Let’s discuss Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 released last week, to widespread praise and some truly bumper sales. In the first 24 hours alone, an incredible 2.5m copies were sold, making it Sony’s fastest-selling PlayStation Studios game ever.

Guides writer Marie and I have now both finished Spider-Man 2’s main story, and, well, we have thoughts. So join us as we discuss Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and what the ending could mean for the series’ future.

Please note, we will be heading well into spoiler territory below, so if you are yet to finish the game and want to keep it all a surprise, this is your chance to head elsewhere now.

Here’s our Aoife’s spoiler-free Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 video review.Watch on YouTube

Victoria: Hello there Marie, how are you doing? You and I have now both finished Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and I would love to hear your thoughts. How did you find it?

Marie: Hello! I’m still exploring the city post-story but (and I do not apologise for this), I’ve found it amazing and almost bordering on spectacular. The way the story was told really had me hooked from the beginning.

I do wonder if this was partially because I’m a big Marvel fan, so when specific characters were brought into the story, my mind was buzzing with trying to figure out what would happen next with them and how their presence would evolve Miles’ and Peter’s lives. Then, seeing it all come together in the final mission felt like a massive pay off. I wasn’t aware of how invested I was in the outcome of the story until it was over. How did you find it?

V: I really had a lot of fun zipping and flying (I loved the webwings) through New York. I especially agree with you about how it all came together at the end. The emotional payoff was definitely there! There were a few occasions throughout the game where I was moved to tears, especially when characters were going through very real and relatable problems. I became invested in each of their arcs. Insomniac is always brilliant at bringing depth to its characters, and Spider-Man 2 was no exception.

I think we have given readers enough warning here, but just in case anyone reading has not finished the game and wants to avoid spoilers, this is your last cue to head elsewhere, as I am about to bring up a big one.

Peter Parker as Spider-Man fights off one of Kraven's mechanical dog enemies in Marvel's Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man casually checks for cavities. | Image credit: Insomniac/Eurogamer

OK, we now know Harry was Venom. Were you surprised by this revelation?

M: That’s complicated to answer – at first, with the way they introduced Harry, I really believed he was going to be Venom so it wasn’t a surprise. Then, when he lost the Symbiote Suit to Peter which resulted in Norman Osborn working on ‘another cure’ I started to believe we might see the origin of Hobgoblin or the infamous Green Goblin with someone else becoming Venom.

That being said, when it became more evident that Harry was not coping with the loss of the suit (and I cannot blame him for that at all in the situation he was in), then I guessed he would become Venom after all.

To sum up, I kept changing my mind on whether he would or wouldn’t be – which I think is a testament to how Insomniac threw a lot of twists in to keep you on your toes. Overall I wouldn’t say I was surprised as such, but (sorry Harry) I was really excited to see Venom come to life regardless of who was the host.

I remember you messaging me about it and asking who Venom was before you’d played but I refused to say, so how did you feel when it was revealed that you were right?

Harry and Peter in their super suits before Harry becomes Venom
I appreciate this picture may be a bit confusing as I dressed Peter in a black Spider-Man suit, however he is not wearing the Symbiote suit here. Harry is, and this is before the Symbiote leaves him. Image credit: Insomniac/Eurogamer

V: Ha, yes you were very good at keeping mum! I wasn’t surprised by Venom being Harry (or should that be Harry being Venom?), but I was surprised by how it came about.

When Harry first showed that he had powers from the Symbiote, he seemed to be handling it really quite well all things considered, but then it left him, and I wasn’t expecting that. Based on assumptions from the trailers, I actually thought there were going to be two Symbiote sources, one from space and one that had been engineered by Oscorp. I didn’t think the Symbiote that affected Peter would be the same one that made Harry turn into Venom.

I then appreciated – when the Symbiote did make its way back to Harry – that Harry now had this resentment embedded within him, and this is when it ultimately evolved into Venom. And, boy, what an evolution it was. Those wings, Marie. Wings!

M: I won’t lie, my notebook ended up halfway across the room when those wings appeared. I had to pause the cinematic and the fight to actually absorb that development, I was beyond excited to see it. Although, part of me did wonder how on earth I’d be able to beat a winged Venom…

Venom gets wings in Marvel's Spider-Man 2
This moment! | Image credit: Insomniac/Eurogamer

Venom's Symbiote suspends Peter Parker as Spider-Man above the ground.

Venom holds an unconscious Spider-Man in Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Venom was a powerful foe. | Image credit: Insomniac/Eurogamer

V: If I had had a notebook on me, it would have been launched! And yes, I also had the same concern when I suddenly saw him start flapping away. It was quite something.

