Marvel's Spider-Man character may have seen a trio of cinematic adaptations in the past decade, but his video game presence has been sorely missed. That's probably why fans were so excited to learn that Insomniac Games is working on a big AAA outing for the fast-talking web-slinger, currently slated to launch sometime in 2018.
Even better, this new game is distinct from any other version of the legendary super hero, giving the developers the freedom to create the Spider-Man game and story of their dreams. We're still likely a ways out before the wall crawler arrives on PlayStation 4, but that doesn't mean we're short on details. Here's what we know so far, starting with one of the more recent trailers.
Phew. That was awesome! Now, let's get into the details about this new Spider-Man game.
What Abilities And Gadgets Will Spider-Man Have?
During the E3 2017 PlayStation games showcase, the world got their second, much meatier look at the new Spider-Man game from Insomniac, which you saw above. Clocking in at nine minutes in length, viewers were taken on a whirlwind tour of what they can expect out of the gameplay in the upcoming title.
Insomniac's Bryan Intihar has explained since the reveal that this will be an origin story. Peter Parker is 23 in this tale, so he's out of college, just starting his professional life and he's been fighting crime in New York for about eight years. In other words, he's a master of his unique brand of busting skulls and therefore has a wide array of abilities and gadgets at his disposal.
This version of Spider-Man gets his webbing from cartridges (they don't shoot out of his wrist organically like in some of the films) but said cartridges won't be a resource in the game. As Intihar put it, the team at Insomniac wanted players to be able to have fun just zipping around the city and fighting baddies. Stopping from time to time to grab extra web cartridges would completely ruin the flow of the game.
Spidey uses his webbing to great effect in the E3 footage. Along with the standard swinging and zipping around, he throws webbing around during combat to restrain, temporarily blind or whip his foes into the ground. We also see Spidey doing a stealth takedown with his webbing, wrapping a thug up in the rafters the same way a spider would do to a fly caught in its net.
Intihar explained that Peter Parker's brilliance will be a big focus in the Spider-Man game, so he'll have a lot of handy gadgets at his disposal. One such tool was the tripwire. In the footage, Spider-Man shoots the device onto a surface where a henchman is about to walk past. As that happens, the tripwire activates and detains the guy.
How Spider-Man Was Revealed
Spider-Man made a surprise appearance during the E3 2016 PlayStation showcase. What really set this game apart from the pack was the fact that nobody had any idea it was in development. In an age when information about upcoming games seems to leak onto the internet with increasing regularity, the team at Insomniac Games managed to keep their Spider-Man project tightly under wraps until the big reveal.
The trailer went on to steal the show for many fans, despite the fact that it was relatively short by E3 showcase standards. Clocking in at just a minute and a half, the trailer crammed a lot of hype into a small amount of time, showcasing everything we know and love about Spidey, including plenty of swinging through the air, firing webbing at baddies and laying a high-flying beatdown on the criminals foolish enough to stand in his way.
With nothing even hinting at a launch date present in that original trailer, it was clear that Spider-Man was going to take his sweet time getting to us. Thankfully, at this point, we don't have too much longer to wait.
Following the reveal, Bryan Intihar took to the PlayStation Blog to offer up a few additional details about the game. He reiterated the fact that this is a new Spider-Man story and that the team was very excited to be partnering with Marvel and Sony to make it happen.
When Will Spider-Man Be Released?
While Insomniac ventured into the realm of multi-platform launches in recent years, Spider-Man will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive; which makes a whole lot of sense considering Sony's ties to the project. While the latest footage makes it look like the game is coming along quite nicely, there's still a decent wait ahead of us before players can strap on the spandex and fight crime in New York City. While a specific launch date has not yet been revealed, Insomniac said fans will be playing Spider-Man sometime in 2018. Sadly, as of Feb. 12, 2018, that window has not been narrowed. Then again, with E3 2018 coming up in June, we wouldn't be surprised to see Spider-Man as one of the top games showcased at Sony's press briefing, hopefully with an actual release date to sweeten the pot.
What Is Spider-Man's Story?
Speaking of the story, again, this is a brand new Spider-Man tale. As Intihar explained, the Insomniac game is completely detached from any other Spidey project, be it a comic, game, the Sam Raimi movies or even Spider-Man: Homecoming, which ties directly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But that doesn't mean this is going to be some kind of bizarre spinoff or gritty reboot of the character. All of the footage and screenshots up to this point show Peter Parker donning a familiar take on the red and blue suit, cruising through a brightly lit New York City.
