The new Spider-Man game needs heart, spirit and Miles Morales
Pause Resume’s Opinion Editor Jason Rocha looks at what Insomniac need to do to ensure for a great new Spider-Man game
Where superhero culture has always stood above other action oriented entertainment is in one, little, important respect, the heart.
That human factor which Spider-Man and Peter Parker embody so well and what I feel is missing from our modern superhero themed media. I was drawn into superhero mania with stories like Captain America and Wolverine rescuing a young Magneto from a concentration camp in WW2. Or 1978’s The Incredible Hulk series, which focused on Bruce Banner’s journey with the monster inside of him, his suffering perfectly conveyed through the ending Lonely Man theme which can bring any man or woman to tears on a given day.
What heroes’ need, what people need to see in their heroes, is heart. And nowhere in the vast multi, parallel, and alternate universes is this embodied more than in Spider-Man.
I will never forget the 2000’s PS1 Spider-Man game or most recognizable, the brilliance of 2004’s Spider-Man 2. The potential is there and seeing as the future Spider-Man PS4 game will stand alone from the MCU, I have high hopes for what could be the Spider-Man game I’ve been waiting for since I finished 2, all those years ago.
The game needs to capitalize on what is missing most from our modern Spider-Man: Peter Parker. First and foremost, the web-slinger needs to be a relatable guy, hell, that’s what gained him popularity in the first place. Not modern hipster Peter, and not an adorable nerd Peter, but down to earth Peter Parker who’s bullied, doesn’t have many friends and is terrible with women. Peter doesn’t have all the answers; he has to make sacrifices in order to be Spider-Man, just like us he struggles to pay bills and runs late to class. He has a busy life outside of his alter ego, before being an avenger, before being friendly-neighborhood; he needs to be just a nerdy kid from Queens. The most memorable moments from the comics are the most emotionally impactful ones, and those moments come from instances in both Peter Parker’s life and Spider-Man’s. I’d love to see sections where we can be Peter, navigating an adult life where most of it will be out of our control.
And for the love of god bring back The Daily Bugle, it’s like everyone forgot Peter Parkers a photographer.
A major arc that the game could cover, given its freedom to be as original as it wants, is The Death of Spider-Man.
The Miles Morales tease in the E3 trailer opens up a lot of opportunities and I don’t think it’s going to be something were expecting. This is an older Spider-Man, 23 to be exact, and that means Peter’s time could be running out. Spider-Man’s death would be quite a powerful moment, but I don’t think that would mean the end per say. The story can draw inspiration from multiple arcs in the comics, time-travel, clones; I can’t wait to see what Insomniac comes up with given the possibilities.
Cutting ties with the MCU means they can bring in whoever they want and do whatever they want with them. I’m personally hoping for an appearance from Spider-Gwen, Scarlet Spider, and Ben Riley. We might lose Peter Parker along the way; I just hope we’re given enough reason to care if that happens.
The superhero world may originate in comics but that does not mean it stops being relevant. A character like Spider-Man shows that we can have something in common with a hero, both the good and the bad. Storylines such as the death of Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s divorce with Mary Jane or the 9/11 issue show a side to the hero that speaks to our humanity as fans. Action is good, quips are great, but what Marvel needs to prove to us as fans is that Spider-Man still has a heart.