SpiderMan PS4

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.”

Insomniac’s Bryan Intihar, unlike the guys running Marvel’s comics division, had no desire to use anger to drive sales (e.g., Superior Spider-Man; Nick Spencer’s Hyrda-Captain America).

Dan Slott Twitter Scheherazade

Superior Spider-Man 9 promo
Dan Slott and Marvel decided they would fuel sales by tapping into fan anger, which is rather sad.

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:

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.

Bryan Intihar

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.

SpiderMan PS4 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.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

21 comments

  1. Very promising. I hope Insomniac can do for Spider-man what Rocksteady did for Batman. I was a big fan of the Arkham games, I felt it brought back a lot of what I liked about the animated series, not just the voices, but Batman as a hero, rather than a disturbed mental case that does good.

    Sorry, not a fan of the big white spider either. It seems too gaudy in front of the more subdued red and white. The other accents of the costume I do like however. I would have went for black rather than white. Maybe there will be costume options! One of the great things about the arkham games was putting on the costumes of Batman over the years…Spider-Man has just as many memorable costumes…lets hope.

    Peter is a great character, and it’s good to see a guy with a lot of passion for him work this game…I wonder what he thinks of Slott’s work? For me, the character had already been destroyed by Quesada, and I pretty much think of Spider-Man in terms of his 80’s and 90’s stories. Even when Todd McFarlane was making 1-2 panels a page he wasn’t trying to ruin Peter Parker.

    It’s kind of surprising Marvel hasn’t hit the video game market hard, though it is welcome…they tend to be bad. This is because traditionally the make a game to promote a movie, rather than create something to stand on it’s own. Hopefully this is different.

    1. “Very promising. I hope Insomniac can do for Spider-man what Rocksteady did for Batman. I was a big fan of the Arkham games, I felt it brought back a lot of what I liked about the animated series, not just the voices, but Batman as a hero, rather than a disturbed mental case that does good.”

      Everyone always told me to buy the Arkham games and that I’d love them, but that’s exactly why I avoided them. Haha. I have this weird feeling I’ll be 75 years when I finally give these classics a try.

      “Sorry, not a fan of the big white spider either. It seems too gaudy in front of the more subdued red and white. The other accents of the costume I do like however.”

      That’s a fair criticism. I can see that, actually. I almost look at it like the costume is a red and blue Nike shoe and the giant white spider is Peter’s “Swish” logo. It’s his brand, and in this case there is no way anyone can miss it.

  2. Always good to see a Spider-Man game in the market again. Most of the ones over the 2000s were very good, and really nailed every character. I loved Web of Shadows.

    Not taking much to the weird logo, but it could grow on me. BND era characters don’t rattle me either, after all Anti-Venom was in Edge of Time.

    1. “Not taking much to the weird logo, but it could grow on me.”

      The uniform looks perfect to me for the parkour-styled movements and fighting they supposedly have planned for the game. (Must…resist…’Peter Parkour’…jokes). I’ve seen criticism along the lines of, “Hey, what’s with the giant spideron Spider-Man….that stands out and makes everyone notice a spider zipping through the air.”

      Guilty as charged. I like giant spider-symbols on Spider-Man. 😉

      Also, I’ll take this suit over green-glowing Tron Spider-Man any day of the week.

  3. This looks like it might be good, but why Insomniac? I mean, I like the Ratchet and Clank games a lot, but they haven’t made a superhero game before. It’s not like Sony doesn’t have a studio (Sucker Punch) that’s made superhero games.

    I wonder why they didn’t call Sucker Punch? Maybe Insomniac had a really good pitch?

    1. “This looks like it might be good, but why Insomniac?”

      I’m out of my league on that one.

      I basically will play any Zelda games that come out, anything Metal Gear, and then every so often a game will come around that I’m like, “Yep, it’s done. I’m getting that.” Shovel Knight was one such game. 🙂

      I can’t wait for Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

    2. If you’re curious look up some let’s plays of InFamous and InFamous 2, which are made by Sucker Punch. You’ll understand what I’m saying when you see the gameplay. I would recommend that you buy them if you have a PS3 because they’re really good.

      Also, that Zelda trailer is purty.

    3. “If you’re curious look up some let’s plays of InFamous and InFamous 2, which are made by Sucker Punch. You’ll understand what I’m saying when you see the gameplay. I would recommend that you buy them if you have a PS3 because they’re really good.”

      Nice. Right now I’m a few hours into Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Once I knock that out (50 missions and 150 side-ops… Holy cow!), I’ll give them a look.

      “Also, that Zelda trailer is purty.”

      I’m a sucker for Zelda. My sister and I still randomly say, “It’s a secret to everybody,” whenever that little inside joke is appropriate.