In our own recent chat with Intihar, he confirmed that there will be plenty of places and faces Spider-Man fans will be familiar with in this new game, but Marvel gave the team the freedom to craft a tale untethered to what has come before. In other words, they may put an interesting spin on beloved characters or introduce some antagonists and protagonists of their own creation along the way.
Intihar also stated that the Insomniac team feels the best Spider-Man stories come from the instances when Peter Parker's normal life collides with his life as a crime fighter. He said those types of stories will be a big focus in the upcoming game, referencing the fact that the leader of a new gang of criminals, The Inner Demons, is actually his Aunt May's boss. In late October 2017, a new story trailer was revealed, showing off an even better look at the characters and events Peter Parker will be dealing with once the game finally launches, including plenty of footage of the new baddie, Martin Li.
Who's In Spider-Man?
Speaking of Aunt May, she will, of course, be joining Peter Parker on his journey to save the city from all sorts of baddies. Perhaps "joining" isn't an apt description, as she'll be doing things like working at homeless shelters while Peter tries to keep her safe and in the dark about this high-flying, crime-fighting antics.
We also have had a few baddies confirmed for this new Spider-Man outing. Wilson Fisk, better known as The Kingpin, will be featured, along with his usual assortment of goons.
A newcomer to the cast is Martin Li, described in another PlayStation Blog post as "the city's most prominent philanthropist." Of course Mr. Nice Guy has to have something wrong with him and, in this case, it's the fact that his alter ego is Mr. Negative, the leader of The Inner Demons.
During the most recent footage from Spider-Man, we see a billboard proclaiming Norman Osborn is running for mayor. We assume the character will be more than just a cameo, though, as his alter ego is none other than Spidey mainstay, The Green Goblin.
Finally, we also know that Miles Morales will be in the game and, while he only appears for a moment in the most recent trailer, Intihar has confirmed that he will be featured prominently somehow in the game. Comic fans will know that Morales has himself taken up the mantel of Spider-Man in certain tales.
What's Unique About The Suit In Spider-Man?
If you take a look at the suit in Spider-Man, you'll likely notice that it boasts a unique take on the classic design. Sure, it's got the standard red and blue in the mix, but there's also a few accents of white here and there.
According to Intihar, there's a story-based reason for why their Spidey suit looks the way it does but, other than being really excited about that secret, he wouldn't offer further details.
There is, of course, another reason it looks the way it does. According to Intihar, the new Spider-Man suit tells fans, at a glance, that they are looking at the Insomniac version of Spider-Man. The team considers this an outward expression of their philosophy for the game. This is a new take on the character with his own adventures. A new suit helps distinguish him from the pack.
What's The World Like In Spider-Man?
Spider-Man takes place in New York City, but this isn't a one-to-one affair. Intihar said those familiar with the city will be able to spot key landmarks and familiar neighborhoods and districts, but that the team took some creative license when crafting their version of the metropolis.
One of the main reasons for this is the speed at which Spider-Man moves. If the game's version of New York is like the real city, he could swing and run through the main downtown area in just a couple of minutes. To that end, they made everything bigger and spread it out a bit, giving players a chance to really spread their (eight) legs and explore.
Also, the world is highly interactive. Since Spider-Man is a master of his environment, players will be able to utilize a wide array of in-game objects. In the midst of combat, you can attach your webbing to objects and turn them into weapons. Is there a massive beam hanging from a cable? Get your enemies close enough to it and you can probably swing it into them to cause some series damage.
Finally, while there doesn't appear to be any sort of morality meter, Intihar said that the world will react to Spider-Man. The way he tells it, the player will be able to know exactly how the citizens of New York feel about their version of Spider-Man based on how they react to him in game.
Who's Developing Spider-Man?
As noted many times above, the team behind the new Spider-Man game is Insomniac Games. The team got its start in 1996 with a PlayStation title called Disruptor, but their first breakout series was Spyro the Dragon. From there, they were responsible for the Ratchet & Clank series, as well as the first-person shooter series, Resistance. While not a first-party studio, Insomniac developed exclusively for PlayStation platforms until they launched Outernauts for iOS in 2012. That was followed by the third-person shooter, Fuse, for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
In a surprising move, Insomniac made an Xbox One exclusive, Sunset Overdrive, back in 2014. That game led many folks to chime in on the fact that Insomniac would be a good developer for a Spider-Man game and, three years later, that's exactly what they are doing.
After making a new Ratchet & Clank for the PlayStation 4 in 2016, the team has moved full throttle into development of Spider-Man.