The Next Spider-Man Video Game Shall Soon Be Revealed

Illustration for article titled The Next Spider-Man Video Game Shall Soon Be Revealed

Following up on the compelling-yet-flawed Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Activision once again taps developer Beenox to handle the next Spider game, with a grand reveal slotted during a panel at next month's Wondercon in San Francisco, with some very special guests.

While I wasn't a big fan of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions overall, I did appreciate the skill and care that Beenox brought to the franchise, so I'm quite interested to see what the developer brings to the heavily webbed table next. It looks like my wait won't be long, as a Wondercon 2011 panel slated for April 2 promises to spill the details on Spider-Man's next big video game adventure.

4:30-5:30 Activision Spider-Man- Marvel, Activision, and acclaimed developer Beenox are headed to WonderCon with all-new Spider-Man videogame content! First, take a tour with Beenox down memory lane of the award-winning Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, and discuss their post-launch reactions and what key learnings from the fans they are applying to future games. Next, be the first to check out exclusive details, screenshots and videos of the next Spider-Man game, with game development talent from Beenox, acclaimed Marvel writer Peter David (co-creator of Spider-Man 2099), voiceover talent Josh Keaton (voice of Spider-Man in The Spectacular Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions) and Marvel's VP of games production, TQ Jefferson. Room 103


Those are some intriguing guests, aren't they? Josh Keaton voiced Ultimate Spider-Man in Shattered Dimensions, which would seem to point towards a reprisal of the role, but the what about Peter David, the co-creator of Spider-Man 2099 and one of my personal favorite authors? Is it a 2099 game? An Ultimate Spider-Man game? Are we going to get a Shattered Dimensions sequel? We'll find out come April 2.

As long as Peter David's involved, count me in.

WonderCon 2011 Schedule [Official Website via Siliconera]

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This probably isn't going to be the movie game for Amazing Spider-Man (a.k.a. the reboot film). But I'm still kind of afraid that that's what they'll be announcing.

I'd definately want to see a PROPER Spider-Man game. From what I understand, Shattered Memories was a decent enough attempt at that. But I was personally turned off by the idea that the game is split into four universes. Y'know, I don't want four small games about different Marvel Universes on one disc. I want one game that really focuses on one story. And I want it done well. With varied, well balanced and well designed gameplay and a story that actually drives the player.

Can I just pitch my design plan here?

Okay, first of all... The game has just one big story. It's not a patchwork of smaller stories that end with the player fighting one of 25 Spider-Man villains. It's just one storyline and there's just one bad guy that we're going after. And I want him to torment Spider-Man along the way, like many of Spider-Man's most dangerous villains do in the comics. It has to get vicious, it has to get personal. I want it to feel like Peter Parker and the people that he holds dear are, in fact, in great danger. And I want to see some desperation, frustration and fear in Peter Parker. I don't want this to be a game about Spider-Man doing New York a favour and getting rid of some super villains terrorizing the city. I want this to be about life and death. And I want this to be about Peter Parker.

Of course we will have to face some other bad guys along the way, but dealing with the other bad guys needs to make sense in terms of storytelling. They have to be there for a reason. They have to fit into the big picture, y'know. There's bound to be a moment in the game where the player asks himself/herself, "Somebody is turning Peter Parker's life into living hell and he's scared shitless for his own life and the lives of his loved ones - why is he now going after this small-time supervillain?". And whenever the player asks himself/herself that, I want the game to have a logical explanation for moments like that. Something like... "The real bad guy made an anonymous threat at Aunt May and he left this thing as a clue. We don't know what this thing is, but [name of super villain] would know. We need him to tell us what he knows."


We need varied and well balanced gameplay. Not just an open world littered with nodes that will start missions that repeat the same formulas over and over again. No. We want the gameplay to go hand-in-hand with the story to keep things interesting. I want some detective-styled gameplay, some stealth, some action, some adventuring, and I even want gamplay as Peter Parker. This game needs to be a story about the life of Spider-Man. And Peter Parker isn't Spider-Man all the time - he has a personal life too. And since the bad guy of the story is terrorizing our hero both when he's in costume and out, I want the player to see and feel the side of Peter Parker's life when he's not Spider-Man.


I want to see normal people in the supporting cast. This shouldn't be a game where you just try introduce as many Marvel super heroes and villains as possible. I want to see Peter Parker and Spider-Man to turn to a supporting cast of non-superpowered characters for help. After all, Peter is in serious trouble and he needs all the help he can get. And if you've read the comics, you'll know that the hero has quite a lot of friends and allies that he won't hesitate to ask for help when he needs it.

Spider-Man alone doesn't make it a Spider-Man experience. The game and the story need some flesh around the bones.


Does the game need Venom? - My personal opinion is that every Spider-Man game needs Venom! He's the coolest super hero comic character of all time! Ever!

But I still think we should leave Venom out of this one and maybe save him for the sequel. Let's just focus on the basics here and try to make the awesomeness of this game come from the story and the gameplay and not go for the easy instant-awesomeness that comes from including Venom in the game.

First I want a Spider-Man game that has the kind of story and gameplay that you could call - with good reason - a "Spider-Man comic translated into a video game". I don't want it to be just a Spider-Man game. I want it to be a Spider-Man experience!

Once we've got that right and we've made an awesome game with some classic villain like the Green Goblin or Dock Ock as the main villain... THEN we can start thinking about doing one better with the sequel and having Venom play the role of the main bad guy.