Insomniac Games is known for adding several incredible details to its games, and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is no different. It’s impressive for its big-budget action scenes, incredible combat and solid writing, but all the little things immerse you in the experience. Check out 15 stunning examples of attention to detail in the sequel here.
Running the Bases
There are plenty of baseball stadiums in the sequel, but given the abundance of details in this game, you have to wonder: What happens if you run the bases? Well, nothing…unless you go to Downtown Brooklyn and visit the Big Apple Baller Stadium. Starting from the home plate, simply run all three bases. Upon reaching home, some unique dialogue will play, and you earn the Trophy, “Home Run!”
Absurdly Good Ray-traced Reflections
Wherever you go in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, the ray-traced reflections never cease to impress. From the reflections on the sides of buildings, as you swing past to balloons with metallic surfaces, they’re realistic to an insane degree. It’s all the more crazy when you consider that regardless of frame rate or mode, ray tracing is always on, and Insomniac only decided they take that direction earlier this year, per an interview with Digital Foundry. So, if you’re wondering whether they took Puddlegate personally, the answer is obvious.
If there’s one thing that the sequel gets across very clearly, it’s how neither Spider-Man is invincible. The same applies to their suits. As you lose health, they also take damage and visibly show tears. Does it make much sense that healing will magically mend them up? Well, no, but it’s still some great attention to detail.
Main Menu Screens
Memes about the start screen telling you whether a passionate overworked team had hasty shipping deadlines or simply didn’t care aside, the ones present in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 are pretty cool. While you have a screen where Miles and Peter look out over the city, unmasked, others see them talking at night or hanging on a building while the camera cuts and pans around them. However, perhaps the most impressive is the start screen with Harry Osborn, which sees him observing the Symbiote in a container tank before viewing a tablet with a picture of his mother.
Main Theme Mysterium Mix
One of the side quests in the sequel involves Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio, and his Mysteriums. They start harmless enough, with Miles experiencing the so-called “next generation of entertainment,” but quickly become more combat-focused, culminating in an unexpected twist. However, at the very start, when Miles is fulfilling his wish to be a DJ, the song being played is an electronic version of the game’s main theme. It’s a nice touch overall, and the rhythm mini-game isn’t too shabby.
Contextual Combat Animations
This can pop up occasionally based on the location, but in certain circumstances, Spider-Man uses the environment while attacking. It’s subtle and amounts to little more than vaulting over a car or pushing off an exhaust when executing an attack. So while it doesn’t add to the damage, the style points can’t be denied.
New Fisk Tower
Remember the Fisk Construction in the first game where Peter Parker had to fight off Mister Negative’s goons? If you return to the location in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, it’s complete and even has a nice little outdoor restaurant with a scenic view. Say what you will about Kingpin, but it is quite a nice view.
NPCs Doing Things
Several non-playable characters populate Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens like in the previous games. However, they’re not all just standing around. Some are busy playing Tennis, while others indulge in a yoga session in the park. When traffic accidents occur, they gather around the police barricades, trying to get a better look or wondering what happened.
New NPC Interactions
Like in the previous games, Spider-Man can interact with the regular citizens of New York City. Several new animations have been added, whether it’s the web crawler going in for a selfie, high-fiving the other person and much more. These animations have always reinforced Spider-Man’s connection to the people, and it’s nice to see them expanded upon for the sequel.
Voice Changes on Phone Calls
One of those bits of detail that seems so simple yet incredible is how a hero’s voice will change when speaking on the phone. For example, if Miles or Peter walks around and Mary Jane suddenly calls, they talk without much effort. However, if anyone calls while web-swinging, the Spider-Men’s voices are strained because they’re physically exerting themselves while maintaining the conversation. It’s all the little things which truly add to the experience.
Interrupting a Phone Call
But that’s not all. If you’re talking on the phone and suddenly do something, like complete a Photo Op, the dialogue won’t cut off and get lost forever. Instead, Spider-Man will ask the other person to hold on, do the thing and then resume the conversation, with full voice acting. You know, like how such interactions would play out in real life.
Character Switching Animations
Whenever you switch between Peter and Miles in the open world, you won’t just suddenly load as the other character. Maybe Miles is busy doing handstand push-ups, only to get up and start crime-fighting. Perhaps Peter is hanging out, literally, in a web hammock, checking his phone. It may be nothing new for Insomniac – check out all the incredible respawn animations in Sunset Overdrive – but it’s still great to see such love poured into a game.
The sheer fidelity of the Symbiote, when it possesses Peter, is pretty insane, as you can see the various strands pulsating like they’re alive. Venom takes that to another level, especially with the mouth. The disgustingly realistic tongue, and the multiple razor-sharp teeth – are spot-on with the comics and reinforce the villain’s terrifying nature.
Insanely Fast Fast Travel
Fast travel being incredibly fast is probably nothing new for the series (or some PlayStation exclusives in general, like Ghost of Tsushima). However, Spider-Man 2’s fast travel is not only a few seconds long but could have been even faster – so essentially near-instant – if Insomniac removed the hold-to-confirm button prompt. Instead, it kept this for the sake of user convenience.
Fall Damage and Ragdolling
Have you ever wanted to feel like Spider-Man, even when he falls and suffers multiple fractures? Good news, because Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 adds fall damage. It’s not enough that Peter or Miles take damage if you fall to the ground without swinging away on time. No, they actually rag doll and create a point of impact. You can even see Peter raise his hands before landing as if trying to minimize the damage from the fall. How many videos are online of players killing Spider-Man with fall damage or using it to showcase suit damage? As it turns out, far too many.