Will The Upcoming “Spider-Man” Video Game Finally Get Web Swinging Right?

Matthew Loffhagen
Insomniac Games
(Photo: Insomniac Games)

The history of “Spider-Man” video games is littered with disappointment.

The old NES, SNES, and Genesis games can be forgiven for their clunky design and inauthentic experience – old games logically couldn’t quite nail the Spider-Man experience.

Every Spidey game that was made after 2004, though, has no excuse. For some reason, Activision (a company known at the time for cheap movie tie-in games) created the perfect Spider-Man video game in “Spider-Man 2”, which ties in with the movie of the same name.

Spider-Man 2 Video Game
Source: Activision

The game may look old fashioned by today’s standards, but at the time, it was a revelation – web swinging was perfect, as gamers swung around an expansive digital version of New York, solving crimes and rescuing lost balloons.

There was a reason why gamers at the time started calling this GTArachnid – the experience felt like a “Grand Theft Auto” game, but instead of killing prostitutes, the player was tasked with saving the world.

Despite the perfect formula for future “Spider-Man” games existing, for some reason, no subsequent game has managed to recapture this formula.

“Ultimate Spider-Man” was okay, but it didn’t quite manage to sell the same experience of webbing through a city. Every other game since has been, to some extent or another, garbage.

Sure, there have been attempts to recapture the magic of “Spider-Man 2”; the “Amazing Spider-Man” games brought back narrator Bruce Campbell to help make the experience feel like a continuation of the beloved series, but considering the number of bugs in “Amazing Spider-Man 2” the game, the experience simply wasn’t the same.

Contrary to popular belief, Spider-Man video game fans do not like bugs.

This year, we’re getting a new Spidey video game, and it’s hard to deny, from the footage that’s available, things look pretty good.

To hear the developers discuss the game, it seems that they’re well aware of the expectations that are placed upon them, and the eagerness that fans have to see another game get things perfectly right, in a similar manner to “Spider-Man 2”.

That said, appearances can be deceiving. As much as this game looks the part in trailers, it remains to be seen whether “Spider-Man” lives up to both the hype, and its definitive title.

It’s nice that this game isn’t simply a movie tie-in. It’s hard to trust games that accompany films anymore, even though the trend of rushing out half-baked video games to cash in on popular movies has thankfully died somewhat in previous years.

If we’re very lucky, the upcoming “Spider-Man” will deliver the experience that fans have been clamoring for over the past fifteen years.

If it doesn’t work out, we’re back to square one, yet again.