How Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 Sets Up the Sequel | Gaming News
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These villains and heroes are teased for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 reinvents the wall-crawler’s mythology with a story that both pulls from the classics and forges its own new path. Based on the events of the game, the story could go in a number of directions, so here’s our breakdown of what might be in store for the sequel based on the comics and our good ol’ Spidey-sensibilities.
Warning: full spoilers for Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4!
In the post-credits scene, Norman Osborn enters his secret lab to check on his son Harry, who is sick with the same illness that took his wife. Harry is suspended in a tank full of green liquid and covered in black goop that has to be none other than the Venom symbiote. Though it has yet to be confirmed that it is indeed the Venom symbiote, we’re taking it as a clear sign that Venom will be featured heavily in the sequel. Although, this depiction is far from what Spidey fans are used to seeing.
In the comics, the symbiote was an alien entity that bonds with a host to give them enhanced abilities. After Spider-Man realized it was influencing him to act violently out of character, he cast it aside, only for it to then bond with disgraced journalist Eddie Brock and become the big-mouthed creature known as Venom. The stinger scene shows that the alien origin is being eschewed for something more in line with the Ultimate Spider-Man comics where the symbiote was initially created as a cure for cancer by Peter Parker and Eddie Brock’s fathers. (Suffice to say, that experiment didn’t work out as they intended.)
While in the comics Harry followed in his father’s footsteps and became the second Green Goblin, it now looks like he’ll be the initial host for the Venom symbiote. That’s similar to the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series where Harry became Venom and — get this — he won over the public’s affection in a way Spider-Man never could… until, of course, he turned into the monster we know Venom to be.
All that said, the folks at Insomniac Games were adamant about making this first Spider-Man game an original tale rather than an adaptation of an existing story, so even though there’s a precedent for the symbiote as a medical-science-experiment-gone-wrong and Harry-as-Venom, it’s likely they’ll take their version of Venom in a new direction. What we are certain about is that this take on Venom has the potential to be more personal for Peter than any version previous. The game showed how Harry was a dear friend to Peter and MJ since childhood, and after learning about his sickness they of course want him to get better, but how will Spider-Man respond when he sees that his best friend got a second chance at life… at the cost of becoming a monster?
It’s also worth mentioning that a couple Easter eggs gave us the whereabouts of two men who played host to the Venom symbiote in the comics.
Found in one of the backpacks throughout the city, the good-luck card that Peter received when he left the Daily Bugle features signatures from his former co-workers, including Eddie Brock. Harry may have what appears to be the Venom symbiote at the moment, but there’s nothing stopping it from eventually finding Eddie, perhaps after he suffers a self-inflicted fall from grace, just like in the comics.
After losing his legs while fighting as a soldier for the US army, Flash Thompson was given a second chance to fight for his country when the government gave him the symbiote and dubbed him Agent Venom.
In the game, inspecting a flyer inside F.E.A.S.T. cues dialogue from Peter about how his friend Flash is helping out veterans, which sows the seeds for what Flash may one day become.
While many of Spider-Man’s most iconic villains have been operating for years, this game was essentially a prequel to Norman Osborn becoming the Green Goblin. We saw proto versions of all off his signature gear: his secret lab includes a high-tech mask and hand grenades (aka Pumpkin Bombs), the Oscorp lobby features a display for what is clearly his Goblin Glider, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the green liquid in Harry’s bacta tank ends up being the Goblin Formula that grants super-strength, accelerated healing, and an unhealthy dose of pure insanity.
Norman’s world came crashing down around him thanks to Mister Negative and Doctor Octopus, so it’s easy to see why he would take precautions to make sure he will never be bullied by a bunch of supervillains again — by becoming an even more dangerous supervillain himself.
Besides, Spider-Man’s best stories always come when his two worlds collide, and it’s hard to imagine a bigger collision than Peter facing off against the father-son duo of Norman/Green Goblin and Harry/Venom.
More Iconic Spider-Man Villains
Venom and Green Goblin would already be a lot for a sequel, but the first game teased numerous other iconic Spidey bad guys who could also make an appearance.
He’s inside the vial of sand found in a backpack atop Avengers Tower. If that vial were to break…
The gag fight in the Halloween section of the game was funny for what it was, but an actual full-on battle with Mysterio would be quite welcome. One backpack contains a shard of Mysterio’s helmet, confirming that Spidey has fought him before, and the book “Work/Life Balance For Idiots” was written by Dr. Ludwig Rineheart, an alias used by the villain, so we know he’s out there… somewhere… waiting to be punched in the fishbowl.
Peter’s college thesis, again found in a backpack, was graded by Dr. Miles Warren aka the Jackal, the supervillain responsible for the infamous Clone Saga. Ben Riley, anyone?
