The highly anticipated next chapter in Insomniac’s Spider-Man series is coming around the bend, basically guaranteeing that PS5 owners will call in sick to work on October 20, 2023. This time around, the open world is bigger, the stakes are higher, the suit is blacker, and the armpits are wingsuit-ier.
A story-driven single-player game is only as good as its characters, and from what we can tell from the footage we’ve seen so far, Spider-Man 2 has a solid lineup. Here’s everyone confirmed to show up so far.
The original. The classic. The man who first dared Americans to dream of a world where getting bitten by a spider made you something besides itchy. It’s an undeniable fact that every successful Spider-Man adaptation has featured at least one Spider-Man. Spider-Man 2 looks set to continue this time-honored tradition. But look out, true believers: Peter’s rocking the alien symbiote suit for at least part of the proceedings, meaning that he’ll likely be sporting an uncharacteristically low-blood sugar crabbiness as he swings around the city.
Following his work as an occasionally-playable character in Insomniac’s first Spider-Man game and his promotion to lead protagonist in the spinoff bearing his name, Miles Morales returns in Spider-Man 2. Gameplay teasers have so far shown players switching off between Miles and Peter during high-intensity chase sequences, and the studio has promised that players can swap between Miles and Peter at any time during the game’s open-world segments, which will be welcome news to anyone that got hooked on Miles’ distinctive gameplay style in his low-key sequel.
It’s a well-documented fact that tigers cannot and will not go get ’em if they’re not first encouraged to do so. To that end, Mary Jane Watson returns in Spider-Man 2, this time very concerned with the company Peter’s been keeping — especially the oily alien company with the penchant for tearing up chumps. Speaking of:
In a game promising a dozen or so different villains to scrap with, this is the main event.
Here’s what we know about the Venom in Spider-Man 2: He’s around, and he’s not Eddie Brock. Insomniac couldn’t be more clear on the subject. Venom? They’ve got loads of Venom. If you need Eddie Brock, go somewhere else.
Teases from the previous entries in the series and the game’s story trailer sure make it seem like Pete’s old buddy Harry Osborn will be taking up the mantle of Marvel’s gooiest antihero, but the developers have been frustratingly tight-lipped about the symbiote’s newest inside man. He does seem bent on “healing the world,” which will be important in a minute.
Kraven the Hunter
Kraven the Hunter is a classic Spider-Man villain thanks to this one story from the ‘80s that’s like, 40% drug trip and 20% hanging out in a sewer. The broad-strokes version of the character is that he loves to hunt and he sometimes shoots lasers out of the lion eyeballs he keeps on his nipples. He’s the first Spider-Man villain whose weakness turned out to be burning down a Cabela’s.
Whatever, Hammerhead was a pretty stupid character, too. Insomniac knows what they’re doing. The Kraven in the game is possessed of a terrible need to track and kill superpowered individuals. The status of his laser pecs is, so far, unconfirmed.
Spider-Man has a long list of enemies whose main deal is dressing up in an animal mascot outfit and generally causing a ruckus. Out of all of them, Grizzly has historically been, and we say this with sincerity, the one dressed most like a bear.
This version of Grizzly is portrayed as a member of Kraven’s posse. He hits things with a light-up battleax, and he wears most of a bear on his head, just in case anyone forgets his cool codename. It seems like this headwear would make day-to-day stuff like ordering coffee and riding the subway a super itchy chore, but to be honest, we’ve never worn most of a bear on our heads before. Maybe it’s awesome.
Harry Osborn spent the entirety of the first Spider-Man game enjoying the healing properties of the inside of a lava lamp. At the end of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, we learned that his old man wanted the lad out of the hot tub, and lo, the gears of Harry’s return started to spin.
We know that Harry is back this time with a new voice actor, but we don’t know what sort of malarky the sometimes-goblin will get up to. According to the game’s story trailer, he’s got a plan to “heal the world,” which is very much the sort of controlling, machiavellian jiggery-pokery that only sci-fi villains and the protagonists of No Way Home deal in. Whatever Harry’s up to, Peter will probably end up super bummed about it. Peter winds up bummed out about most things.
