- Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 just launched, and has already become an instant hit, as anticipated.
- The title features Venom as the main antagonist, played by in-game character Harry Osborn.
- An Insomniac dev explains why Harry was chosen instead of Eddie Brock—another popular pick.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 sports an interesting slate of characters, with Venom and Kraven serving as the antagonists, putting up sheer hell for both Peter Parker and Miles. The game’s plot eventually sees New York infested with symbiotes, with Venom taking center stage amidst all the chaos. Now, Insomniac’s Narrative Director, in a new interview, explains the studio’s choice for the character playing Venom.
Ben Arfmann is of the opinion that making Harry become Venom would hold more emotional significance for both Peter and the story as a whole. Such a creative decision leads the protagonist to battle his long-time best friend in a heart-rending battle, thereby invoking sentiment at an exceptional level that may not have hit as well if another character, say Eddie Brock was picked for Venom.
The idea of telling a Venom story was something that we knew we wanted to do super early on, and we had conversations about that even during the first Spider-Man. For us, that meant: How do we get those personal hooks? How do we make Venom matter—not just to Spider-Man, but to Peter as well? Having Harry be the person who becomes Venom just naturally laid a track where there’d be so much drama here between these two friends,” says Insomniac’s Narrative Director Ben Arfmann.
Then, there’s Eddie Brock, whose lore background doesn’t have anything to do with Peter Parker, whereas, in the case of Harry, it’s the polar opposite. Eddie worked as a journalist for the Daily Bugle, but one time, when Spider-Man unintentionally spoils his reputation, he swears revenge against the web-head, and subsequently, stumbles upon the alien symbiote not long after, becoming Venom.
By the way, this is what the cinematic movie Spider-Man 3 starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst had its plot centered on, showcasing the origins of Venom, though there are some differences between how it’s portrayed in the movie as compared to what went down in the actual comics.
Taking all that into account, battling Eddie’s Venom would be just like going up against another supervillain for Spider-Man, but swap the character with Harry, and the whole narrative drastically changes, and this is pretty much what Insomniac targeted in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. When asked whether the making of Harry’s Venom drew elements from other characters who played the symbiote, Ben replied,
Our process is always: we read everything, we watch and consume everything that exists around these characters and in these stories. Then as Jon Paquette always says, we forget about everything. We try and ingest all of it and then do our own thing. You can see influences from other stories, as you say. But when we were telling it, all we were thinking about was our Harry Osborn and Peter Parker. We love Eddie’s Venom, and we definitely wanted to tell our own Venom story—one that was unique and interesting, and also build on this distinct lore we set up.”
Spider-Man 2 came out October 20, 2023, for the PlayStation 5 exclusively. eXputer’s rated the title 4/5, praising its tip-top combat, fluid traversal, and terrific visuals across the board. If you’re new to the game, check out our guide on the best swinging settings to use for the best playing experience.
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