The GRTV team are in the E3 trenches, talking with everyone they can about the hottest games on show, and few titles were as hot as the PS4-exclusive, Spider-Man. Thus we had a chat with Bryan Intihar, from Insomniac Games, who told us about the pillars that will define this Spider-Man experience.
"We want to deliver on the story," Intihar told us. "Whether it's the comics, the cartoons, the movies, or the TV shows, it all starts with the story, and for us it starts with Peter. As awesome as it is to be Spider-Man, for everybody to connect with him, we need to deliver that human story with Peter Parker. We're going to show how Spider-Man's and Peter Parker's worlds collide, and that's a big thing for us."
"Another goal is to deliver on the fantasy of being Spider-Man, whether it's the improvisable nature of his combat, the expanded move-set, the traversing, parkouring over objects, and lastly those big spectacle moments, the blockbuster moments only Spider-Man can survive. The human story, being Spider-Man, and obviously New York, making a world that people want to explore, to spend time in. That's really what we want to deliver on."
There's a lot of impressive things about Spider-Man, and the fluidity of the combat is definitely among them. Insomniac seems to have a very clear idea of what kind of a fighter Peter Parker is, and how to transition that into gameplay.
"Spider-Man is not a bruiser, we see it more as an acrobatic improviser, this idea that he ping-pongs during combat. Whether he's using stealth, air combat, fighting, he's always looking to the environment for things to take advantage of. Even his gadgets, you saw the impact web, that cocoons a guy, but also the web trip-wire, that he can place not only in the environment but also on people. If they walk by that area they will slam into the wall, or if I were to stick it in you and the camera guy, you would slam together. We definitely want to have a lot of options regarding combat."
Combat and set pieces are not all we're getting in Spider-Man, since this will be an open-world game that plays out in a version of Manhattan, but Insomniac Games is not ready to spill the beans.
"I can't really talk about the open-world, we're now focusing on combat and traversal, but obviously, it's Spider-Man, you want to swing around the world right? We gonna take advantage of that, and we're building a great New York City. That will be a big focus for us in the months to come, as we show more of the game."
Insomniac's Spider-Man will have its own universe, independent from comics or movies. There are, however, several elements 'plucked' from different sources, like Ultimate's Spider-Man, Miles Morales, at the end of the trailer.
"We didn't want to tie-in to a movie, or tell a story people might have read in the comics. Those are great stories, but people have experienced those stories before. Our philosophy is to create a unique Spider-Man universe. We want to respect the traditions of the franchise, the DNA of the character, but also mix things up.
"You saw the addition of Mr. Negative, you saw Miles at the end, something people don't expect. At the same time, though, we're also going to have those classic scenes, like the one with Fisk. Look at the suit. He's got the traditional mask, he's got the red and blue. You know that's Spider-Man, right? But he also has a big spider on his back and front. Why is it white? Why is it so big? That makes him recognisable, but there's also something different about it, and that's kind of what we want to do. That's our philosophy, whether it's the gameplay, the story, or the whole universe we're creating."
This is a big undertaking for Insomniac Games, but the studio believes they were the right guys and gals for the job.
"He's a fun character, and our DNA in Insomniac is making fun games, and we want to take advantage of his humour. That's actually one of the hardest things, to get his humour right, because he's such a challenging character from a writing standpoint, but our writers have done a fantastic job."
"Our first open world game was Sunset Overdrive, and that gave us a great foundation to build upon. Between our tech team, our artists, our animators, our riggers, our lighters... everybody you can think of. I have the easy job, I get to talk about it. Those guys, they are killing it. I was watching a few streams in the last few days, and I saw the old trailer, and I was thinking 'it looks good, but man, now it looks a lot better now'. From the lighting to the details, everything across the board looks better, and I hope that continues as we move forward. He even moves faster then what we're showing in the demo, and to have a city that detailed, and to have him moving that fast, it's really a technical achievement players will definitely benefit from."
"We know we have to get it right," Intihar continued. "We hope last year's trailer showed we were in the right start, and this is another step forward. Every single time we show you the game, we just want to keep delivering on that promise, that this will be a Spider-Man experience that hopefully you guys will always remember. [...] We feel good about 2018, to get it out and let people enjoy it, because we really just scratched the surface. We showed you 90 seconds last year, we're showing almost 10 minutes now, but there's a lot more game, a lot more story, a lot more fun gameplay we haven't revealed yet. It's a dream project for Insomniac Games, and especially for me personally."
Spider-Man is coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 in 2018, and you can watch our team's full interview below.