Highlights of the story
- The early 2000s is the golden age of Spider-Man games, when the character spent a lot of time in the spotlight.
- After the sixth generation, Spider-Man’s presence in the gaming space began to fade. This was due to the declining quality of each entry and the existence of the Arkham series.
- In 2018, Insomnia games Took the wallcrawler out of the realm of mediocrity and has delivered with every entry since. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 looks set to continue that streak.
With the launch of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 just around the corner, fans around the world are excited to step up and save New York once again. While marketing for the sequel has been slow, Insomniac Games revealed a lot of information about the game during last week’s State of Play. After seeing the latest details, I have to say, it feels like we’re going back to the golden age of Spider-Man games.
Now you must be thinking about this “Golden Age”. Well, every character, medium, and the like has an era or two where it shines the most. In the case of the Spider-Man games, I believe the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 years are of that age. While some may disagree with this sentiment, I’m hopeful that many will understand where I’m coming from.
After all, we had some gems during the seventh generation of home consoles, yet, it never managed to reach that peak. That said, Insomniac is taking me back in time, an era of gaming that I remember because of a handful of characters, including Webb Bad Hero.
The golden age of Spider-Man games
After the launch of the first PlayStation, the fifth generation of consoles was in full swing. Advances in technology during this time allowed devs to create 3D environments. Neversoft wasted no time in bringing Spider-Man to consoles. That game was Web Slinger’s first outing on a three-dimensional map, and it was great.
Players from the early 2000s will remember the charm and impact of this game. Not only did it have outstanding features. The villain and Wallcrawler history characters, but Spider-Man felt great controlling himself. Movement, combat, level design. Boss fights, a large gallery of suits with different powers, the ability to collect comic covers, cheat codes, and fear-inducing screams. Monster Oak.
Beyond that, the game features top-of-the-line writing with excellent voiceover work, which really adds to the overall atmosphere of the title. Spider-Man was followed up with a sequel, Enter Electro, which retained almost all of the charm while adding more. For the first time, you were able to modify the wall crawler’s suit and up to three powers, quite literally your very own Spider-Man.
Enter Electro also expanded the suit gallery, many of which I hope to see in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. above mentioned Create-A-Spider. The system was amazing, and going up against famous villains with Daily Bugle headlines from time to time is an experience I’ll never forget. To this day, I watch those two games frequently, more than Spider-Man 2 and Ultimate Spider-Man.
Nevertheless, how can we forget the importance of the former game? Eventually, Jamie Freestrom invents a physics-based web-swinging system, finally freeing Uncle Ben of his responsibility as the bearer of Peter’s webs in the sky. While most of Spider-Man 2 hasn’t aged very well, the game’s journey and charm is still quite high. And of course, being a title held in such high regard, it’s almost poetic for the same entry to produce the worst Spidey video game of all time.
That’s right, I’m talking about Spider-Man 2 on PC. The only, most cursed, most humiliating game based on our friendly neighborhood wall crawler. I wish I could rid the world of this painful memory, but as much as it pains me to admit it, there is a noticeable stain on the record of the Golden Age. At least we can take solace in the fact that the universe recovered from this curse in 2005.
Ultimate Spider-Man hit the shelves, marking the end of this generation on a high note. Not only was it a different version of the wall crawler, but it also had a unique way of presenting the package as a whole. Beautiful cel-shaded visuals, fantastic combat and traversal, various activities around New York, other Marvel characters, and playable Venom. Here’s hoping Insonmiac delivers with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
While Web Slinger had a solid presence during this time, things would begin to gradually change. This would mark the beginning of the character’s diminishing presence, defined by some of the most premium Spider-Man games in history.
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, the Arkham series, and the Bannox Saga
Like it or not, the seventh generation of consoles was important to Spider-Man, just not in the way you’d expect. Even after all this time, with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 on the horizon, we still haven’t reached the pinnacle of fighting in the Spidey game that Web of Shadows has reached. No matter how great Spider-Man is. PS4 And as Miles Morales games were, they didn’t have the level of combat gameplay.
At the same time, no Spider-Man title has embraced the scientific side of the web-slinger the way Insomniac has. It’s a fine line indeed and we all have to weigh the pros and cons for ourselves. At the end of the day, the gameplay was spot on with Web of Shadows. With Insomniac’s penchant for developing gizmos this level of quality will be a sight to behold. Involvement of Battle of the Wall That alone will take these new Spidey games to never-before-seen heights.
