Spider-Man 2 has no release date in sight, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about the various possibilities in store. Spider-Man: Miles Morales was, to its credit, a standalone story that gave Miles a chance to grow beyond being “another Spider-Man”. But they just couldn’t resist another tease for the next game at the end, could they?
Whether you love the friendly neighbourhood web-slinger or not, Spider-Man is one of PlayStation‘s best and biggest games. The inevitable sequel has some big shoes to fill – let’s take a look at how it might manage the task.
Significant story spoilers for Spider-Man 2018/Spider-Man: Miles Morales follow. Reader beware!
More Miles Morales
It would be a crime against what Insomniac have crafted thus far to sideline Miles now. Though our time with him in Spider-Man: Miles Morales was short, it was tons of fun. Through the two games, we’ve seen him go through his entire introductory character arc, right up to getting comfortable with being his own Spider-Man.
Of course, it’s not just Miles’ considerable merits as a character. Miles represents a really important part of Spider-Man’s appeal, a part that Peter Parker is quite distanced from at this point in his journey. He is everyone’s superhero – from the woman getting mugged on the sidewalk to the people in the bank currently getting robbed by the man with four mad robotic arms.
People on the street will frequently refer to Miles as “Our Spider-Man”, and that’s true. He’s a man who cares about his community, he wants to raise it up and keep it safe. However Spider-Man 2 handles the two Spider-Men, we’re definitely seeing a lot more of Miles Morales.
Venom – and not just the suit
Venom’s been really heavily teased in both instalments of Spider-Man thus far, but we’ve yet to see any concrete evidence of what Peter Parker’s classic nemesis is going to mean in Insomniac‘s universe. In classic Marvel fashion, the credits of both games hide the following cutscenes, setting up the inevitable sequel.
Both scenes center around the Osborne family, showing Pete’s best friend Harry Osborne suspended in a tank, wreathed in mysterious black goo. What’s interesting about the Insomniac universe is that we’ve joined it fairly late – by the start of the first game, Peter’s been Spider-Man for quite a while. But Norman Osborne has yet to become the Green Goblin, who’s one of Spidey’s biggest enemies.
Throughout Spider-Man, we discover more and more about Norman Osborne, about how his ruthless attitude to business has created literal monsters in his wake. It seems fairly obvious when he steps into that green glow for the first time that we’re looking at a Gobby reveal – but the scene takes a sharp turn and we catch a glimpse of the Venom symbiote, wriggling all over Harry Osborne’s suspended form.
All of Norman’s actions have supposedly been to save his son from a rare and deadly health condition. Spider-Man: Miles Morales has a segment towards the end that shows off a lot of Oscorp’s spacefaring adventures, which surely can’t be a coincidence. Venom’s in good hands with Insomniac, whichever route they decide to take it, but there need to be gameplay implications too.
Simply having Venom as an antagonist isn’t going to be enough. We need the opportunity to play around with its powers, too! An educated guess says the symbiote is going to jump ship to Peter, detecting a stronger host. I’m hoping we’ll get a bit of playtime as black-suited Spidey, before he goes off the rails and the game switches to Miles, who has to bring his former mentor back down to earth. I mean, just look at what the Venom symbiote does to Pete:
It’d be all too easy to slide us a few symbiote-inspired suits and call it a day, but we’ve played around with Miles’ bio-electricity and camoflage abilities now. Regular Spidey just isn’t going to be enough the second time around.
Better supervillain showdowns
Spider-Man 2 is potentially setting up three classic Spider-Man villains, but it’s going to have to do them a little more justice this time around. The marketing for Spider-Man 2018 gave a ton of attention to stars of the rogues’ gallery like Electro, Rhino, Vulture and Scorpion, but they barely featured in the game at all. Perhaps most insultingly, you fought them in pairs, so it only really counted as two individual boss fights. They were more like fan service cameos, despite their powers making them natural fits for big, flashy battles.
Those post-credit scenes above potentially set up the entire sequel in a very short time. We have Norman Osborne descending further into madness to save his son, who’s almost definitely bonded with the Venom symbiote. Norm’s barking orders at Dr. Curt Connors, who we all know eventually becomes The Lizard thanks to his own obsessive research.
All of these characters are great, and represent some of the most powerful foils to Spider-Man as a hero. But we need to have build-up, we need to be broken down so we can rise up again and overcome insurmountable odds. That’s what Spider-Man is about – he’s the guy who always gets back up. They put him through the wringer in his 2018 debut, but we’ve yet to see this Spider-Man tested to his very limit.
Maybe we’ll even see a battle between Miles and Peter if one of them dons the Venom symbiote in the sequel. There’s tons of possibilities. Whatever they do, they need to be better – Miles Morales showcased some really fun boss battles, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
The fantastic Into The Spider-Verse movie showcased a lot of alternate dimension Spider-Men, including relatively recent superstar Spider-Gwen. Spider-Gwen is from an alternate Earth where Gwen Stacey was bitten by the radioactive spider. Peter Parker, sick of being bullied, becomes The Lizard, and Gwen is unable to save him from himself. So Gwen doesn’t fit in quite as neatly as Miles does, but hear me out on this one.
Gwen Stacy wasn’t mentioned at all in the entirety of Spider-Man. There’s not a single easter-egg mentioning her, arguably a major part of Peter’s life, and this is in a game that has easter-eggs for basically everyone Spider-Man’s ever waved at. And then there’s this tweet from closer to the original game’s release:
So it’s entirely possible that they’re saving Gwen for a later date. Maybe she’ll be introduced and expanded upon in the same way Miles Morales was. If we get particularly carried away this could all be setting up a Spider-Verse DLC, drawing on what Insomniac learned from developing the dimension-hopping Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
What makes Gwen different? Well, she’s permanently bonded with the Venom symbiote, which has a slightly different origin as a lab experiment rather than extra-terrestrial alien life. This really just gives her a level of power that can be equated to the other Spider-Men, but could have some interesting implications in Insomniac’s universe.
She’s also a keen detective with a solid knowledge of police work, which could definitely be an interesting avenue to explore. Spider-Cop returns? Of course, we could just see Gwen debut as an MJ-style playable character, but I’d really rather not see any more of those missions.
More suits – and new ways to collect them
The Venom suit would add a whole boatload of possibilities to the Spidey-suit gallery – that famous black suit, despite being one of Spidey’s more iconic ensembles, was also completely absent from the first game. It could look very cool, if this slick concept by Reddit user NfuseDev is anything to go by:
The potential of having a “live” suit is pretty great. We could be looking at upgrades beyond the original game’s suit mods. Maybe wearing the black suit swaps the focus bar for a rage bar, getting incrementally harder to control as it powers up. There are a ton of suits available in Spider-Man, but there’s many more that could be included. We’ve yet to see the fantastic Superior Spider-Man suit, for example – taken from the run in which Otto Octavius takes over Peter’s body:
Not pictured above are the suit’s four robotic spider-limbs, which we’ve kind of seen already with the MCU’s Iron Spider suit. There’s also the question of what’s going to happen to all the costumes we’ve collected so far. Will they carry over? Will I be unable to zip around the city as The Amazing Bag-Man? Is Peter going to get a cat in a backpack too?
They’re going to need to introduce some new (and hopefully more interesting) methods of collecting them, though. I don’t think anyone’s going to want to spend more time hoovering up backpacks or completing those goddamn Screwball challenges for tokens. Given that Spidey is inseparable from New York, we can’t really keep doing the same thing – so hopefully Insomniac will introduce some creative new ways to suit up.
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