Footage and previews for Spider-Man 2 have revealed how much of a technical improvement it is over the previous games.
Frankly, Sony doesn’t really need to market it given it’s a sequel to one of the PlayStation 4’s best-selling games, starring one of the most popular superheroes in the world, but it’s been sharing new footage and details anyway.
Developer Insomniac Games has dropped a number of details excited fans will want to know about, including how many suits it includes, how it’ll run, and the exclusion of a certain fan favourite Spidey character.
First things first, with the sequel featuring two playable Spider-Men – Peter and Miles – there will be more than 65 different suits to unlock. For comparisons’ sake, the original PlayStation 4 game had 28 at launch (subsequent updates bumped it up to 47) while the Miles Morales game had only 20.
Technically, there’re even more suits than that since, unlike the other two games, Spider-Man 2 lets you customise them with unlockable colour shaders, allowing for ‘over 200 ways for you to outfit your Spider-hero.’
Aside from some wholly original suits, there will be ones lifted directly from other Spider-Man media. Eagle-eyed fans have already spotted the Superior Spider-Man suit (from when Doctor Octopus took over Peter’s body in the comics) as well as the black suit from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, letting fans truly replicate the Bully Maguire memes.
Perhaps an even more exciting detail is that Spider-Man 2 will have ray-tracing enabled by default. There is a still a Performance and Graphics mode, that determines whether you concentrate on frame rate or graphical effects, but both will have ray-tracing enabled.
The Miles Morales game saw an update that allowed ray-tracing at 60 frames per second, and Insomniac has used that experience to bring permanent ray-tracing to Spider-Man 2.
‘There’s no mode of this game that has the ray tracing turned off, no need for it. We’ve really figured out how to deliver what we feel like is the right Spider-Man picture and visuals and we want to make sure every player is seeing that,’ says Mike Fitzgerald, director of core technology, in an IGN interview.
As for new characters, while Insomniac is teasing even more villains besides Kraven, Venom, and the Lizard, it has unequivocally ruled out Gwen Stacy, aka Spider-Gwen, aka Ghost-Spider making an appearance.
Narrative director Jon Paquette was specifically asked by TheGamer if there was any chance of her popping up in Spider-Man 2, especially given her significance in Peter’s backstory in the comics and her close relationship with Miles in the animated Spider-Verse movies.
‘You know what, we entertain [the idea of] all the characters all the time. All of us at the studio are fans of Marvel. And so, one of the great things about Insomniac is that we love to get ideas from everybody on the team, so we’re always getting ideas,’ answers Paquette.
‘But we also need to stay focused on what is the story that we’re trying to tell and Gwen isn’t part of the story that we’re trying to tell unfortunately.’
It does make sense considering there’s no evidence of Gwen Stacy doing spider-related superheroics in Insomniac’s universe and introducing her via multiverse shenanigans would be too much for a game that’s already dealing with multiple plot threads already.
Still, Paquette never rules out Gwen popping up in a hypothetical sequel, be it from another dimension or as a resident of the Insomniac universe.
Spider-Man 2 launches for PlayStation 5 on October 20.
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