One of the biggest surprises during the PlayStation E3 press conference last night was the announcement of a new PS4-exclusive game starring Marvel’s ultra-popular web-slinger. The crimefighter from Queens looks a lot different, though.
Fan and pro reactions to the new Spidey costume have been mixed since the trailer popped last night.
That response is practically a given, since the classic costume designed by Steve Ditko is widely regarded as one of the best superhero outfits of all time. But Peter Parker’s worn a lot of different super-suits over the last 50 years and this new game design seems to call out to some of them.
The change that’s elicited the biggest reaction is the inclusion of white to the Spidey suit color scheme. The big, snowy arachnid makes Peter look 1000% more patriotic, like a Captain America fanboy. It’s also reminiscent of the oversized symbol from the black symbiote costume introduced in the 1980s and also reminds me of the outfit shown in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #200.
It’s not quite as pronounced here but the segmentation along the shoulder looks like what was done on the mostly-terrible MKIII Spider-Armor. The white sections on Spidey’s forearms and hands glint metallically and wrap around his wrists, suggesting that this is a new look for Peter’s webshooters. Metallic accents are also on the soles of his feet, which makes the suit look like the work of a technological genius. This video game costume bears little resemblance to the sleeker Spider-armor Peter currently wears in the comics, but the red-webbed thigh sections are angled in a similar way to the current Alex Ross take on the Ditko classic. You can also see the same retractable-lens motif introduced in Captain America: Civil War on this mask’s eyes.
Looks aside, a Spider-Man game from Insomniac is good news. Best known for the Ratchet & Clank action games, they’re a veteran development outfit with a great portfolio of games under their belt.
It’s a safe bet that they’ll be using locomotion and animation tools they implemented in Sunset Overdrive—which focused heavily on stylish, improvisatory movement and combat—in the upcoming Spider-Man game. Insomniac producer Bryan Intihar said that this game is happening in its own distinct universe that’s separate from the movies, hence the change in costume. And, hey, if you don’t like the new suit, remember that it’s a video game and superhero games traditionally let players unlock many outfits from a character’s publishing history. Nobody’s stupid enough to keep the classic locked away in the closet.