Peter Parker and Miles Morales: your friendly neighborhood Spider-Men. Well, one Spider-Man might not be as friendly anymore and the neighborhood’s now a bit bigger. Oh, and don’t forget about the killer symbiote roaming the streets and the team of trained Russian assassins watching everything. Plus the giant lizard. And college essays. All in a day’s work, huh?
Insomniac Studios’ Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is just around the corner. It’s bigger and, from the looks of it, better than before. Need a refresher before you swing through the streets of New York? You’ve come to the right place. While I wrote an article on the game for its San Diego Comic-Con panel (link here), so much more has been revealed. So, let’s suit up and swing into our preview!
NOTE: This preview will contain spoilers for Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and potential story spoilers for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
What is Marvel’s Spider-Man?
Spider-Man, as a concept, was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962 for the 15th issue of Amazing Fantasy. Since then, the character has been in hundreds of comic issues and done just about every form of entertainment available. While the original Spider-Man was Peter Parker, a kid from Queens, many other iterations have featured new characters, like Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy, Miguel O’Hara, and Ben Reilly put on the suit. In 2014, when Marvel worked out a deal with PlayStation, Insomniac Studios (creators of the Ratchet and Clank series) chose to take over the Spider-Man IP from Activision.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 takes place 10 months after the events of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Still keeping the streets of New York safe, the two continue to juggle personal and superhero lives. Harry Osborn, once incapacitated due to his terminal illness, comes back to life. He asks Peter for his help in ‘healing the world’, which he agrees to. Miles, while being tutored by Peter, is studying for college. Things, while not ideal, are going fine. That is, until a symbiote known as Venom appears and latches itself onto Peter. This, in turn, changes his personality from happy-go-lucky to involuntarily reckless. To add to that, Kraven, the world’s best assassin, has settled into New York to hunt down the Spider-Men. The two Spider-Men become tangled in an intricate web of danger and mystery. How will it unravel and what will it cost?
The Cast and Characters
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has an all-star cast of VA legends (click on the names to see their portfolio) playing some of the series’ greatest characters. Some are returning faces while others are new to the series. They all have a role in the story, so let’s meet them!
Peter Parker / Spider-Man – Yuri Lowenthal
A smart teen from Queens with a heart of gold and wit as sharp as a spider fang. This version of Peter Parker is 23 years old (likely 24 in this game) and more experienced, having been Spider-Man for eight years. Still, getting a handle on his ‘work/life’ balance was, while easier than before, hard to maintain. When we met him in Marvel’s Spider-Man, we saw his battles with the Sinister Six. The end of the game focused on Peter’s fight between Mister Negative and Doctor Octopus after they unleashed a deadly virus upon New York City. This caused him to lose not only the trust of his role model Otto Octavius but also the life of his guardian Aunt May. He took a break during Miles Morales to take photos for Mary-Jane on a story on former villain Silver Sable’s homeland, Symkaria, before his return at the end of the game. He now tutors Miles and tries to maintain a more steady work/life balance. However, with Venom corrupting him, this might throw things out of kilter in the worst way possible.
Miles Morales / Spider-Man – Nadji Jeter
New York’s newest Spider-Man with a charming personality and shockingly good moves. After losing his father, Captain Jefferson Davis, in a public bombing by Mister Negative, he is bitten by an experimental Oscorp spider. He gained spider-like abilities similar to Peter’s and showed them off to him at the end of the first game. In his titular spin-off, he received electrical abilities, which he called Venom Power. It’s unknown if there will be any connection to the symbiote Venom, but it will likely be mentioned. His fight against The Tinkerer and Simon Kreuger ended in the death of his best friend, Phin, and with his uncle Aaron Davis, known as The Prowler, turning himself in to expose Roxxon. Rio Morales, Miles’ mother and a City Council member, discovered his dual identity and supported him. Now, with the respect and recognition of many, he has much to live up to and a legacy to create.
Mary-Jane Watson – Laura Bailey
The Daily Bugle’s most committed journalist. She is also the on/off girlfriend of Peter Parker. Her nose for the truth and her thirst to break it first can get her into some sticky situations. Fortunately, she has her wits and Spider-Man to help her bring justice to those who corrupt New York. In the first game, she frequently went to the source, even if she had to sneak through enemy lines to get it. Despite her work on many blockbuster cases, including the Devil’s Breath case, the reintroduction of J. Jonah Jameson to The Daily Bugle might cast a heavy cloud on her future. In this game, her design has changed slightly, giving Mary Jane more
Ganke Lee – Griffin Puatu
Miles’ best friend and roommate. He helps him track down crimes and requests all throughout New York City. He was introduced in Miles Morales and looks to have a significant role in this game. As seen in the trailers, his Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man app serves as a hub for side-quests, much like it did in Miles Morales. With Ganke’s computer skills, he can also hack Kraven’s drones, letting him go undercover and aid the Spider-Men with his insights and tactics. His intellect and compassion will prove useful in decisive situations, as well as being a great conversationalist for much-needed pep talks and puns.