After the web of shadows, Activity Beenox got on board for the job. The job was to create a Spidey title like there’s no tomorrow. And I have to say, Bannox delivered quite a bit in the few years he worked on Spider-Man. However, due to several factors, these games paled in comparison and failed to truly surprise and amaze players.
Top of this list of factors was the Arkham series. Rocksteady started with Batman: Arkham Asylum, going on to produce high-end superhero games, changing the perception of many. Meanwhile, Spider-Man was fading into obscurity with each new release, until Bannox began making entry after entry.
Shattered Dimensions was a huge step forward in 2010 but was followed by an unimpressive sequel Age of Time. I love that game but can’t deny that it doesn’t do the character justice. The fight with Spider-Man 2099 felt great in both titles, proving my point of finding another Spider-Man but overall, the design of this game was pretty poor. Unlike the prequels, Age of Time felt extremely sparse.
and then Sony decided to reboot the Spider-Man movies, bringing us Andrew Garfield’s “The Amazing Spider-Man.” Of course, a new movie meant a new tie-in game, so we got just what the doctor ordered. I’ll be brutally honest, The Amazing Spider-Man did nothing to innovate the character. In fact, it went back as web swinging went back to Uncle Ben’s duty. Despite all that, that game was pure fun.
Who would have thought that after a mildly enjoyable Spider-Man game, we’d get the worst entry imaginable? An entry that, in my book, equals the PC port of Spider-Man 2. Yes, I’m talking about the sequel to Andrew’s first movie tie-in game. It came out, suffered from negative reviews, was a terrible experience, and overall a huge step down.
Meanwhile, Rocksteady released Arkham City and Arkham Knight. in between, WB Montreal released Arkham Origins, a game that was just as good, but for some reason, these people refuse to acknowledge its existence. All of these premium Batman games ended Spider-Man’s presence in the gaming scene, from the Golden Era to Down in the Dump.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a trip back in time.
Now I know a lot of you will find this strange since the first game was a phenomenal return to form for Spidey. It did for Wallcrawler what the Arkham games did for Batman. However, what Insomniac is doing with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a heavy dose of nostalgia mixed with a modern twist on technology and mechanics.
I’ll start it with the suite system. In the first game, we were able to unlock suit powers and mods, play with them, and transform them into different suits, effectively creating a look that we liked best. It was actually the Create-A-Spider system from Enter Electro. Now, in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Insomniac is taking it even further with over 200 ways to customize the suit palette. This cosmetic variety combined with strength and modernity is a big bundle of joy for me.
And then we have the updated Augmented Reality tech in Peters and Miles’ mask lenses. In the previews we’ve seen, these in-world icons remind me of PS1-era item pickups. I still remember the spider-shaped potions, web cartridges, freezes, and electric webbing, and the special anti-serum webs from the lizard fight in Enter Electro. Having all those colorful icons in the sky takes me back to that time because of how similar it feels.
Then we have Web Wings, a brand new addition to the game, which aims to improve traversal and add more depth. The thing is, this mechanic proves a belief I’ve held firmly ever since Shattered Dimensions hit the shelves. The developers need to explore another Spider-Man instead of Peter Parker’s usual route. I’ll clarify a little more, there are other Peters and other Spider Men/Spider Women.
Imagine a game based on Spider-Man 2099 and Neuva York, Spider-Gwen, and her New York neon light backdrop. Even Pavitra and Mambatan will make a great experience, especially This led to his popularity across the Spider-Verse. Then we have Hobie Brown aka Spider Pink and the list goes on. There is tons of potential for great games but devs need to wake up and do some surveying. And that brings me to my final point…
Insomniac has the ability to elevate Spider-Man games.
After everything Spidey has been through in the comics and gaming space, Insomniac has pulled him out of the gutter and onto a podium. It started with Spider-Man PS4, from there we got Miles Morales, and now it’s time for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. It’s the same old playground but with new boroughs, mechanics, features and more.
Spidey games have a lot of potential. Insomniac is currently the only developer able to tap into it. With Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 , that’s as clear as day. With the official release just around the corner, it’s time for everyone’s friendly neighborhood web-slingers to step into the spotlight once again.
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