The moment Miles Morales shows up in Insomniac Games’ Marvel’s Spider-Man, it’s essentially a foregone conclusion that the teen will be bit by a genetically modified arachnid, giving him an array of spider-related superpowers and setting him swinging across New York City on an adventure of his own.
With a Miles-focused follow-up game making its way to both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 later this year, it seems as if Sony and Insomniac always meant to use Marvel’s Spider-Man as a staging ground for Miles’ debut solo outing. But in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Insomniac creative director Bryan Intihar explained how that wasn’t exactly the case. Though the game’s creative team understandably had high hopes for success, there were no firm plans for a sequel initially, and the big reveal about Miles didn’t play a significant role in the story.
While Miles’ very existence was initially planned to be the focus of one of the game’s potential post-credit scenes, Intihar said that as time went on, it made far more sense to incorporate a pre-spider bite Miles into the story in order to give players a sense of the kind of hero he was without his powers.
“I think everybody was focused on, ‘Can you make the first one really good and we’ll worry about the other stuff later’,” Intihar said. “But we wanted to have that set up so if it became a reality [to do another game] we could pull it off. One of the reasons we put that out was to hopefully convince people that ‘[Miles is] a Spider-Man now. Can we have a game with him?’”
Talking about Miles Morales’ take on its titular hero, creative director Brian Horton was careful to state that the game’s story represents a complete coming of age journey for Miles that began with Marvel’s Spider-Man. The reasoning behind Miles Morales having a comparatively tighter story boiled down to the fact that Miles’ origin stories haven’t typically existed alongside a younger Peter Parker’s.
“When we started crafting it, we realised that, with a little bit more of a compact storytelling style, we could tell a very emotionally impactful story that would fit really well as an experience that would take Spider-Man 1 and [Miles Morales] and do justice to this character.”
Though it sounds as if Horton and Intihar could be acknowledging the concerns that some have had about Spider-Man: Miles Morales being more of a souped up expansion pack rather than its own game, they seem quite confident in their belief that the product they’re shipping is going to satisfy fans’ desire for something new. It’s going to be quite interesting to see whether a leaner, web-slinging Spidey game fits the bill when Spider-Man: Miles Morales ships this winter.