Insomniac Games knows that there’s a lot of stake with its forthcoming Spider-Man game on PlayStation 4. So far, it’s definitely living up to the hype. But ultimately it’ll be up to the players to see if it becomes perceived as one of the best comic book-based video games ever made.
But creative director Bryan Intihar noted that the team is well aware of the bar that some comic book-based games have set — most notably Rocksteady Games’ Batman Arkham trilogy. While speaking at a recent press event overseas (one that was transcribed by Italian gaming portal Everyeye), Intihar explained that Insomniac has great respect for that particular trilogy.
“Let me get ahead of you: yes, we played the Batman Arkham games and many fans have asked how we’re going to compare with the quality standard they were able to set. Rocksteady redefined the quality of superhero games and we want to be at their same level,” Intihar explained.
Particularly with Arkham City, Rocksteady redefined what superhero video games should be. And chances are that Spider-Man will meet that level — and in some cases, perhaps even exceed it.
And then Intihar got into changing direction with slight things from the comic book, most notably with Mary Jane’s role.
“I looked back and thought: ‘How was it when you graduated? What did you do?’ I’ve been a journalist, it was one of my first jobs. During college, I wrote about video games and I remember that the Editor in Chief was very important to me, as I was searching for a guide. So I thought: who could be that kind of character for Peter? Obviously, it had to be a known character since a mentor has to be relevant. Then I also reflected on how my life changed back then. Friendships and relationships change a lot from high school to college since you often move elsewhere, start doing new things and grow up as an adult. For some, it becomes all about the career and friendships are sacrificed for that, as happened to me, but it’s an age where you feel like you can do everything even though you realize it’s actually not possible,” Intihar explained.
“We asked ourselves how we could reflect all these emotions in Peter’s context since he’s also someone who carries the weight of the world on his shoulder, and we decided it was fair for a superhero to have weaknesses, that he could find himself asking for help without feeling guilty for it. Once we had designed this situation, the obvious question was: ‘Who could help him along this journey?’ and the answer couldn’t but be Mary Jane, a woman that’s been previously featured as an actress, as a club owner, roles that I wasn’t able to fit with everything else in the game," he added.
“So, what else could we have her doing? I imagined she could be an investigative reporter, possibly looking into these Inner Demons and what’s happening in New York now that the Kingpin, AKA Wilson Fisk, is out of the game. Ultimately, it was more about deciding what we wanted from Peter and his journey. Mary Jane’s role came as a result of that, to balance everything out,” Intihar continued.
Now it’s just a matter of seeing how the game turns out. We’ll find out soon when Spider-Man ships on Sept. 7 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro.