Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Needs Ultimate Game’s Human Torch Races


The upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is set to feature a massive open world, and in order to make it the best one yet, it should take inspiration from Ultimate Spider-Man and allow players to race the Human Torch. On top of featuring gripping and well-told stories, as well as the best open world action in the character’s video game history, the first two Spider-Man games also featured a wealth of side activities. Most of these focused on crimefighting, and while entertaining, it’d be great to see both Peter Parker and Miles Morales get up to other side activities in the open world – potentially with other Marvel heroes.

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Ultimate Spider-Man might not be as universally beloved as the web slinger’s most recent video game outing, but it’s still a unique addition to the web-slinger’s video game library, having adapted Brian Bendis and Mark Bagley’s acclaimed comic of the same name. The 2005 title bucked a then Spider-Man gaming trend by being a fully original story that emulated the comics and not the films. Ultimate Spider-Man even included playable Venom, and introduced the aforementioned Human Torch races. Swinging around the city racing Johnny Storm was a blast in 2005, but it could be made even better in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

Marvel’s Spider-Man doesn’t have many shortcomings, but one of its more notable weaknesses is that most of the side activities in the game lack the same punch and excitement that the main story provides. Many of the side missions are bland and unimaginative and just involve beating up the same thugs using slightly different methods. Outside of actual side missions, the game provides multiple other activities for the player to partake in, such as descrambling radio tower signals to uncover the map, and locating Peter’s many hidden backpacks across the open world in Marvel’s Spider-Man. None of these activities are bad, and they fulfill their role of giving the player plenty of content to consume, but none of them come close to the epic scale of many of the game’s story missions.

The Human Torch Could Expand Insomniac’s Marvel Universe

Adding the Human Torch character to Insomniac’s Marvel Universe would provide both gameplay and storytelling opportunities in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Insomniac might only have two Marvel games under its belt thus far, but it has packed those two titles full of Easter Eggs and nods to the wider Marvel mythos, and it’s clear that the developer already has its eyes set on a larger interconnected just like the comics. The list of Easter eggs in Marvel’s Spider-Man is vast and while some are probably nothing more than nods to the character’s history, some of the potentially more important ones include being able to visit notable Marvel landmarks such as the Avengers Tower and the Wakandan Embassy.

Incorporating Johnny Storm – as well as potential other nods to the Fantastic Four in the sequel – would be a natural fit for the series and could get fans’ heads spinning with future spinoff possibilities. The announcement that Insomniac is developing another Marvel video game, Marvel’s Wolverine, shows that its universe is getting bigger, and introducing the Human Torch in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 could be the perfect springboard for a new Fantastic Four game, similar to how the first game handled the Miles Morales character. Johnny would be perfect in this regard, as he and Peter have a close friendship in the comics, with Spider-Man having even replaced him on the Fantastic Four for a brief amount of time following his death.

Peter already has plenty of relationships to juggle in Insomniac’s games, and it’s possible that there might not be that much room for him to deal with another in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Even so, the Human Torch wouldn’t require masses of development in Insomniac’s sequel. Although Johnny and Peter are close friends, the Human Torch rarely interferes with Spidey’s day-to-day, meaning he could stop by every now and then to help either Spider-Man blow off some steam by racing through Manhattan.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Needs More Side Activities

But as exciting as the concept of growing Insomniac’s Marvel Universe is, the addition of Human Torch races would also have a much more practical and immediate benefit on the upcoming Spider-Man sequel, diversifying the game’s selection of side content to provide a more comprehensive depiction of the wall-crawler. The Human Torch races were beloved in the 2005 title, and as entertaining as they were back then, they have the potential to be so much more today thanks to the power of the PlayStation 5. Jumping from building to building and swinging across New York City at breakneck speeds has always been the main appeal of Spider-Man’s video games, but Insomniac truly perfected the art with its 2018 title, and somehow made web-swinging even better in Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Swinging across NYC in Marvel’s Spider-Man feels incredible, but one of the game’s larger shortcomings is that it doesn’t give players reason enough to do so outside of moving from Point A to Point B. There’s the occasional villain chase, and one of the game’s many side activities does involve chasing flying pigeons throughout the city, but a Human Torch race could be much more exciting. While the Human Torch races provided an adequate level of challenge in Ultimate Spider-Man, Insomniac could push the challenge to the next level in its upcoming game, forcing the player to master every new traversal tool and power in Spider-Man’s toolkit, and require them to truly become the ultimate web-slinger in order to keep up with Johnny. The original game desperately needed more reasons to push the player to be a better web-slinger, and a challenging set of Human Torch races could provide exactly that.

Insomniac is yet to reveal too many key details surrounding its Spider-Man sequel, including what kind of side activities it may involve, but adding Ultimate Spider-Man’s Human Torch races could help make it even better. The races would not only help fix one of the first game’s biggest weaknesses, but also expand Insomniac’s Marvel Universe and capitalize on its excellent movement and web-slinging mechanics. The Human Torch might not be an essential Spidey character, but he could be just what Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 needs to make its side-activities more exciting.

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About The Author

Kyle Wizner (53 Articles Published)

Kyle Wizner is a University of Oregon graduate and freelance writer for Screen Rant.

Throughout his career he has written for multiple papers on a variety of topics, but nothing compares to his passion for video games and gaming culture.

Kyle lives in Portland, Oregon, and when he isn’t playing video games he’s most likely watching football, or entertaining his pup, Penny.

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