Spider-Man video games have a dubious track record. Your friendly neighborhood blogger doesn’t play many video games these days, but over the years I have made time for the web slinger’s adventures. Playstation 4 will soon bring fans a new installment, courtesy of Insomniac Games. The trailer was released at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California, and it looks awesome.
More impressive, however, was the way Insomniac’s Bryan Intihar — the title’s creative director — presented himself during an interview with Sony Interactive America Entertainment’s Sid Shuman on June 13. The guy’s enthusiasm and excitement for Peter Parker bursts out of him at 100 mph, but in a professional way. He is smart. He is articulate. Most importantly, he demonstrates a level of reverence for the character that has been missing within the comics division for years.
Mr. Intihar said:
“We understand how important this character is to a lot of people. It’s important to us. Everybody at Insomniac at least want to do it justice. That’s the thing: We just want to make sure that people walk away unbelievably happy, and this is kind of the first taste of that journey that we’re going on.”
On Team ASM, the job isn’t to make readers happy. They instead use anger to drives sales while treating Peter Parker like a “meat puppet.” Let that sink in for awhile.
Mr. Intihar continued:
“For me it’s about respecting the traditions of the franchise, but mixing things up. It’s that blending… I mean, honestly, that the thing that I’ve been so surprised with, but also so excited that […] we have a lot of freedom. […] We ask the question ‘Why?’ a lot. ‘Well, why are we doing this? How does it tie into the universe? How does that tie into our main character? What’s the ramifications?’ Like, cause and effect. We’re always talking about that because we want everything to be buttoned up. We talk a lot bout being cohesive, everything being a cohesive package. I feel like that’s what makes a great video game — a great story. […] We talk a lot about Peter Parker. For us, Peter is as integral as Spider-Man. We talk a lot about telling the story of the man behind the mask. For us, Peter is as important as the Spider-Man character.“
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you think ASM writer Dan Slott demands his peers grill him with “Why? Why are you doing this? What are the ramifications?”
- Does ASM read like its lead writer wants “everything to be buttoned up”?
- Does “cohesive package” or anything resembling that idea ever enter your mind when you read ASM these days?
- Do you honestly believe “Peter is as important as the Spider-Man character” to Dan Slott?
The answer to most, if not all, of those questions is likely “No.” Meanwhile, Mr. Intihar talks about respecting Peter Parker with a look in his eyes like he’s five years old again on Christmas morning — and he just got a puppy.
The guys at Insomniac were even kind enough to throw in Mr. Slott’s admittedly cool villain, Mr. Negative, given that his goons show up in the trailer.
The only thing that fans may have an issue with at this point is the new costume and its giant white spider. When I first saw it I said, “What the heck is this?” and then the more I thought about it the more I liked it.
Besides Captain America, Spider-Man is a character whose essence screams “I’m an American.”
- He is the “ordinary” man who regularly shows the world that there is something extraordinary in all of us.
- He is fiercely independent. He can work on a team, but working alone allows his unique abilities and knack for improvisation to shine.
- He can be annoying, but all that wise-guy talk is just his way of hiding real fears. Underneath the mask, it’s obvious that he is a good and decent man who believes “with great power comes great responsibility.”
One can go on and on, but the point is this: This is a superhero who deserves to wear red, white, and blue.
The white spider, in its own weird way, also looks a bit like a star. It’s a very “spidery” star, but still a good fit for America’s favorite wall-crawler.
I seldom make predictions on this blog, but I will do so now in light of the performance by Insomniac Games’ Bryan Intihar: Spider-Man for PS4 is going to blow fans away.
Perhaps it will even prompt Peter Parker fans to ask Marvel why so many of its writers shun Mr. Intihar’s “we just want to make sure that people walk away unbelievably happy” approach.
Editor’s Note: Our good friend Stillanerd did not like the white spider on the new suit. Yes, it’s true, even Stillanerd can be wrong on occasion. (Zing!) But seriously, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments section below.
Kudos to Mr. Intihar for a top-notch interview.