At E3 2016, Sony and Insomniac Games have revealed the fan-favorite studio is working on a triple-A Spider-Man game. The project itself doesn’t have an official title though it is currently designated Spider-Man PS4 (or #SpiderManPS4). The timing of the announcement, of course, will no doubt get fans wondering if Sony and Insomniac Games have partnered on a full-on blockbuster tie-in to the Spider-Man: Homecoming solo film coming in 2017 (despite the fact it’s not Tom Holland’s voice in this teaser) – but this is an entirely standalone game (one that appears to include Mister Negative as a villain). Like similar franchises, Sony could simply be planning to release the game around the time of Homecoming – when interest in Spider-Man will be especially high – even if the two are not connected.
Right now, all we do know is that the game is currently in development and will be exclusive to Sony’s PS4 console.
That all said, there are a couple things we can infer from the footage – and the larger announcement. First of all, while it may come as a major disappointment to Xbox One and PC players that the game will only be available on PS4, it shouldn’t come as a total surprise – given that Sony owns the rights to the Spider-Man film franchise. While Marvel and Sony are collaborating on future Spider-Man movies (after the character appeared in Captain America: Civil War), it would be a no-brainer for the studio to leverage their influence and invest heavily in a standout Spider-Man experience available only on their own hardware (even if the game isn’t directly connected to a film). That is to say, fans who are hoping to see the title make the jump to Xbox, PC, or Nintendo shouldn’t hold their breath. Sony appears to be overseeing the project from start to finish – not just purchasing timed-exclusive rights.
Second, while a surprising choice for a triple-A Spider-Man title, Insomniac Games is an intriguing choice – given that the studio is known, arguably best, for coming up with unique weapons and gameplay experiences that, above all else, are downright entertaining to play. Whether the post-apocalyptic world of Resistance or cartoon shenanigans of Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive, Insomniac Games is a smart pick to refresh the Spider-Man video game series. Beenox won over a lot of Spider-Man fans with their own revamping of the IP – which, for many gamers, had previously peaked with the PlayStation 2 and Xbox generation Spider-Man video game tie-ins from Treyarch; however, the studio never quite managed to set a higher bar after their first attempt, Shattered Dimensions, only to fall into a development rut between Edge of Time and a comparatively uninspired movie tie-in for The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
As a result, it’s encouraging to see Sony working with a new studio – one with fresh ideas and a history of turning unknown characters and worlds into unique (and profitable) game experiences. Given their pedigree, and recent experience crafting an open world in Sunset Overdrive, it’ll be especially exciting to see what Insomniac can do with a character as known, and beloved, as Marvel’s wall-crawler (not to mention a sandbox as big and vibrant as New York City).
Last up, while we don’t get to see the wall-crawler’s face without the mask, gamers who might speculate that the title could be a tie-in or lead-in to Sony’s 2018 animated Spider-Man film, rumored to feature Miles Morales, should pay extra mind to the trailer’s opening narration, which reveals this Spider-Man is from Queens – home to Peter Parker (Morales was raise in Brooklyn).
The studio outright confirmed Peter Parker as the hero – and claims the game is not connected to an upcoming film in their official PlayStation Blog post:
This isn’t the same Spider-Man you’ve met before, nor is our game based on the upcoming movie. This is a more seasoned Peter Parker who’s more masterful at fighting big crime in New York City. At the same time, he’s struggling to balance his absurdly chaotic personal life and career. All while nine million New Yorkers depend on him for their safety… no pressure indeed.
While the hero’s game costume takes a few designs cues from the Morales suit, along with other recent versions of the character in print, the studio also appears to borrow Spidey’s emotive/mechanical eyes from Civil War – meaning that Insomniac Games may simply be pulling the best and slickest ideas currently in circulation for their take on Spider-Man. Some gamers might be bummed to find out Spider-Man PS4 won’t be an adaptation of any one storyline but after the success of Arkham Asylum series, among other comic-to-game adaptations, in crafting a new story and world that suits a particular superhero within an interactive medium, it’s encouraging that Insomniac Games has the flexibility to make a great Spider-Man game, not just a quick cashgrab.
With great power, comes great responsibility, right?
Spider-Man PS4 is currently in development for the PlayStation 4.
Source: PlayStation Blog