I found that fight both epic, but also really rather sad, because underneath all the teeth, tongue, wings, and general badness, I knew it was Harry. And, of course, so did Peter, Miles and MJ. Hearing the team trying to talk through to Harry while also launching some very heavy attacks on Venom was often quite hard. I wanted to save him so much.

I felt this as well when we had to fight Peter while playing as Miles (was not expecting that!) and again when Peter had to fight MJ when she turned into Scream. Gosh, the emotional conflicts that must have been going on inside the characters’ heads! I had tears in my eyes when I heard MJ’s ‘Scream’ thoughts, about how she never felt good enough.

M: During that fight with Scream my heart broke a little, because it can be easy to relate to the thoughts that MJ was having at the time. Hearing her finally pour out everything that had been on her mind that she had been keeping in to try to hold her and Peter’s lives together felt so real, the emotions being delivered in those lines felt very raw.

Also, the dialogue between Miles and Peter while Miles tried to get the suit off of him was really something else. Was it just me, or did you feel like the desperation in Miles’ voice to bring his mentor back fuelled your determination at winning the fight? Each time Miles said something to Peter I just felt more and more like I had to win, I wasn’t going to lose or die on my first attempt because I felt like Miles had to get it right.

MJ turns into Scream in Marvel's Spider-Man 2
MJ turns into Scream. | Image credit: Insomniac/Eurogamer

Miles and Peter fight in their Spider-Men suits in Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Peter using the symbiote to attack Miles in Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Peter and Miles fight. | Image credit: Insomniac/Eurogamer

V: I felt the exact same, it was such an important fight.

I feel we should probably talk a little bit about what is next. There has been a suggestion from the developer that we could see a Venom spin-off in the style of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. We got to play a section of Spider-Man 2 as Venom, which was absolute carnage. Would you like to see a spin-off with Venom, or would you rather see something from a different character altogether?

M: (Love the reference there).

V: Haha, thank you!

M: I would love to spend more time wreaking havoc with Venom, and part of me wants to see the Symbiote find one of his most famous hosts, Eddie Brock. That being said, I would love to see a Miles Morales style spin-off for a character whose face we didn’t get to see – we only got a glimpse of her back and her name. Cindy, aka Silk. Her introduction at the last few seconds of the main story has my hopes up for her to get a spin-off or a more substantial role in another Spider-Man game from Insomniac.

Venom fights and ultimately kills Kraven in Marvel's Spider-Man 2
Venom, didn’t your mother ever teach you not to play with your food? | Image credit: Insomniac/Eurogamer

V: Oh, Marie, you are brilliant, you have given me the perfect segue for what could be next for the mainline games. Insomniac has clearly left the door wide open for a third main entry in its Spider-Man series. The game’s final moments and its end-credits scenes all teased a fair few things, Cindy being one of them. I will get on to her in a moment, but first I want to wind back a little bit to the final scene with Harry and Norman.

While standing over his now-comatose son, a devastated Mr O asks for the G-Serum. What do you think this means for Osborn junior, or even Osborn senior? I think we are going to see some goblins in their future… especially as there was an earlier goblin tease when the Spider-Men and MJ were concocting their plan to finish Venom. That map in the garage, those three used a goblin token to represent Harry! That can’t have been a coincidence, Insomniac.

M: I really do think we’re going to see the Green Goblin in some form, whether it’s Harry or his father that takes up the role isn’t too clear at the moment. That being said, the way they used that little goblin token on the map was genius and makes me think it might be Harry.

However, that being said, part of me wonders if we will see Norman become Green Goblin in an experiment on himself with the G Serum before giving it to Harry and then, for one reason or another, we see Harry turn into Hobgoblin. In the scene you’re talking about, did you also see that Norman was wearing a jacket that’s a shade of green similar to the one that Green Goblin wears? Again, this makes me think Norman will become him.

Also, all of this does depend on what inspirations the Insomniac team are looking at for these characters as both have been the Green Goblin across their existence.

Peter, Miles and MJ used a green goblin token to represent Harry when they went over their plan get rid of Venom in Marvel's Spider-Man 2
We are on to you, Spider-Man devs. | Image credit: Insomniac/Eurogamer

V: I think Norman is set to become the Green Goblin, and like you said I think it will be because of an experiment on himself (and thanks to his penchant for green clothing). In my mind, we would see his grief and anger consume him, and this will sort of fuel the fire of Green Goblin’s evolution, before some kind of redemption at the end of the third game. Although, now that I have written that down, perhaps that would actually be too similar to Harry’s story in 2? Hmm…

Harry as Hobgoblin could be interesting, but I am not sure how I would feel about this Harry becoming another villain character. That would be rough not only for him, but for Peter and MJ as well. Do you think Insomniac would be that cruel?