Venom – Tony Todd
A rogue symbiote housed by Norman Osborn. Venom’s origins are unknown, but the comics mention that it is from outer space. Once in contact with the symbiote, it attaches itself to the person and uses its body, alongside super-strength and Spider-Man-like abilities, to wreak havoc. Many people have become hosts for Venom over almost 40 year history like Mac Gargan (Scorpion) and Flash Thompson. Most notably, Venom attached to vengeful journalist Eddie Brock, though it’s been confirmed Eddie won’t be the game’s main host. Instead, it looks to have attached to Harry Osborn, see in both post-credit scenes of the games, which explains his sudden reawakening. We do know that Peter Parker becomes the host for a while, garnering powerful moves and a violent personality, but how he gets it and gets rid of it is a mystery. In all of the game’s marketing, Venom has been at the forefront, so its role in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is integral to the story and gameplay. And, with legendary horror actor Tony Todd doing the voice, this mainstay villain will prove to be the biggest and fiercest one yet.
Kraven the Hunter – Jim Pirri
A contract assassin looking for his equal. Known as the world’s best hunter, Sergei Kravinoff, also known as Kraven the Hunter, has infiltrated Manhattan. As seen in previous titles, many heroes and villains call it their stomping ground, so we might run into some familiar faces. His group of ravenous hunters join him, all looking to catch some prey. Kraven’s lust for a challenge may prove fruitful in the Spider-Men, as he, in the comics, is one of their most formidable foes. A movie on the character starring Aaron-Taylor Johnson in the titular role is expected to release next year. In all of Kraven’s iterations, he bolsters immense strength and has animalistic instincts. Once he sets his sights on prey, he won’t rest until he claims his prize. Will he be victorious in his hunt or will it end up being a wild goose (or in this case, spider) chase?
Harry Osborn – Graham Phillips
Peter’s long-time friend and son of New York Mayor and Oscorp owner Norman Osborn. After inheriting his mother’s terminal illness, known as Oshtoran Syndrome, he kept it secret from his friends until his condition worsened. Put in a stasis chamber, Norman worked tirelessly to find a cure. Spider-Man, in the first game, aids him in healing the environment, just like his mother wanted to do. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the symbiote Venom attached to Harry’s body. His appearance in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 seems to hint that he merged with the alien, granting him life in exchange for his body. However, as Peter has mentioned he needs Curt Connors to save Harry, he might not be alive for too long. With the time he has, he claims to want to ‘heal the world’. How those intentions might play out will be seen in full over the course of the game. This also looks to be a kinder version of the usually stuck-up teen, but don’t expect it all to be full of happiness, especially if Venom has anything to say about it.
Norman Osborn – Mark Rolston
The corrupt Mayor of New York City and owner of Oscorp. In Marvel’s Spider-Man, Norman played a huge part in Mister Negative’s motives to destroy New York. Cowardly and selfish, he hid behind his words and hired Silver Sable and her team to protect the city instead of doing it himself. We do find out later in the game that he was working on a cure for Harry’s illness, stopping at nothing to make it work. With Harry alive in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, we can only guess what was done to make that happen, as well as what Norman will do to keep it that way. Comic book and movie fans might have an inkling as to who Norman Osborn might become, so we will have to wait and see if he dons a certain green suit this time.
Dr. Curt Connors / The Lizard – TBA
As one of New York’s best doctors, Curt Connors was a master of his field. As a matter of fact, in order to regenerate his lost right arm, he crafted a serum to make it come back. It did. Though it did have some reptilian side effects. Taking the form of a gigantic lizard, Curt Connors raged through New York. Luckily, Spider-Man was able to stop him and return him to normal. He went on to work for Norman Osborn to create a cure for Harry’s disease. At the end of Miles Morales, Norman, against Connor’s advice, tells him to release Harry from containment, which he presumably does. It’s no surprise that he, once again, returns to his lizard form in a fit of rage. Whether Connors will be more of a hero or a villain is up in the air. However, with Kraven hunting him down, The Lizard may become extinct before the end credits.
Martin Li / Mister Negative – Steven Oyoung
One of the main villains from Marvel’s Spider-Man. Martin Li was the owner of F.E.A.S.T, a center for homeless people. His past, however, was filled with torture as he was experimented on by Doctor Otto Octavius and Norman Osborn, which resulted in the death of his parents. His hate for Osborn manifested, becoming Mister Negative, and using his dark powers to run a criminal organization known as the Inner Demons to commit heinous acts of terrorism. Acting later as part of the Sinister Six, he is thwarted by Spider-Man and put in jail. It seems, however, that Martin Li’s role in the universe is not over. A bearded version is spotted by Miles during what can be seen as a mass prison break, similar to one from the first game. As Mister Negative was responsible for the death of Miles’ father, things might not look too positive for him.
