Hype for the upcoming Spider-Man game on PS4 continues to rise as September’s release date draws ever closer, and it was assumed that Venom would be featured in the game’s cast of villains. Alas, according to a Tweet by Insomniac’s Studio Art Director, there isn’t enough space to fit him into the latest title. While it is disheartening that Venom won’t make an appearance in the new Spider-Man game, it is not the end of the world.
First of all, between the upcoming Venom movie, and the next issue of Marvel’s surprisingly decent digest series with Archie Comics prominently featuring him as well, Venom isn’t exactly getting the shaft. Sure, it would be nice to have him appear in Insomniac’s game as well, but he isn’t hurting for multimedia representation in 2018. Also, as far as I’m concerned, Carnage is better. Alas, I don’t think we will be seeing him in the game either. At least Venom fans have material to sink their teeth into, even if the game doesn’t provide it.
More importantly, though, the upcoming Spider-Man game should still provide a deeper than normal glimpse into the Spiderverse. Sure, Marvel is no stranger to games, and I doubt we’ll see a cameo from every single “Spider-Person” or even most of them, but like with the Batman Arkham games, I think we will see a decent representation of the extended world or universe of the popular web-slinger that goes beyond the capacity that Hollywood provides. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone well above and beyond what a series of films should by all rights be able to provide, but there are still limitations to a film franchise. A game on the other hand, with its much longer play time and focus on a particular hero, should be able to dive considerably deeper into the source material.
I never did understand the criticism that the new Spider-Man game looks too similar to the Arkham series as if it’s some kind of insult to be compared to one of the most excellent licensed video game series to date. It’s clear that Spider-Man will feel different enough mechanically anyways, and Spider-Man is active day or night.
Besides, the Arkham games showed us that there is so much more to the world of Batman than what was featured in the Nolan films, and even with DC since trying to create a cinematic universe of their own, Hollywood still gives the impression that there really isn’t that much to the Batman franchise. Yeah, the Nolan films are long since dead to me, and I expect the DC Cinematic Universe to continue to be hit and miss. The Arkham games on the other hand actually drew me into Batman’s world and had me wanting to learn more about its characters and lore. If Spider-Man can have what Batman has in a video game franchise, so much the better.
In any case, what Jacinda Chew said, about Venom being “too big” for the game actually has me intrigued for a couple of reasons. For one, that means that what content is in the game came close enough to max out the available space that it seems safe to assume there is a lot of it. Between the open world, the characters, the missions, the storyline and other elements, I expected there to be a lot, but it’s clearly coming close to 50GB before patches and DLC. Assuming Insomniac is using that space wisely, which given their track record is probably a safe bet, there should be more than enough Spider-Man to fill the Venom-sized hole.
Also, it’s worth noting that DLC is planned, and if the game does well a sequel is not beyond the realm of possibility. The Batman Arkham series spanned five games. Granted, one of those games started as a handheld title, but that’s still quite a bit of content. Batman even got a deal with Telltale to provide a second series that draws just as much from the lore of the series, and that’s currently two seasons in. The first Arkham game was missing some characters, from protagonists like Robin and Catwoman, to antagonists like Penguin and Black Mask, but they have made appearances in games since.
The point is, Batman has enough source material to fill several titles, and then some. Spider-Man can do the same, and if we enjoy the upcoming game, we will want a sequel or at least some DLC anyways. Venom may actually benefit from being a primary antagonist rather than having to share the spotlight with so many other villains.
Are you upset about the lack of Venom in the upcoming Spider-Man game? Do you think the game will deliver regardless? As always, feel free to leave your comments below.