After years of disappointment on this particular comic adaptation front, it looks we can finally look forward to a Spiderman game that has gone through rigorous design testing and development consideration.
For too long the Spiderman IP has been treated poorly by Activision amongst others, with most of them just being movie tie-ins that lacked any depth. Thanks to the team at Insomniac Games, we can look forward to a Spiderman game with its own unique story. How did Activision have the gall to release a Spiderman game where his webs clearly just shoot straight up in the air and don’t attach to any buildings?
From mission design to the way Spiderman swings through the New York skyline, only Spiderman 2 on the PS2 which was loosely based on the movie, is worthy of the name. For every decent Spiderman game, there’s 5-6 just awful attempts, with the vast majority being published by the behemoth that is Activision.
Welcome to the S**tshow
Following on from 2004s Spiderman 2, Activision released 8 Spiderman games in a little over a decade. Clearly, Activision had a quantity over quality mentality. And they weren’t just on the PS2/3 or the Xbox 360, Activision flooded the market to try and get them on every possible console including the Nintendo Wii, DS, Gameboy Advance, GameCube, to name a few.
- Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six
- Spider-Man (2002)
- Spider-Man 2
- Spider-Man & Friends
- Ultimate Spider-Man (2005 video game)
- Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
- Spider-Man: Battle for New York
- Spider-Man 3
- Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
- Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
- Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2
- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
- Spider-Man: Edge of Time (developed by Beenox)
- The Amazing Spider-Man (developed by Beenox)
Activision isn’t alone in having this policy of flooding the market with utter crap, although they do seem to be one of the few who haven’t changed their ways. A couple of years ago you could say the same thing about Ubisoft with the yearly Assassins Creed game selling less and less. What did Ubisoft do to change the fortunes of that franchise? They took a break from it and went a couple of years without releasing one. With their first venture back into the world of AC, they created a classic in Assassins Creed Origins. It was one of the most well-received games in the history of the franchise, receiving a Bafta Game of the year nomination in the process.
Ubisoft also had a similar problem with the Far Cry franchise. While Far Cry 4 was well received, the very next year they released a fully fledged sequel in Primal. However, little had changed other than the time period, with some people pointing out that the maps in 4 and Primal were incredibly similar in size and design.
In my opinion, the history of Spiderman games is similar to South Park‘s. Only when Matt Stone and Trey Parker became actively involved in development did we see how good those games could be. If a studio/Publisher is only developing a game to make a quick buck, like previous Spiderman/South Park games, it’ll show very quickly when you play it.
Thankfully, with Spiderman now being published by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), we can rest assured that in September we’re going to get a Spiderman game of the highest quality. One that Peter Parker deserves for his understated dedication to his job despite being featured in dodgy media more often than not.