“Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can,” goes the song, which explains why he so frequently ends up getting stuck in the bathtub.
Luckily, he compensates for his bathroom difficulties by being extremely good at punching ne’er do wells and, thanks to Insomniac games, PlayStation 4 owners will soon have the chance to do the same.
This new Spider-Man game is simply called Spider-Man and looks extremely promising based on what’s been revealed so far. But there are still a few essential features that we’re hoping Insomniac will weave into the final release. Here are six things we hope to see when the game releases later this year.
1Spider-Man Photo Ops
We know that Spider-Man will feature a photo mode, but we’d love to see an additional in-world photography system where you actually have to set up photo opportunities by webbing cameras to appropriate points. You’d then have to remotely activate the camera at just the right moment to get a shot that was impressive enough to sell to the Daily Bugle (even though former editor J. Jonah Jameson is now running a talk show). You’d still be able to snap photos to share on your Twitter account, but if you wanted to earn in-game money from your work, you’d have to put the work in. And, best of all, you’d be shown a copy of the Daily Bugle with your photo on the cover.
2Spider-Man 2’s web-swinging system
Spider-Man 2 was rightly praised for giving the player a huge, open world to roam around. However, what still makes the game stand out is the way how flawlessly executed the game’s web-swinging is.
The PlayStation 3 version of The Amazing Spider-Man appears to let you swing fluidly around New York City but all you’re really doing is holding down the swing button and if you want to put your own spin on things, you’re out of luck. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 made some improvements but still didn’t come to close to matching its predecessor.
Spider-Man 2’s system, on the other hand, offers you a much greater degree of control. You can switch down to Easy Swing mode if you so desire but the game’s default “Pro” swinging mode lets you rhythmically swing your way around the city, launching and detaching a web line with a touch of the appropriate button. Or you can fire off a strand of webbing and keep the other attached, leaving you dangling between two buildings. Unlike The Amazing Spider-Man and many other Spider-Man games you feel like you’re actually in control and we’d love to see this system (or something approximating it) return.
The voice acting in Spider-Man games has been a bit of a mixed bag. The titles that weren’t based on films haven’t been so bad but some of the movie-licensed Spider-Man games, such as Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, have been dire. Toby Maguire sounds like he’s going to sleep in the latter game, and Alfred Molina doesn’t do much better.
The only actor in that game who doesn’t phone it in is Bruce Campbell which is why, after much deliberation, we’ve come to only one conclusion: every character in the upcoming Spider-Man needs to be voiced by Bruce Campbell.
Spider-Man? Bruce Campbell.
J Jonah Jameson? Bruce Campbell.
Mr Negative? Bruce Campbell.
Aunt May? Bruce Campbell.
True, since September’s Spider-Man game won’t be based on the Sam Raimi movies, there’s no direct link to the Man with the Chin but that needn’t be an obstacle. We’d happily put our trust in the one man guaranteed to knock it out of the park when it comes to over-acting.
4More playable characters
We already know that the game is going to feature a number of unlockable alternate skins for everyone’s favourite wall-crawling hero and that you’ll be able to play as Mary Jane. But we’d also love to see these alternative, playable characters added to the game.
- Zombie Spider-Man
- The Superior Spider-Man
- Jonah Jameson
- Miles Morales
Any of the above characters would be welcome additions though given that Marvel, after their Disney takeover, have decided that only villains can be flesh-eaters, we doubt we’ll actually get Marvel Zombies Spider-Man.
5Meaningful, varied side-activities
As much as we enjoyed Spider-Man 2 and sometimes find ourselves returning to it, the repetitive nature of the game’s side-activities do it no favours. We’ve rescued and returned over ninety-nine red balloons, recovered enough handbags to open a shop and have become sick of the sight of balaclava-clad bank robbers.
We’d like Spider-Man to feature a much wider range of side-quests and other activities, such as going into burning buildings to rescue people, tackling Symbiote outbreaks and more.
6Downloadable “What If” Content
Downloadable content, done badly, can come across as a cheap, cynical cash grab: Dead Rising 4, for example, turned the game’s proper ending to a piece of chargeable content. The planned DLC for Spider-Man will reportedly focus on the webslinger himself but that seems like something of a missed opportunity. A couple of years ago, Marvel had a “Spider-Verse” comics event that took Spider-Man to a number of parallel universes and has previously put out “What If” comics that also tackled alternate timelines.
We’d therefore like to see these other worlds explored through additional pieces of downloadable content. There could be a Spider-Man Noir chapter where, drawing upon the comic book of the same name, you’d punch and swing your way through thirties New York, or a Spider-Man 2009 chapter for that matter. And both could make use of parts of the existing maps with an era-appropriate visual facelift. It’d be a sight more interesting than just punching the same criminal minions in the face again.