Improvements We’d Like to See in the Marvel’s Spider-Man Sequel

In order for the Marvel's Spider-Man sequel to standout, it will need to consider how it can improve on its winning formula. To prevent a samey sequel following two already similar games from Insomniac Games, this article will highlight areas in which the follow-up could improve.

Improvements We’d Like To See In The Marvel’s Spider-Man Sequel - header

With two entries in Insomniac Games’ web-swinging series, the Marvel’s Spider-Man sequel needs to innovate on its winning formula. While both games were met with acclaim from the fans, it’s arguably at risk of growing stale with another entry. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales introduced a variety of new mechanics, but ultimately provided an all too familiar experience. While hidden behind new animations, not much changed outside of Miles’ electrifying Venom Powers.

With the sequel very likely returning to a Peter Parker centric experience, the game risks losing its prior changes. With two adventures in New York already under players’ belts, the setting also risks losing its charm. As such, this article will present possible solutions to prevent a samey experience. Here are improvement’s I’d like to see in the Marvel’s Spider-Man sequel.

Marvel’s Spider-Man – Be Greater Extended Trailer | PS4

Improved Web-Swinging

The web-swinging was an aspect of the game widely praised in reviews. There was a reason the term, “it makes you feel like Spider-Man,” became so overused. The traversal granted to Peter and Miles via their webbing makes fast-travel essentially redundant. Quick, expressive and ever engaging, it’s one of the best forms of travel in gaming. The mechanic is the kind of feature that makes players load the game just for a few minutes of swinging. It allows wall running for rapid ascension, while web-swinging can incorporate stylish stunts, especially with Miles. However, the movement was not without its issues. Players who closely analyse the swinging start to notice the more limiting aspects of the gameplay.

Momentum is a significant issue with the established web-swinging. While it’s possible to pick up some immense speed, most of the actions and stunts outside the basic swing reduce it. Even the web-zip, that pulls the character forward, briefly halts the onward momentum. While it might be unnoticeable at first, transitions into wall-running or zips to perch points cause a momentary animation pause. While Miles received a much smoother animation, allowing the zip to seem more natural, the pause to momentum is still there.

In order to improve on the web-swinging, Marvel’s Spider-Man sequel needs to focus on two things: momentum and freedom. As mentioned above, the game needs to reduce how often the character is slowed down by animations. Additionally, the animations lock the player into a restricted, albeit flashy, form of movement. The game could benefit from more techniques that allow for quicker changes to direction. Ascending without wall-running is slow and tedious, so the game should introduce swinging abilities that allow for quick upward movements. This is especially true for Peter, who lacks Miles’ venom boosts.

It’s good, but not flawless.

It’s good, but not flawless.

Expanded Powers and Gadgets

The next game won’t get away with simply providing gamers with a new story. If Peter and Miles play identically to their previous appearances, fans will question its worth. Between Peter’s arsenal of gadgets and Miles’ Venom powers, they will need to be creative to expand on them further. They demonstrated the ability to do this between the first two, with Miles having access to a variety of new techniques. Wall and ceiling takedowns are an example of how simple extensions of previous mechanics can go a long way. However, fans might expect much greater steps to be taken with a full sequel.

Thankfully, the story premise set up for the Marvel’s Spider-Man sequel could already provide the solution, at least for Peter. The end-credits of the first game teased the involvement of the symbiote, which could easily expand Peter’s capabilities. Giving him an additional power via the symbiote could function in combat much the same way as Miles’ bioelectricity.

More than likely though, it would function as a different form Peter could swap into. This could even require some strategy, having it be more effective against certain enemies. Additionally, it could be a detriment against enemies using fire or sound, as it’s the symbiote’s weakness in the comics. However, the issue that could arise from this comes from the post-game. If the story concludes Peter’s involvement with the symbiote, he would eventually lose it.

Peter and Miles need to have distinguished and separate gameplay experiences.

Peter and Miles need to have distinguished and separate gameplay experiences.

As for Miles, his noticeably smaller stockpile of gadgets opens up an easy avenue of improvement for his gameplay. That being said, the developers would be wise not to duplicate any of Peter’s gadgets. Maintaining the two characters’ individuality should remain a priority, to avoid one feeling redundant.

Unleash the Rogues Gallery

An aspect of the first two games that felt rather lacking was the implementation of the characters’ iconic villains. This might sound strange, as players will recall that the entirety of the Sinister Six have made an appearance. While the games masterfully used the leading villains, the others felt like rushed inclusions. Outside of Doc Ock and Mister Negative, the other antagonists were defeated fairly quickly after their debuts. This also led to some awkward pacing in the story, as the villains were all crammed into the final act.

A game that comes to mind regarding well distributed villains throughout the entire experience is the Batman: Arkham series. The latest entry in the franchise, Batman: Arkham Knight, treated the majority of its rogues gallery as side content. It wisely introduced each villain during the story, but left it to the player to follow up on them later. Marvel’s Spider-Man actually did this to a small degree with Tombstone, and even Screwball to a lesser extent. However, the rest of the side content, while fun, could have benefitted from more villain involvement.

Miles would also benefit from more rogues to his personal gallery.

Miles would also benefit from more rogues to his personal gallery.

If the Marvel’s Spider-Man sequel wants to improve its villains’ representation, it needs to give them more spotlight. Rather than defeating them in just one or two missions, they should be given a longer lasting presence. This could be done through entire arcs told across multiple side quests, allowing them to be fleshed out. This could also help to reduce the more boring a repetitive pieces of side content. Additionally, the game should seek to expand the gallery, rather than reusing previous antagonists. Kraven, the Lizard, Green Goblin, Venom and more are waiting in the wings.

A Setting Expansion

This is perhaps the issue that is going to be the most difficult to circumnavigate. Spider-Man is a New York-based hero, that has always been a part of his character. Taking the character out of the Big Apple is tricky; its where his friends, family and personal enemies are based. Additionally, not many cities compare to NYC when providing Spidey with a concrete jungle to swing through. However, since the previous two games shared a setting, it’s already been explored top to bottom. If the next game also occurs in New York, the charm of exploration could be lost. While Miles’ game expanded on the setting ever so slightly, that can only be done so much.

An obvious solution would be to expand beyond Manhattan, as the first game was contained to that area. However, as mentioned above, the surrounding areas don’t quite facilitate web-swinging the same way. While it could be fun to introduce areas that require more creative traversal, it risks being tedious. On the other hand, Insomniac’s New York is only 1/4 the size of the real thing, so it does have room to expand. Another solution would be to introduce more explorable interiors. For the most part, interiors existed solely as one time mission areas. Opening up areas such as the subways and other buildings could make for a more exciting world.

You can take the Spider out of New York, but you can’t take NYC out of the Spider

You can take the Spider out of New York, but you can’t take NYC out of the Spider

Alternatively, the more drastic solution for a Marvel’s Spider-Man sequel would be to introduce an entirely different city. Whether it was for the whole game or just a potion of it, other cities have potential. However, as previously stated, New York contains most of Spidey’s plot relevant associates, so it likely couldn’t last long.

Avoiding a Samey Sequel

By the time the DLC content was released for the first game, some players complained about it getting repetitive. The thrill of playing as Spider-Man in a way that many found to be the best yet, set a high bar. However, even with Miles’ expanded gameplay, it became apparent the same thing a third time would be underwhelming. While Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales got a pass for not being a full sequel, the next won’t share that luxury. However, as this article has suggested, the potential to keep the experience fresh certainly exists. It simply remains to be seen whether Insomniac Games can create a standout sequel.

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales - Be Yourself TV Commercial | Playstation

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