M: I think that Harry’s fate is left as being uncertain to leave his story open for more tragedy, whether it’s him becoming Hobgoblin or Norman losing his son altogether which ultimately pushes him over the edge into becoming the Green Goblin.

Part of me does kind of want to see Harry take up the Hobgoblin identity and Norman become Green Goblin, kind of a father son chaotic villain duo wreaking havoc on the city. Then again, the nicer part of me just wants to see Harry get a redemption arc after everything that happened to him (and that he did) through this story. I guess only time will tell on that front.

Harry Osborn smashed his window earlier in Marvel's Spider-Man 2 when the Symbiote left him

Norman Osborn smashes his window and property with a cain out of frustration and sadness in Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Both Norman and Harry Osborn smash up their property out of anger and sadness. Harry became Venom some time after this outburst. Could Norman also be heading down the villain route? | Image credit: Insomniac/Eurogamer

V: What did you think about Norman (in a green shirt, we see you Insomniac) popping over to The Raft to visit Dr. Octavius in the first end credits scene? Initially, I wasn’t expecting to meet him again, but after seeing how his imprisonment still plays on Peter’s mind earlier in the game, a part of me did wonder if there is more story to tell here, and low and behold, there he was in the end credits. He is writing “the final chapter” of something, and still seems pissed at Norman.

M: That was something I did not expect to happen at all, though you’re right, Peter was still thinking about it earlier in the story. I do wonder what this will mean for the story moving forward, will Dr. Octavius end up helping the future Spider-Man in some way to face the (possible) Green Goblin when they emerge, just out of spite to piss off Norman Osborn? I think it’s a possibility but I’m not certain.

Dr. Octavius in Marvel's Spider-Man 2. He is wearing an orange prison jumpsuit.
Dr. Octavius in The Raft.

Norman Osborn visits Dr. Octavius in Marvel's Spider-Man 2. He is wearing a suit with a dark tie and a green shirt.
Norman, in a green shirt, believes the Spider-Men “ruined” Harry.
Image credit: Insomniac/Eurogamer

V: And that brings us onto that last end credits scene. We see Miles and Hailey as a couple, and oh my days this made my heart sing! I honestly can’t say how much I loved these two (and Ganke) throughout the game. Their scenes together were so brilliantly acted. We also finally got to meet Rio’s mystery man, Albert Moon. And, oh, who is this he has with him? It’s only his daughter, Cindy! Do you fancy chatting a bit about why she could be important?

M: Cindy is another person who has been bitten and given powers by a radioactive spider. In the comics, it’s said that it’s the exact same Spider that bit Peter Parker (this Spider really does have the munchies, can’t we give it snacks or something? Freeze dried flies or…?) We see Cindy very briefly introduced at the end but we only see the back of her. However, her name was enough to spark excitement.

Also, Cindy’s presence may mean that Insomniac are opening up to a wider world of Spider-Man characters outside of Miles and Peter. Personally, I’d love it if her introduction is the beginning of us seeing a version of the Spider-Army starting.

V: Ha, yes, that is exactly what I thought as well. Spider-Man 2 had two playable Spider-Men, and it really does feel like Insomniac is setting us up for Spider-Man 3 with a third playable Spidey in the form of Cindy’s Silk. Perhaps Miles will take her under his wing (spider leg?), and show her the ropes much like Peter did with him? As you said earlier, she would make for an interesting focus for a spin-off, that then leads into a bigger, third game.

M: Definitely, but I do wonder if the next game is going to be more focused on Miles and Cindy, with Peter making a cameo or two to give Miles advice when things get rough. Though I do think the next big bad will be a Goblin of some kind, I’d love Cindy’s presence to mark the beginning of the Spider-Army forming to take on The Inheritors.

I do think that’s stretching it to be honest, but a girl can dream. I definitely see Miles trying to take the lead and show Cindy the ropes, but if her comic book iterations are anything to go by, Cindy may already know a bit more about her powers than he thinks.

The back of Cindy's head in Marvel's Spider-Man 2
Miles, Hailey and Rio all meet Albert’s daughter, Cindy. | Image credit: Insomniac/Eurogamer

V: Ah, I am already so excited! Thanks so much for chatting with me, Marie!

Before you go, I have a quick joke for you: Have you read that book about the onion that turns into a spider? It’s called Shallot’s Web!

M: You made me choke on my tea! (Thank you for having me!)

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