Spider-Man, one of the most popular and commercially successful superheroes in the world, has a long history in gaming, and the web-head’s PlayStation 4-exclusive title from Insomniac Games will be the latest in that web. It will also have a lot to live up to, as Spider-Man has appeared in many beloved games.
It’s been a few months since anything new has been heard of the still-untitled game from Insomniac, the Burbank studio known for Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, and the Resistance series. A new trailer promoting the PlayStation 4 for the holidays, “The King,” features a master gamer who traverses different realms that represent games arriving soon on Sony’s console, with Spider-Man — in his unique costume with a white spider emblem — appearing towards the end.
The commercial confirms Spider-Man is still full speed ahead at Insomniac and will arrive on the PS4 sometime in the future, just not anytime soon. Spidey’s game will be the first of Marvel’s renewed interest in games, announced at E3 2016, in which Marvel will work with game companies that share “vision” in making “epic games” fans will love.
That’s a tall order. Fans still have fond memories of various Spider-Man games, such as 2000’s Spider-Man for the original PlayStation, which set a seriously high bar for superhero games to come. There were already many Spider-Man games before — Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage was a living room staple in the ‘90s — but Neversoft’s Spidey was legit. (Neversoft followed up with Spider-Man as a playable character in the acclaimed Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2.)
The Spider-Man movies of the 2000s also provided a slew of great games, namely Spider-Man 2 for the Xbox, PlayStation, and GameCube which had an explorable open-world New York for the first time. A year later came Ultimate Spider-Man, which did essentially the same thing but was based off Brian Michael Bendis’s Ultimate Spider-Man comics complete with stylish cel-shaded graphics.
The later 2000s had a bunch of original Spider-Man games that were a little more hit or miss. 2009’s Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, still an open-world game, allowed players to switch between Spider-Man and the iconic “Black Suit” Spider-Man infected with the symbiote. Later games like Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and Spider-Man: Edge of Time weren’t the hits they were probably supposed to be.
In addition to great ensemble games like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and the kick-ass Marvel vs. Capcom fighting games, Spidey is a force to reckon with in games. Insomniac probably knows what it’s doing with Spider-Man, but it’s still hopeful they know how to make Spidey do what a spider can.