Doc Ock’s Mysterious Benefactor
Otto Octavius’s robotic arms sure went from underfunded science project to next-level mechanical wonder in a hurry, but how? When Otto calls Peter over to show off his new mechanical arms, there are numerous boxes, an invoice, and even a yellow mug with branding for A.I.M. — Advanced Idea Mechanics — an evil science organization from Marvel lore known for creating technological terrors and genetic monstrosities. They’re the ones responsible for the giant, floating head known as M.O.D.O.K.
While A.I.M. weren’t explored in this game, they would make a fine inclusion for the sequel. Peter will likely want to get to the bottom of how his mentor and idol fell from grace, not to mention it’d be cool to see Peter’s scientific prowess go up against the combined scientific might of an entire nefarious group.
Mary Jane Watson, Reporter at Large
With a new villainous organization to learn about, who better to investigate than freshly-promoted Daily Bugle reporter Mary Jane Watson? We’re all about MJ’s new Lois Lane-inspired career because it allows her world to crossover with Spidey’s in a more meaningful and exciting way than when she was a supermodel or club owner in the comics. The Ultimate version of MJ was an aspiring journalist, although she was still in high school, so there’s not much precedent for MJ being a reporter in the comics. That makes it hard to speculate where she could go in the sequel, but we know that we do want to see her continue to grow as Spider-Man’s partner and develop some new skills along the way.
By the end of the first game, MJ was equipped with multiple tools to help her sneak around and either distract or incapacitate guards, so we expect her to have more refined and effective methods by the time the sequel rolls around. Also, we’d love for future MJ missions to allow us to investigate crime scenes and interview witnesses to piece together a criminal case.
With MJ and Peter reconciling their relationship by game’s end, we’re intrigued to see where they go from here. MJ becoming a reporter is what brought them together, but what if Spider-Man gets incriminated in a case and MJ is forced to choose between telling the truth and protecting the man she loves?
Taskmaster lets slip that an unnamed party paid him six figures to go after Spider-Man, but we never learn the name behind the money. Taskmaster has worked for A.I.M. in the comics, which would tie nicely into the Doc Ock twist, but if this ends up being a different secret organization, then it could be almost anyone. Taskmaster is a mercenary who has played the part of hero, villain and everything in-between, so he could be working for S.H.I.E.L.D., the Thunderbolts, or even the Secret Avengers, like he has in the comics.
The Avengers, The Defenders and Other Marvel Heroes
The Avengers’ Avengers Tower headquarters is prominently featured on the New York City skyline. Street-level Defenders heroes Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist all have their local haunts featured in the game. There are also Easter eggs for Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and other Marvel characters. None of these heroes actually make an appearance, but now that they’re all set up, the door is open for any number of them to appear. It was a delightful surprise when Wolverine made a surprise cameo in 2005’s Ultimate Spider-Man game for just one (very memorable) sequence, so we’re hoping the next game finds a way to delight players in a similar fashion.
Speaking of Wolverine, we couldn’t help but notice that both Marvel properties that have movie rights owned by Fox, the X-Men and Fantastic Four, were absent from the game — there was no Baxter Building, Latverian Embassy, or sign of the X-Men in NYC — so here’s hoping the pending Disney/Fox deal goes through and those characters are allowed to take their rightful place in this version of the Marvel Universe.
A New Anti-Hero With a Familiar Face
Captain Yuri Watanabe was Spider-Man’s begrudging ally inside the NYPD, but did you know in the comics she becomes a costumed crusaded called Wraith? Things got intensely personal for Yuri when it came to taking down Mister Negative, so she suited up and went after him without the law holding her back. Those methods didn’t sit well with Spider-Man, naturally, so the two ended up butting heads. That could be where we see Yuri go in the sequel, but honestly we’d be completely fine with more banter about Spider-Cop.
The end of the game sees Miles Morales develop full-on spider-powers thanks to the bite of a genetically-engineered spider, just like in the comics. There are numerous ways this could play out in the sequel.
If Miles dons his black-and-red costume to fight crime, then we could get entire levels where we play as his Spider-Man. He has a few powers that Peter doesn’t — like his electric Venom Blast stun attack and the ability to disappear with instant camouflage — so he’d make for a different gameplay experience. Those powers combined with his hacking skills displayed during the first game makes him perfect for some stealth missions. Having Miles play a similar role as Nightwing in the Batman Arkham games would be ideal; switching between two Spider-Mans mid-combat sounds like a dream.
But what if the game developers did the unthinkable and made Miles the star of the sequel? After all, in the Ultimate Universe comics Miles was inspired to be Spider-Man after Peter Parker was killed, so there’s a precedent for the game taking that route. Picture the sequel’s first act featuring Peter Parker fighting the Green Goblin, only for him to tragically die, and then Miles is left to continue his legacy as the new main character of the game.
For more on Spider-Man for PS4, check out this breakdown on the biggest changes the game made from the comics.
Joshua is Senior Editor of Tech Comics. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and Tech.