What Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’s Story Must Learn From Miles Morales

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 should take inspiration from Spider-Man: Miles Morales to produce a story with a more complex Peter Parker than the original game. In Marvel’s Spider-Man, Peter Parker is presented as a model citizen, with his compassionate side – shown through his mentoring of a young Miles Morales and his volunteer work at FEAST – supplemented by his scientific genius, which is illustrated through his internship with Dr. Otto Octavius. However, Peter’s role as a carer – which essentially extends to his entire supporting cast – is so vast that developer Insomniac Games somewhat missed out on the opportunity to provide the character with greater emotional depth.


By contrast, where Miles Morales succeeds most is in its portrayal of a layered Spider-Man, battling between being a webslinger and a struggling teen. Even without DLC, Spider-Man: Miles Morales manages to give enough screen time to each of Miles’ relationships with his mother Rio, friends Phin and Ganke, and his Uncle Aaron, to enable them all to shine in their own right. What’s more, because Miles discovers that Phin is the Tinkerer much earlier than Peter eventually stumbles on the fact that Otto has taken a trip to the dark side, Miles Morales is able to explore the dynamic between friends who find themselves on opposite sides of the battlefield in much further depth than its predecessor ever did. As a result, even when in the suit, Miles’ personality is able to come across in droves.

The expected return of Harry Osborn – Peter’s best friend – under the influence of the Venom symbiote in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 presents Insomniac with the perfect opportunity to redress this imbalance in the series. Venom is expected to be one of the two main antagonists of Spider-Man 2 – the other presumed to be Kraven the Hunter – with the post-credits scene of the first gameappearing to show Harry being corrupted by Venom’s deadly symbiote. Peter originally thought his friend was in Europe managing Oscorp’s international operations, before it became clear later in Spider-Manthat Harry was instead receiving experimental treatment, as he was suffering from the same terminal illness that killed his mother. With an unstable Harry now awake – as revealed in the mid-credits scene of Miles Morales – Venom looks set to present Peter with both physical and mental challenges when he takes on the symbiote in Spider-Man 2.

Peter Parker Is More Than Just Spider-Man

Barring a surprise Doc Ock return in Spider-Man 2, Peter’s emotional development will therefore likely center around his battles with Harry, following Insomniac’s tried-and-tested arc of old friends turned evil. Herein lies the potential for some cinematic flashback sequences, like those that made players sympathize with the situation of Phin in Miles Morales. After all, there was only so much players could learn in Marvel’s Spider-Man about the father-son-like relationship Peter has with Otto by solving endless numbers of spectrographs and the occasional piece of commentary about how Otto used to be an upstanding member of society – the latter coming from an oddly reflective Spider-Man as he webbed around New York City.

Of course, none of this is to say Peter’s character in Remastered – face-change and all – is entirely devoid of emotion. His anguish after being forced to sacrifice his Aunt May, in order to save the infected masses with a vaccine for Devil’s Breath, really hits home. However, this scene comes late, with his anguish at May’s death not properly explored, given Peter goes gallivanting off with Mary Jane Watson to Symkaria, in order to be conveniently written out of Spider-Man:Miles Morales. If Insomniac can address this – and provide some additional Harry-fueled character development for Peter – while simultaneously retaining the same successful recipe used for Miles, then Marvel’s Spider-Man 2has a great chance at being the best game in the series.

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