Mysterio – TBA
A master of illusions and special effects, Mysterio is one of Spider-Man’s most vicious foes. While we have seen his fishbowl-headed costume at a college Halloween party in the first game, we haven’t met the man under the mask. Plus, it’s been mentioned that Peter has dealt with Mysterio before. In this game, however, it seems we’ll get a full introduction to the sinister schemer. While other people have donned the Mysterio garb, this will likely be the original wearer, Quentin Beck. And, with the inclusion of mysterious green icons dotting the skies, it’s safe to say his presence will be anything but subtle. For MCU fans, Quentin Beck/Mysterio was the villain of Spider-Man: Far From Home, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s unknown who will play Insomniac’s version at this time. Still, with Peter and Miles around, Mysterio may be the one seeing double by the game’s end.
J. Jonah Jameson – Darin de Paul
Your favorite fanatical Spider-Men hater. Once the prestigious owner of the acclaimed newspaper company The Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson holds a neverending grudge against the heroes and constantly slams them on his podcast, Just the Facts. His rage-filled sermons echoed through New York, though not in a supportive way. Despite his insane ramblings, whether it’s blaming Spider-Man for bringing crime to New York or explaining why Kingpin’s arrest is a bad idea, he isn’t far gone. J. Jonah Jameson does care about New York, he just doesn’t like Spider-Man being a part of it. Fortunately for him, he sold his podcast and is returning to run The Daily Bugle his way. We haven’t seen much of him, aside from him in a Santa outfit in Miles Morales. This game might just let us see him in his unhinged glory. Oh, and his assistant Jared, too.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2‘s gameplay will be familiar to those who played any of the previous entries. Players will be able to swing around the many boroughs of New York, now including Brooklyn and Queens, and do various missions. Using your web-shooters and gadgets (or Venom Powers), you’ll take down criminals with ease and that signature Spider-Man flair. whether it’s stealthy or upfront. The game allows you to change between both Peter and Miles whenever, giving players two different ways to play. Some missions will allow for either Spider-Men to complete them, while others ask for specific ones. You can also do team attacks if both Spider-Men are present.
The combat system will see some tweaks to provide a more fulfilling experience. This is evident in Peter’s symbiote powers, which target multiple people and lead to devastating blows. He can still use his gadgets and attack from any distance regularly, but his Venom form allows for violent attacks and quick crowd control. His regular suit will also have upgrades, with the addition of Iron Spider legs on the back of his suit. Reminiscent of an actual spider, these robotic limbs will give Peter an advantage in battle. For Miles, his Venom Powers will get stronger and new attacks will become available to him. Some might target an individual person while others will afflict damage to the entire group. He still has his invisibility, so you can stealthily take down foes if you desire. These powerful abilities can be upgraded via the menu to customize as you see fit. New to the game is a parry system, which will allow you to, if timed correctly, counter an attack.
Traversal through New York is much easier now, with the addition of Web Wings. Not only will it let you get to places faster, but you can look cool doing it. You can switch from swinging to flying whenever. It might even beat fast-traveling, as it’s quick, reliable, and just looks awesome.
Speaking of looking awesome, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 will have a bunch of costumes for Peter and Miles to wear. Comics and films inspire some of them while others are original designs. Each costume has four different color patterns to choose from, as well as its signature ability. Either way, you can play the game in style with style.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has many different editions, all with their perks. To start, by pre-ordering any version, you get two costumes (Arachknight and Shadow Spider) and one gadget (Web Grabber) available early in-game. Plus, you get three ability points to spend right away, so you can get better abilities much faster. The $80 Digital Deluxe Edition includes ten different costumes (five for each), extra items in photo mode, and two additional ability points. At $230, you can get the Collector’s Edition, which includes all the Digital Deluxe content, plus a steelbook case and a 19-inch sculpture of the Spider-Men taking on Venom. Additionally, you can get a themed PlayStation 5, alongside a digital copy of the Standard Edition, for $550.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is set to become one of the biggest and most ambitious Spider-Man games yet. You get to play as two separate Spider-Men, have all of New York City to explore, and get to battle the series’ most iconic villains. Plus, with next-gen graphics, it’ll feel like you’re playing a live-action comic book or movie. It feels like a Spider-Man fan’s dream. That dream, however, is real and coming out on October 20th, 2023. Will it live up to the acclaim of the first two games? We’ll have to wait and see.
Well, what do you think? Are you going to get Marvel’s Spider-Man 2? Who’s your favorite Spider-Man character? Let me know in the comments. If you liked this preview, feel free to leave a like and share it with your friends. Until next time, Spider-Fans!