During a livestream from Insomniac Games’ headquarters, Marvel’s Spider-Man Senior Writer Jon Paquette, Art Director Jacinda Chew, Creative Director Brian Intihar, and Community Director James Stevenson shared a lot of great information on the game, analyzing the fantastic trailer showcased at Paris Games Week.
First of all, we learn that the whole trailer was running live in the game’s engine.
The development team was looking for a “boy next door” look for Peter Parker. He is actually scanned from a real-life actor doing performance capture. Unfortunately, is identity was not revealed.
Peter Parker’s bracelets are actually webshooters. To be more specific, they’re mechanical webshooters. They snap into his suit. Peter’s relationship status with Mary Jane Watson is “complicated.”
The team decided for a slightly older look for aunt May, as it fits better into Peter’s storyline. She still has a lot of energy and volunteers at Martin Li’s shelters. The “5 Years of Service” banner in the background is actually for her.
The trailer shows that when Spider-Man succeeds, Peter fails, which is a big theme in the game. We hear a tease mentioning that in the scene after Peter enters his apartment (with a big eviction notice on the door), the animators did something “really cool.”
The player gets to experience “all sides” of Peter’s life. You can control him when he’s not Spider-Man. According to the developers, it’s really hard to tell a human story without showing the protagonist’s human side. That being said, the majority of the game is about playing him as Spider-Man.
Mary Jane is also playable at some point, and she is doing something related to her job. That being said, no more information was shared on this.
Miles Morales knows Peter, and he ends up volunteering at Peter Li’s shelters. He is fifteen years old in the game, while Peter is 23. While this is a game about Peter, the dynamic between him and Miles is very important to his character’s development. Miles originally wasn’t in the game, but he was added as the developers were looking for a new element for the story. He allows them to show a different side of Peter.
Norman Osborn is in the game, and he is the Mayor of New York City, running for re-election. The trailer actually showcased a brief glimpse on the Sanctum Sanctorum, Doctor Strange’s headquarters. The team worked with Marvel to create a “Marvel’s New York City,” with many landmarks from the publisher’s universe.
Interestingly, for those landmarks that actually have a physical address, the team tried to place them in the right location. That being said, the city isn’t a 1-to-1 reproduction of the real New York, but Insomniac Games tried to reproduce its feel and general proportion, with districts retaining their characteristics.
About the changes to the look of the suit, Chew explained that the team had to make it compliant with physically-based rendering. This meant standardizing its materials and caused an increase of specular response (the shininess). This result is actually what the team wanted, but it was a lot more intense than they expected. Combined with the fact that in the trailer spider-man appears a lot in interiors, which have powerful lights, it causes the highlights on the suit to be even stronger. Developers are pleased by the fact that they managed to get this level of specularity for the suit, but they believe it’s too much for the final game, and they will dial it back. Basically, the suit has not changed from previous trailers, but work on the materials caused a difference in how it is displayed.
In Peter’s room you can see a wrestling poster, which is a homage to the beginning of his career. The date on it (August 11th) is Hulk Hogan’s birthday, and the year is 2010. Since the game is set in 2018, Peter has been Spider-Man for eight years at the time of the story. One of the photos shows Peter, M.J. and Harry Osborn from their school days, while the other shows Aunt May and Uncle Ben. The pink plant is another Easter egg from the past of the franchise. Unfortunately, it’s dead because Peter forgot to take care of it.
There are a lot more villains on top those we have seen so far, ranging from classic ones like Kingpin and Shocker to relative newcomers like Mr. Negative. There are also a lot more suits and more characters that have not been revealed yet. We also learn that Shocker’s alter ego in the game is still the classic Herman Schultz.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is coming in 2018 exclusively for PS4. You can also enjoy some awesome 4K screenshots from a few days ago.