It’s been more than 10 years since we swung from rooftop to rooftop in one of the best superhero games of all time, Spider-Man 2. Now Sony has another wall-crawling story planned exclusively for the PS4. The announcement has many gamers, including myself, eager to slip on that iconic red mask and beat up some classic villains once again.
Insomniac wasn’t my first choice to helm the spider man’s next adventure. But with their experience with the Ratchet & Clank, Spyro,and Resistance games, I have little doubt that they’ll make the web crawlers next adventure one to remember. They’ve already stated that Spidey’s next adventure fortunately won’t follow the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming movie, so let’s take a look at what some of the great stories we could see Insomniac use for their game.
The Gauntlet and Grim Hunt
We see many of Spider-Man’s best villains upgraded in this multipart series that lasted nine months. The Gauntlet features villains like Electro, Sandman, The Rhino, Lizard, and several other old favorites in separate stories that all lead up to the events Grim Hunt.
The fascinating aspect of The Gauntlet is that none of these villains are working together–there is no grand plot that connects each interaction. Instead, it highlights things like Electro building a public movement in response to the 2008 financial crisis and Sandman losing control of the violent copies of himself that go on to commit terrible crimes.
All the events of The Gauntlet lead up to the climatic end of the Grim Hunt where we see one of the most memorable Spider-Man villains from the 1980s return. Kraven the Hunter has a climatic story with a many epic fights, resurrections, and morally dubious decisions that could be implemented well into game format.
The Death of Jean DeWolf
Captain America: The Winter Soldier showed levels of corruption within S.H.I.E.L.D. that nearly toppled the government. Why can’t we see more mature stories like that instead of the typical good vs. evil tale that we’ve seen in games like Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and Web of Shadows?
The Death of Jean DeWolff starts off with the murder of a member of the New York Police Department by a man who calls himself the Sin-Eater. It sends Spider-Man on a crash course for revenge. New York is sent into a craze with the media and community leaders reacting to the Sin-Eater murders. The story gets more complicated when the Sin-Eater visits the Daily Bugle building looking for J. Jonah Jameson, but instead encounters Peter Parker.
There are some cool tie-ins with S.H.I.E.L.D and Daredevil that heat things up, but I don’t want to spoil that for you.
Two of the most awesome and fascinating villains in the Spider-Man universe, Venom and Carnage, lead Spider-Man in a story full of violent encounters with a huge cast of characters including Captain America, Black Cat, Shriek and many others.
The majority of this story focuses on the conflict between Carnage and Venom. Carnage breaks out of prison and forms an alliance with several other villains. In order to combat them, Spider-Man is forced to team up with Venom and a number of other heroes. The group clashes that follow happen on top of a number of set pieces that would be great for video game adaptation including Ravencroft Asylum and the Statue of Liberty.
A side scrolling beat ‘em up game based off this comic was released for the SNES in 1994. The reception was abysmal, as the source material was its only redeemable quality. This could give Insomniac the opportunity for a stronger adaptation of the struggle between Carnage and Venom.
The Spectacular Spider-Man: Gangland
The Spectacular Spider-Man was Marvel’s answer to Batman: The Animated Series, it was a fresh combination of some of the best elements of the Spider-Man franchise. While the show only lasted 26 episodes, it’s still the best example of an animated Spider-Man series.
There are plenty of amazing episodes that could be adapted for the new game, but my choice would be the criminal drama behind the Gangland story in which Doctor Octopus, Tombstone, and Silvermane throw New York into violent chaos. This peg in the series offers a lot of interesting opportunities for engaging missions, big boss fights, and character development for some of the franchise’s most beloved superheroes and villains.
What we don’t want…
Captain America: Civil War handled Spidey’s intro wonderfully. We’re introduced to a young Peter Parker in the midst of his young crime fighting life. We know about Uncle Ben, we know about how Parker gets his powers so we don’t need to relive those classic moments again.
We could also see an original take on Spider-Man similar to how Rocksteady Games took on Batman in the Arkham series. I’d love to see another original take on Spider-Man with encounters from the villains who don’t rely on brute force like the Chameleon or Mysterio.
Insomniac has a huge challenge ahead of them as Spider-Man is one of the most iconic superheroes in the world (as well as my personal favorite). His humor and supporting cast have fans eager to see his inclusion in upcoming Marvel films and his own standalone feature, Homecoming. I know they’ll bring us a Spider-Man tale that has a mixture of both classic cameos and original concepts. But no matter what we get, I’m just happy I’ll get the chance to swing from the rooftops as my favorite neighborhood hero again.