The original Green Goblin in the comics and the mayor of New York in Insomniac’s first game, Harry’s father Norman Osborn is a real piece of work. He invited Sable to Manhattan, for one thing, and he was responsible for the Devil’s Breath pathogen that ruined so many people’s days. What’s more, almost as if he was toying with us, he left a trail of pumpkin-shaped breadcrumbs during his last outing, despite never letting us see him suited up in his iconic green and purple Halloween getup. Observant players will have spotted hints at his gilder tech and flight armor during a Mary Jane stealth mission in the businessman’s condo during 2018’s Spider-Man, but whether the setup will get a cackling, flying payoff this time around remains to be seen.
J. Jonah Jameson
Times change, and characters change with them. Over the last few years, J. Jonah Jameson has made the transition from newspaperman to citizen journalist in Spider-Man media, and his sound bites in Insomniac’s first game were a regularly hilarious diversion. Luckily for web swingers in need of a lead-based vitamin supplement subscription, he’s back in the podcast studio during the events of Spider-Man 2.
Miles Morales’s Guy In The Chair is back, this time boasting even more tech. The first gameplay footage for Spider-Man 2 sees Miles’ best friend piloting a drone through a high-speed chase with the Lizard and Kraven’s crew – not a bad gig, if you can get it.
We all know The Lizard by now. Doctor Curt Connors is a classic staple of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery of guys with alliterative names and animal themes. Spider-Man 2 sees the character bigger and nastier than usual, sporting a nasty new look that’s half-Abomination, half-the-bearded lizard you forgot to feed in middle school. Also, he seems to be eating a lot of fish these days, which is good news for his skin, which looks like it’s probably prone to flaking.
What might have seemed like a left-field choice for a spotlight antagonist in Spider-Man wound up making for some outstanding stories, eye-catching visuals, and two separate deeply frustrating puzzle sequences. Martin Li/Mister Negative is set to return for Spider-Man 2, but what role he’ll play and how prominent he’ll be remains to be seen. So far, clips of the founder of the F.E.A.S.T. have shown him flaunting a very John Wick, dad’s-between-jobs hair and beard combo, which doesn’t bode well for his resume.
First, the good news: Yuri Watanabe is back!
The bad news, for anyone who didn’t play the Spider-Man DLC The City That Never Sleeps, is that Yuri has been going through some stuff, and she kind of let the whole “moral center of Spider-Man’s relationship with law enforcement” thing get away from her. Following her decision to leave the police force and become a vigilante, Yuri will appear as her antihero comic book persona, Wraith, during the events of Spider-Man 2. Be forewarned, she tends to get grouchy. The only force that might bring her down is… Spider-Cop.
Felicia Hardy, Marvel’s cat-themed prestige art thief in a skintight leather black outfit who somehow isn’t Catwoman, kicked a few side missions Spidey’s way during his first Insomniac outing. After marking every crime she committed with a mural-sized painting of her own face, she left Spider-Man with a fresh new set of duds and a whole pile of DLC missions to deal with, exploding and then, subsequently, not exploding so much. She’s confirmed to return in Spider-Man 2, hopefully frantically scrambling from roof to roof, collecting all of the high-end DSLR cameras that she just left sitting out in the weather during the events of the first game.
Giving a supervillain a makeover is always a risky move, but Insomniac’s take on Tombstone in 2018’s Spider-Man really scratched an itch. The leader of a drug-dealing biker gang, he also had the bad luck to have been dunked in toxic gunk as a youngster, granting him impenetrable skin. Last we saw him, Tombstone was taking part in the US correctional system. No word on what he’ll be doing in the sequel, just that he’ll be there.
Across 60 years of comics and thousands of hours of movies, cartoons, TV shows, video games, and action figure play dates, there is no regularly reimagined character more flummoxingly still-around than The Shocker. He wears a costume that looks like it’s made out of quilt. His name seems designed to make junior high students go “heh.” His powers include shooting shockwaves out of his hands and regularly getting arrested as a preamble to the actual story.
And he’s back. You win again, Shocker fans.