Featured on the PlayStation Blog, Jacinda Chew, Insomniac’s senior art director, explained the creative process of designing Lizard. Notably, Chew revealed that two versions of Lizard appear in the game: one looks more like the “traditional” design of the character, with a torn lab coat and pants packaged in human size. The other, featured prominently in promotional material, looks more monstrous and significantly larger. While Peter can communicate with the smaller version of Lizard, the second is beyond human language.
How Insomniac Designed Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’s Lizard
To begin with, Insomniac turned to Marvel Comics for references. After that, Insomniac collaborated with Marvel to develop a fresh character design. “We collaborate with Marvel to put our own spin on it. It can come from the gameplay, or because of the narrative,” Chew explained. It’s for these reasons Insomniac came up with two versions of the character.
Insomniac also studied real-life lizards to determine the design and the best way to depict his specific features in the game. For one, Chew noted that the team studied a lot of lizard skin. They found that it looked and felt very dry. While some fans complained about Lizard in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 not looking “slimy enough,” Chew argued that Insomniac just made him look more realistic.
Chew also explained how the team aimed to avoid creating a Lizard that looked too cute. “We gave him spikes, too. For design references, I tried to look at real-life lizards that looked a bit more prehistoric, because some lizards can look kind of soft and cute. I was looking at spikier, more snake-like, more aggressive references. We also wanted eyes that look more like animal eyes. If you look at cats, their pupils grow at night. We made those kinds of eyes for him–when light hits his eyes, they look smaller, his eyes are actually reacting to light. We did a lot of research on how to make that happen in real time on the PS5.”
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 releases on October 20 exclusively for the PlayStation 5.