighting alterations, the opposite effect was clearly visible.

Ultimately, inFamous: Second Son proved to be a visual masterpiece for the time, and the rumors about downgrades were proven to be absolutely unfounded.

By all means, this appears to be pretty much the same situation.

If you want to learn more about the game, you should read my hands-on preview and my impressions on the awesome swinging mechanics. We also have comments from Creative Director Bryan Intihar on the possibility of a sequel, Mary Jane, and the Avengers.

You can also check out the brand new DLC schedule and a trailer showing Spidey’s friends and foes.

Marvel’s Spider-Man releases on September 7th exclusively for PS4. You can already pre-order it on Amazon.


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