How Insomniac stole the heart of Spider-Man

June 27, 2019
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Marvel’s Spider-Man is probably the finest licensed game adaptation of the past decade, its lead at once every inch the lycra-clad tumbler you might recall from comics and movies, and a creature only Insomniac could have created. In a panel at Gameslab today, game director Ryan Smith took attendees through the making of the game’s traversal and combat systems, explaining how they contribute to the portrayal as much as its cutscenes and writing.

There are many variations and generations of Spider-Men, of course, from eight-limbed Man-Spiders through screeching Spider Monkeys to the deeply confusing Peter Porker. Insomniac’s 2018 refresh is no freshly-bitten Maguire but a crime-fighter in his prime, having defended New York for eight years and amassed a sizeable rogue’s gallery. This makes for a bolder beginning – the game literally kicks off mid-swing, as Spider-Man chases down a misbehaving Kingpin – but Insomniac was keen that newcomers not feel out of their depth.

“We knew that there was a chance this could be someone’s first game – their first experience not only of Spider-Man, but also of gameplay,” Smith recalled. “And we wanted to make sure that everyone had that hero experience we envisioned, but then as you kept with it, we wanted you to find ways to master that gameplay.”

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