Marvel's Spider-Man Gets Lots of Details on New York, Villains, Traversal, Combat, Suits, and More

Insomniac Games talked more about its Marvel's Spider-Man game for PS4, including info on the villains, traversal, the combat system, and the suits.

July 22, 2018

In the hot San Diego Comic-Con Weekend, Marvel and Insomniac Games went all out with the promotion of Marvel’s Spider-Man, including multiple panels.

During one of those, which was livestreamed by Marvel, Executive Creative Director Bill Roseman, Insomniac Games Creative Director Bryan Intihar, Art Director Jacinda Chew, and Game Director Ryan Smith provided more information about the game.

  • The Ultimate Spider-Man franchise helped Insomniac Games realize how they could “twist things a little bit” but still be respectful to the franchise. Some of the Onslaughts were also an inspiration. That being said, Insomniac took inspiration from the whole franchise, from the very beginning to the recent Amazing Spider-Man #1. The team took the common characteristics of the whole production and then tried to twist them in a way that felt fresh and unique.
  • The city of New York is treated just like the team would any character with its own personality and feel. Insomniac made sure that every neighborhood feels a bit different, as well as identified as their real counterparts.
  • The citizens react to spider-man when he zips around the city. They will greet him, take selfies with him, high-five him, and more. This also changes as the story evolves.
  • Insomniac hired real graffiti artists to work on the street art in the game, to pursue authenticity.
  • There’s a “really really really cool” Marvel Element in Wall Street, but Rosemann opted not to spoil what it is.
  • Chew mentioned that when designing the villains, the team looks at the long history of what has been done on them before. For instance, Electro used to have a giant starfish mask. In order to modernize it, Insomniac turned it into a scar on his face. They kept his iconic green and yellow colors and modernized his powers by making them realistic with a tech element.
  • There are more villains besides those we saw so far, and Intihar’s favorite has yet to be shown.
  • Smith mentioned that traversal was literally the first thing the team started working on the day the project was ready to start. The first thing they started to look at was how the web would attach to buildings, and how it would work physically in a city of the size they needed. After that, they looked at what it would take to make the city feel real, and how they could account for complicated buildings.  Another element they looked at was how to jump from street level to a wall when obstacles like garbage or awnings are in the way.
  • Going through the fire escapes is another element that makes the city feel real.
  • Creating the necessary sense of speed was one of the biggest challenges. It was achieved with camera motion, visual effects. Making the camera feel expressive was one of the biggest steps made by the team.
  • If you’re falling and you press L3 you can swan dive.
  • Web swinging feels very natural and effortless. There is a quick and easy tutorial that makes you feel like an experienced Spider-Man right off the bat. The system is designed to make the player feel in control.
  • Spider-man is totally in control of the battlefield and there are many things the player can interact with the webs. The combat system is designed to maintain the flow as much as possible.
  • According to Intihar designing combat was a challenge. There was a point in development in which everything finally came together when Insomniac-like gadgets started working well with the powers. Just like the swinging, the team wanted the players to feel like they can express themselves with the combat.
  • Insomniac created a series of “web-influenced gadgets” including a rapid-fire web shooter or the impact web. The gadgets have a tactical feel to them, and some can be used from stealth like the Tripmine.
  • Chew explained that an industrial designer was hired to design the web shooters so that they’re functional and realistic. Peter Parker wears bracelets to which the web shooters can be attached. When he turns into Spider-Man they can be detached from the bracelets and snapped right into each of his suits. She hopes to put the design online at some point.
  • The Enhanced Suit (the first one that was revealed) is also designed realistically. The red material is for muscle support, the blue is for breathability and flexibility, the white is an aspect of tech and protection.
  • There are a lot of really great suits that have not been revealed.
  • The team examined about sixty different suits at some point even if not all were implemented. They tried to find a good mix between the favorites, some surprises, and some from the MCU.
  • The team had a budget of how many suits they could make, but then Lead Character Designer Gavin Goulden would just make some and then send Intihar a message with “come on!” so there are a couple of suits that have been added to the game just because of him, and the game includes more suits than Insomniac originally planned to create.
  • Luckily, you won’t have to choose between the right power and looks. You can actually swap any suit’s power into any suit that you have unlocked. You can play the way you want to play, and look the way you want to look. Some suit powers can match your own upgrades.

If you want to see more, you can also check out a brand new story trailer (and our analysis),  and the console bundles and limited editions that will be released with the game. You can also check out more info that was shared during an earlier panel, and even more about the suits from a second panel.

Marvel’s Spider-Man releases on September 7th exclusively for PS4. You can already pre-order the newly-revealed limited edition PS4 Pro and the game on Amazon.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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