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Spider-Man Preview: The ultimate partnership

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The new Spider-Man title had a big presence at E3 this year. Sony and Insomniac Games are very confident that this is going to be an amazing Spider-Man game — but will it be the ultimate Spider-Man?

Okay — maybe I need to back off a little on the wordplay, but the end of the game’s E3 trailer seemed to hint at Miles Morales, the protagonist of the Ultimate Spider-Man comic run. In a behind-closed-doors session, my first question for James Stevenson, Community Director at Insomniac Games, was about Miles and what that means for Peter Parker’s tale.

“That was Miles Morales,” Stevenson confirmed. “Our universe is different than any other Spider-Man universe. You can see the signs that say re-elect Osborn for Mayor — that’s obviously very different from any other Spider-Man universe — so you’ll find a lot of characters in our universe that are familiar characters that may be in new rolls.
“Miles is an awesome character. He’s in our universe. What that means, the player will find out more as we go and as we get closer to launch.”

That’s all well and good, but after the initial excitement of a totally new universe to explore had worn off a bit I was a little worried. After all, not just anyone should be messing with the Marvel Universe, cinematic or otherwise. Stevenson tried to allay my fears.

“Marvel is a great partner; it’s really great to work with those guys because they’re really passionate about it and we are really passionate about it,” he explained. “I hope that comes through in our approach to the storytelling because I think we want to be as authentic to creating a great Spider-Man story as possible.

“We developed the story hand-in-hand with [Marvel]. Marvel Games is in Burbank, just like we are. They’re five minutes down the road so they are over at our office all the time — they’re really a part of the team.

“Bill Rosemann is the Creative Director there who’s been working at Marvel for a long time and there are other people from there like Mike Jones and a bunch of other people who are very, very involved and they want to see this be just as great as we do so they are super great partners because they are able to help us. They’re so authentic and tied into that Marvel world but at the same time they work with us to help us realise our vision too.”

Insomniac has gone beyond getting Marvel’s blessing and has entered into a partnership to make sure this is the best Spider-Man game we’ve ever seen. Having yet to go hands-on with the title, we can’t confirm if that’s the case — but things do look promising. The main thing I took away from my time with Spider-Man was that this is Peter Parker in his prime. He’s 23 years old, confident and at the top of his game. I can’t wait to see what it is that knocks him off that high perch, enabling him to make an inevitable climb back to that peak.

Spider-Man will launch in 2018, exclusive to the PS4.