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Spider-Man game director Ryan Smith speaks on challenges of bringing Spidey to PS4

Ben Borthwick Updated on by

It's fair to say Spider-Man for PlayStation 4 was a commericial and critical success, which was a relief to all those waiting for another Spidey game that did justice to the fondly remembered Spider-Man 2 from 2004. Just under a year later, Insomniac Games' Ryan Smith has been speaking about the challenges of bringing the hero into the modern era.

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Smith was speaking at the Gameslab event in Barcelona which was attended by Eurogamer, and he explained how important it was for Insomniac to get the experience right, saying: 'We knew that there was a chance this could be someone's first game – their first experience not only of Spider-Man, but also of gameplay, and we wanted to make sure that everyone had that hero experience we envisioned, but then as you kept with it, we wanted you to find ways to master that gameplay.'  

Of course, a major part of this was nailing the traversal and swinging, to which the studio ran into some issues at first, with Smith saying 'We got to the point where you could motor along in the city pretty well. Lines were attaching to buildings, every one of our [initial] boxes was checked, but surprise! It didn't feel fun or heroic. It didn't feel like an experienced Spider-Man.'

Obviously having a believable playground for Spidey to swing in was just as important, but this created problems of its own, particuarly when the developers tried to add fire escapes to buildings: 'If you ran into them as Spider-Man, that did not feel heroic! And then running along a wall with limited steering – when you first attached to the wall you weren't able to steer in any direction. That was something we had to learn about and change over the course of the game.'

Luckily, they eventually nailed it, and Spider-Man became Sony's fastest selling first party game ever. Colm also rated it highly in his review which you can read over here. 

Spider-Man (PS4)

on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

A new Spider-Man title from the creators of Ratchet & Clank, and…

Release Date:

07 September 2018