    1. “Here’s Douglas Ernst bait a poll at CBR entitled: Would You Like to See the Effects of “Spider-Man: One More Day” Reversed?”

      Haha. You and Animehunter know me well. He shared the poll over in my review for ASM #14. Thanks for sharing, though!

  4. It’s stuff like this that makes me regret not having a video game player. I’ll have to look for YouTube play-throughs like I have on other Spider-Man video game stuff (“Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Spider-Man 2,” “Shattered Dimensions,” “Edge of Time,” “Web of Shadows,” etc.), if I don’t get a chance to try it in person.

    Not a fan of the new costume, kinda sorta. I always prefer them just keeping the classic costume. It’s doesn’t age and looks cool enough without being too busy. However, of all the alternate costume designs invented for the franchise, this’s probably the best one of the bunch and looks good taken on it’s own terms, except that the spider on the front is way too larger and spread out. Just take the original spider logo, color it white, and you’re good to go.

    While I think trying to do what the fans want can be really tricky (since not everyone wants the same thing and there is a point where the creators are compromising the artistic integrity of the project), it sounds like this team has got the balance right, esp. in regards to trying to have a well-thought out story and premise for the game and it sounding like they’re using the idea of making something that fans will love is fueling their ambitions to make the best game possible, and not just slapping stuff off a checklist in because “the fans want it.”

  5. I’ve always had fun playing spidey on PS systems and remember doing it a lot during high school/college on my PS2.

    Spider-man 2 (the movie adaption) WAS THE single best spidey game of all time. Heck I remember booting it up just for the fun of swinging around New York after a bad day.

    If this game follows through and becomes the next Spidey2 open world blast…

    I may have to go get myself a PS4…

  6. Spider-Man games are hit and miss, don’t forget the retro games as well. I will be posting 2 Spider-Man game reviews soon, one is Spider-Man and the x-Men: Arcades Revenge on the SNES. The second review will be Maximum Carnage for the Genesis (a 2 frugal review that gives my thoughts and my young boys view as well).
    I also did a short response video about Spider-Man for the Game Boy (shameful plug here):

    The game was covered by Cygnus Destroyer and I made a response video that had a nice twist.

    I plan to review several other Spider-Man games as well.

    1. “I also did a short response video about Spider-Man for the Game Boy.”

      I love that you reviewed Spider-Man for Gameboy. Haha. My sister had that game. I could never really see the screen. There were so many times where my character died because I couldn’t see what was going on. I’m sure that I never solved that one.

      I actually had a Sega Game Gear. I remember a road drip from Chicago to Denver where I played Defenders of Oasis the entire way. I loved that game!

  7. Well Doug, I must say I admire your defense of PS4 Spider-Man having a white spider and that it’s reflective of the character being an American icon by having an even more pronounced red, white and blue color scheme. I think the white spider is too distracting and clashes with the rest of the costume, though 😉

    However, when I appeared during the latest recording of The Spider-Man Crawlspace Podcast, there was a discussion about the way the costume looked and a very good point was brought up. When playing a video game from a 3rd person perspective, it’s very easy to loose track of your on-screen character, especially when being dazzled by all the colorful, 3D-looking environments that an open world setting can give you, or when engaged with a slew on on-screen enemies. Which means, your on-screen character needs something distinctive for the player to keep on eye on them at all times. For better or worse, the large white spider on the PS3 Spider-Man costume potentially does this. It may be an eyesore, but at least Spider-Man in this game will be easy to spot as he web-slings around the city.

    1. “I think the white spider is too distracting and clashes with the rest of the costume, though😉”

      Why do you want the terrorist to win, Mike? Why do you want the terrorists to win?! America! Haha.

      “For better or worse, the large white spider on the PS3 Spider-Man costume potentially does this. It may be an eyesore, but at least Spider-Man in this game will be easy to spot as he web-slings around the city.”

      Good point. There will probably be times where Spidey is surrounded by attackers, trying to bound in and out of large groups of thugs, etc.

  8. That looks like a fun RPG Douglas, I may have to add that to my long retro list!
    I find playing Game boy games to be a better experience when I play them on the SNES or Retron 5. I just can’t look at the small screen anymore.

    1. That looks like a fun RPG Douglas, I may have to add that to my long retro list!

      As you mentioned in your own review, sometimes the games we loved when we were kids don’t age well. Haha. Based on the Defenders of Oasis game play I’m seeing on YouTube, I’m still happy with it. I think I may have been in 7th or 8th grade when that came out.

      I find playing Game boy games to be a better experience when I play them on the SNES or Retron 5. I just can’t look at the small screen anymore.

      That screen was a killer — even as a kid!

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