- Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 improves upon its predecessor with more mobility, a larger map, and a well-rounded story, making it one of the best superhero games in the genre.
- Dr. Octopus’ transformation from a relatable character to a villain adds emotional depth to Spider-Man’s story, and his return in the third game would provide continuity and emotional impact.
- Spider-Man 3 could benefit from a smaller villain lineup, focusing on one main adversary to give them more screen time and impact on the story.
Insomniac’s take on the beloved web-crawler is one of the best examples of the superhero genre in gaming. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 developed upon its predecessor and the Miles Morales-led half-sequel by giving players more mobility, a more substantial map, and another well-rounded story.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 takes cues from the first game by being fruitful with its choice of antagonists, with Kraven the Hunter and Venom leading the charge, but others being sprinkled in along the way. Dr. Octopus is one of Spidey’s most well-known villains, and while he takes up space in the 2018 release, there are benefits and drawbacks to having him feature in the upcoming third title.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’s Venom is the Antithesis to Doctor Octopus in the Worst Way
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’s Venom steals the show when finally bonded with Harry, but not always in ways that are as meaningful as other villains have.
Dr. Octopus is Peter Parker’s First Personal Failure
In 2018’s Spider-Man, Dr. Otto Octavius spends much of the story as a down-on-his-luck scientist with a head full of ideas, but a lack of money, resources, and patience to see it through. He’s immediately relatable and easy to root for, and the amount of time it takes for him to turn into the Dr. Octopus fans know him to be can trick some into thinking the villainous twist will never actually happen. Otto and Peter are on the same page, with the former being the latter’s personal confidant on more than one occasion.
Dr. Octopus made his first comic appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #3 in July 1963.
Watching the gentle Otto become the overbearing and unreasonable Dr. Octopus is tragic, and Spider-Man’s desperate attempt to reverse his evil nature feels like a friend stopping a friend, rather than a hero conquering a bad guy. It’s at the heart of Spider-Man and one of the biggest reasons why it feels like more than just another superhero adventure. To harness that energy again in the context of the second game could be fascinating, and provide an emotional backbone between two characters who will undoubtedly have some kind of impact even though Miles Morales is supposedly the focus in the third game.
Continuity is Key in Superhero Stories
Spider-Man 2 has two post-credits scenes that shine a light on the future of the franchise. One teases the appearance of Cindy Ryan, AKA Silk, but the other shows a frosty reunion between Norman Osborn and Dr. Otto Octavius. It’s a great moment between two heavy-hitting characters who have an ax to grind with Spider-Man. To have that as a prominent post-credits moment, only to not bring Dr. Octopus back would feel like a needless red herring. Otto Octavius is an essential emotional pillar of Peter, and Spider-Man’s development, and so it would only make sense to fulfill the promise of the second game’s memorable after-credits moment, bringing a sense of continuity to the series.
Spider-Man Has More Villains to Utilize
The conclusion of Spider-Man 2 is similar to that of the first game in that it shows a glimmer of hope after diverting a potentially world-altering event, which is succeeded by new plot threads that can be pulled in the next outing. Whereas the first implied the arrival of Venom, which Spider-Man 2 delivered on, Green Goblin is alluded to at the close of the 2023 release, so it makes sense to have the fight be between Spider-Man and a man who is perhaps his biggest adversary.
Aside from this, there are still a handful of personalities that have yet to appear. Be it Carnage, Jackal, or Morlun, to name a few, there is so much potential for new personalities to make an impact. Dr. Octopus has been wonderfully developed, and his arc came to a terrific end in 2018, so while Otto could be a neat inclusion, it could be best to keep him as Otto rather than becoming his alter-ego.
The recent Insomniac leaks indicate that a Venom game is in the works, supposedly set for a 2025 release.
Spider-Man 3 Could Change its Villain Formula
The first game bills Mr. Negative and Dr. Octopus as the main villains, but come the third act, it becomes clear that the Sinister Six has a role to play in the story. Rhino, Vulture, Electro, and Scorpion are all minor antagonists that make Spider-Man feel out numbered. However, because of this it can feel crowded, and Spider-Man 3 being a smaller affair could be wise. It would be a step back to have Dr. Octopus reduce Green Goblin’s screen time, as it could serve to diminish his impact on the story.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
- October 20, 2023
- Sony Interactive Entertainment
- T For Teen Due To Blood, Drug Reference, Mild Language, Violence
- How Long To Beat
- 20 Hours
- PS Plus Availability