Welcome back to Celebrating a Series! This is where, each week, we take a look at some of the most defining PlayStation franchises and wonder what the future holds for them. This time, we’re looking at the Marvel comics mascot who is now a bonafide PlayStation mascot, Spider-Man!
Marvel’s Spider-Man swung into 2018 with a bang, becoming one of last year’s gaming highlights. Not only did it receive critical acclaim, its sales numbers have been phenomenal. It ended up becoming the fastest-selling superhero video game of all time. Fans shouldn’t be surprised when Insomniac Games inevitably announces it is working on Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. (Maybe it’ll come with a more elegant title?)
Marvel’s Spider-Man told a pretty self-contained story, with a concrete ending. However, there are more than a few loose ends. In a world full of superheroes and super villains, there is always some kind of mess to clean up. So let’s see what kind of shenanigans Peter may get into. Warning! Spoilers will appear below!
We Are Venom
There’s about a 90% chance that Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is going to heavily feature the Symbiote. Now, it wasn’t outright mentioned by name, but anyone who has a passing knowledge of Venom knows what that substance featured in the post-credit scene is. However, in true Insomniac fashion, things definitely seemed to be turned on its head this time around.
The Symbiote is seemingly being used in Norman Osborne’s (we’ll get to him in a bit) efforts to cure Harry Osborne’s mysterious illness. Of course, it will go horribly wrong in some way. Knowing how Insomniac likes to flip the script on classic Spider-Man elements, it’s entirely possible that Harry could be the vessel for Venom. Yes, Eddie Brock could very well be introduced, giving us a more standard Venom storyline (especially with the box office success of Venom). However, having Harry be underneath the Symbiote could create an even more compelling narrative.
Having Peter face off against his lifetime friend would immediately create an internal conflict. In addition, we could see a case where the Symbiote is the thing keeping Harry alive, making the task of defeating Venom even more heartbreaking. Harry has obviously flirted with antagonism more than once in the comics, so the groundwork is there. The whole affair would be similar to Peter’s confrontation with Otto Octavius, his own mentor.
Since a black suit will inevitably go hand-in-hand with any Venom storyline, we could see the classic storyline of Peter struggling with the temptations of the Symbiote. However, the video game medium may possibly throw that entire thing into question. You are the hero, after all. But, if Peter does go off the deep end, there could be one person to save him. (That’s also something we’ll also get into later.) No matter how it shakes out, Venom will soon become a major figure in Peter’s life, for better or worse.
Down Came the Goblin
Speaking of Norman Osborne, he’s still kicking. Gong back to that post-credits sequence, it not only teased Venom, but it also featured another, more subtle tease. While Norman is mournfully looking at his son, he’s bathed in a green light. Similar to the Venom tease, it’s almost definitely teasing Norman’s eventual transformation into the Green Goblin, Spider-Man’s biggest enemy.
He’s already been shown to have an anti-Spider-Man agenda, and he’ll very likely fall even farther down that rabbit hole. That, coupled with his increasingly frantic attempts to cure his son, can only spell disaster. Add some chemical-induced insanity, and you’ve got a ready-made Green Goblin. As a high-flying adversary, the idea of swinging around New York City, attempting to take the Goblin down, is almost too good to pass up.
With Green Goblin and Venom both running amok, there will be plenty to keep Spider-Man busy. However, we could see Insomniac not want to throw all major villains out at once. The developers may want to introduce Green Goblin (or even Venom, frankly) a little later down the line. What if Harry’s ultimate Venom-fueled death is what sends Norman down the deep end? It would certainly create a much more tragic backstory for the iconic adversary.
Anyone Can Wear the Mask
Even though there is more trouble brewing, we also have another Spider-in-training in New York City. Miles got bit by radioactive spider of his own, and reveals this to Peter following the ending. This prompts Peter to show Miles his own abilities, and we have the beginning of a beautiful partnership. Obviously, as Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 hasn’t been officially announced, there’s no way to tell how far after the first game it will take place. We could have Peter training an up-and-coming Miles, or we could have it set years later, with New York City having two Spider-people swinging around.
The idea of having a fully-formed Miles Morales Spider-Man is honestly the more intriguing idea. Marvel’s Spider-Man hit the ground running, and it would be great to see the sequel do the same. With the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse being such a success, we’re definitely likely to see Miles have an even higher profile moving forward.
If this sequel adapts the Symbiote storyline in any way, we could see Peter’s judgement clouded by the alien substance. If that happens, we could in turn see Miles step into the spotlight to save him. If Miles slips into a suit of his own in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, he will no doubt to have his own big hero moment. What a better moment than saving the very person who mentored him?
The Greatest City in the World
Spider-Man and New York City go hand-in-hand. To have a Spider-Man game not set in New York City is almost unthinkable. The only question is, how can you set a Spider-Man game in the same city without making it feel like a retread of the first? Maybe Insomniac could pull a Red Dead Redemption 2 and have the original map only part of a larger one.
New York City is a massive, expansive city, full of much more than Manhattan. Why can’t we explore Brooklyn or Queens? Maybe having him swing from borough to borough is a little unrealistic, but Peter is already an MTA veteran. He can simply hop on the train to his next destination. It may disrupt the momentum of the adventure, but that’s what the Subway does, doesn’t it?
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is almost definitely a PlayStation 5 game. With that added power, we should expect an even bigger map than before. Spider-Man is New York City’s protector, after all, so why not expand his terrain?
One last point before we finish here. Sequels are all about going bigger and better, and we should see a Marvel’s Spider-Man sequel have an even greater scope. We could see that greater scope with the introduction of heroes outside of the Spiderverse.
Sure, Spider-Man has a wide and diverse stable of supporting characters of his own, but half the fun of the Marvel Universe is seeing characters from all corners interact with each other. Honestly, it’s would be more weird to have Spider-Man not interact with his fellow heroes.
This is a world where the Avengers are very much established, as we all now. We also know street-level heroes like Jessica Jones and Daredevil exist, plus there are entire costumes dedicated to the Fantastic Four. Since this universe is filled with superheroes, why not have Spidey team up with some of them?
The problem is that this is still the Peter Parker show, so it wouldn’t be a hero that would outshine him. Maybe have Spider-Man team up with a character like Daredevil. He’s a prominent prominent hero, for sure, but not necessarily an A-lister. Or maybe we could have the Fantastic Four return to New York after a cosmic trip? Having Marvel’s first family be reintroduced to the world through this game would immediately create a compelling hook for a sequel. Spider-Man’s hands will definitely be tied up in this sequel. An extra set of hands (or four) wouldn’t hurt, then, right?
With such a strong debut, the question is how to improve upon the first game. What do you want to see in a Marvel’s Spider-Man sequel? Let us know!