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15th Sep 2023

EXCLUSIVE: We’ve played a few hours of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and it is incredible

Rory Cashin

Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2 will be a must-play for all PS5 owners. was the only Irish outlet invited to a very exclusive hands-on preview with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, which will be arriving soon and exclusively for players on PlayStation 5.

In a top secret London location, we entered a large building, the interior of which had been converted to look like different points of interest within the world of the web-slinger. Dr. Connor’s laboratory, Kraven The Hunter’s trophy-filled throne room, Venom’s scientific container, and the Coney Island seafront complete with that test of strength that you slam a hammer down on.

On to the next room, endless rows upon rows of huge TV screens, each hooked up to a PS5, controller, headphones… and the media took their positions.

The portion of the game that we played isn’t from the very beginning of the game, as there are some major plot details we’re still not fully aware of, including how Peter Parker has been infected by the Venom symbiote, or how Harry Osborne has seemingly recovered from his dire position we found him in during the first game’s mid-credits scene.

Spider-Man 2

Peter Parker infected with the Venom symbiote in action during Spider-Man 2

While it has been five years since Marvel’s first Spider-Man game and three years since the Miles Morales sorta-sequel, only nine months has passed within the game.

We control Parker as he takes on Kraven The Hunter’s henchmen after they attack Norman Osborne’s headquarters. This sequence hints towards the connections with Doctor Connors aka The Lizard, as well as the deeper ties to the plots involving Venom, Kraven and other villains that we’ve met in previous games.

Moreover, we get to use Parker’s new Symbiote-assisted suite of powers, and they are appropriately impressive, accompanied by improved visuals on the PS5. And once we get out of the building and into the free-flowing traversal around the now-twice-the-size map of New York, we got a proper glimpse at the evolutionary jump in this sequel.

As much as we enjoyed the Miles Morales spin-off, it did sometimes feel like a Christmas special, but more of the same. But this sequel is closer to the leap between Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, with a vastly increased area to play around in, with the already-great gameplay mechanics fine-tuned to a masterful level.

During the event, JOE had the opportunity to chat to Jacinda Chew, the Senior Art director for Insomniac Games, and we asked her what was the biggest challenge for this sequel. Chew told us:

“I feel like the entire game is always a challenge, because it’s just more and better! But for me, personally, probably two things: building out Brooklyn and Queens, which doubles the game size, just doing that again was a lot.

“But then also, the character designs. Doing right by things like the black suit, or even Venom, because Venom is just beloved character and you ask yourself, ‘How are you gonna do Venom? And, and do Venom well?’ Those are probably the biggest challenges for the game.”

We also asked how difficult it was to re-imagine famous Spider-Man characters, considering fans would have specific imagery from the years of shows and movies. Chew replied:

“It’s actually a really good question, because I think for all of us, whether you’re making a movie or an animation or a game, there’s one bible and that bible is the comic, right? And that’s what we really all should be looking at. You have to reference the comics and then from there, you find out what makes that character design unique.

“Keep true to the original character side, but then make it your own, wrap it in your narrative, or your game or movie. So I guess for me, I don’t really look at the movie, the animation, because we are all looking at what source as the comic.”

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 will arrive exclusively on PlayStation 5 on Friday 20 October, and we’ll have more coverage on the impending gaming blockbuster very soon on JOE.

This interview was edited slightly for clarity.

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