Spider-Man PS4: New D23 trailer, Mr Negative, PS4 map-size, and everything you need to know

Fast facts

  • Spider-Man PS4 release date: 2018
  • Developer: Insomniac
  • Publisher: Sony
  • Format: PS4

Spider-Man PS4 release date is still set for 2018

If Spider-Man: Homecoming inspired you enough to make you want to jump into your very own suit but you don't quite fancy the broken bones, there's some good news. Spidey is well and truly back in game form. Last year's E3 tease was a lot of fun but Sony's 2017 conference offered up nine spectacular minutes of glorious physics based web swinging action. It looks like Ratchet and Clank studio Insomniac has been taking tips from Rocksteady's Arkham series with crunchy flowing combat and environmental takedowns aplenty in an open world Manhattan. 

Thanks to E3 2017, we've had a slew of info about the first Spidey game not to come from Activision in almost 20 years. It's big, it's beautiful, it's got nothing to do with Spider-Man Homecoming, and oh my word does it look good on a PS4 Pro. Here's everything we know about Spider-Man PS4 so far.

The Spider-Man PS4 release date is 2018 

After a year of speculation and a lot of hope regarding a launch this year, Spider-Man PS4's release date has now been confirmed as 2018. Sure this means we have longer to wait but it's already going to be an exceptionally busy  Christmas with Assassin's Creed Origins, Star Wars Battlefront 2, Call of Duty World War 2 and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus only some of the triple A offerings on the way before the end of the year. 

This also gives Insomniac Games plenty of time to make the game Spidey deserves. You know the drill. With great power comes great responsibility and all that.. 

Spider-Man PS4 gameplay on PS4 Pro is pretty spectacular and don't worry about the QTEs

It looks like Insomniac's Sony exclusive is taking more than a few notes from Rocksteady's Arkham series. Along with the expected high-flying (er, swinging) antics you'd expect from Marvel's most famous hero, the new gameplay demo shows Spidey stalking goons from high atop the rafters, silently picking them off and webbing them up one by one.

After ol' webhead takes out the first round of goons, we see him engage in a bit of fisticuffs with some tougher foes, countering and rhythmically striking back in spectacular fashion. This too is very Arkham-y. Which hey, isn't a bad thing!

Things keep escalating, as one of the game's villains, Mr. Negative, starts to escape by helicopter. This causes a construction crane to come crashing down as Spidey takes chase. Here's where the QTEs come in but don't worry, this isn't indicative of the final game. This is a cinematic section in an open world experience and at our behind closed doors demo at E3, Insomniac's James Stevenson took great pains to explain that there's going to be plenty of freedom. 

“It’s a free roaming New York open world, so this is a set piece in the game,” he said. “Even then, if you clock that nine minute demo there’s only about 20 seconds of QTEs, whereas the rest of it you’re in control of the combat, you’re in control of the traversal, you’re running through that building on fire. I wouldn’t even classify the helicopter because you’re climbing up the outside. And certain buttons do certain things. A lot of the time we try and match those button inputs to what they actually do. Certain sequences will have those moments.” 

Spider-Man PS4 D23 trailer is all about duality and acrobatic improv

Let's put on our conjecture specs. While Insomniac hasn't shown it off just yet, it's looking a lot like Spider-Man on PS4 is going to let you play as Peter Parker. There's no sniff of it in the action in the trailer above as Spidey swings through Manhattan but the development team is constantly referring to the need for a true duality for a proper Spidey story. "One of the most compelling things about Spider-Man is just when Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s world collide and we’ve tried really hard to weave the two stories together to create a story that is not necessarily a superhero story but a human story as well," says art director Jacinda Chew. How the team will do that without letting you wander New York as a certain Mr Parker is anyone's business.... 

Other juicy info bits thankfully further suggest that the QTEs of the E3 trailer were just there to deliver some bang for the end of Sony's conference and that the majority of the game will be all about choice. "We always think of Spider-Man as the ‘acrobatic improviser," explains creative director Bryan Intihar. "He’s looking for not just how he can take advantage of where the enemies are positioned but what’s around him. Could he use this object to grab with his webs and then throw at an enemy? We want people to not only see the enemies in front of them but the environment around to take advantage of both of them."

Spider-Man PS4's web-swinging is physics-based, not scripted

Were you wondering just how scripted that chase sequence from the Spider-Man E3 gameplay demo was? It certainly looks smooth enough to be, but Insomniac says nope:

“There is always a web anchor point,” Stevenson confirmed at E3. “It’s completely momentum and physics-based. We focussed a lot on traversal, wall running, leaping off of things, swinging.” This sounds a lot like Spider-Man 2 on PS2 with added realism which looks and sounds perfect. Hopefully we'll get a hands on soon to try it out for ourselves. 

Spider-Man PS4 stars Miles Morales and that won't be the only familiar face 

At the tail-end of the Spider-Man PS4 E3 2017 gameplay trailer, we catch a glimpse of Miles Morales - one of the men who took up the mantle of Spider-Man in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. Handsome devil, ain't he? Well Insomniac is quite aware of who he is, thank you very much and is teasing exactly how he'll be involved. "That was Miles Morales," confirmed James Stevenson at E3. "I would say that our universe is different. You may have seen the signs say ‘re elect Osborn for mayor.’ That’s obviously very, very different from any other Spider-Man universe so you will find a lot of characters in our universe that are familiar characters that maybe in new roles." 

The original Spider-Man PS4 trailer is still explosive

The first Spider-Man PS4 trailer shows a very acrobatic Spidey, not only swinging through the streets but also performing some very springy indoor acrobatics. The combat also seems to take advantage of both webs and agility. Throw in the action under the truck and the rooftop battling and this looks like a world just waiting to be beaten to a pulp with webs. It's all in game too so further proof that this is going to be one hell of an eye meltingly beautiful world to explore. 

Spider-Man PS4 story stars plenty of well known villains

In the E3 2017 gameplay, Spidey is pitting himself against a gang called the Demons led by Mister Negative. He's also on the phone to Kingpin who he's already helpfully put behind bars but is now getting information from. Even from this nine minutes of gameplay this feels like a who's who of Spidey villains and it'll be very interesting to see who appears next. It's important to note that Insomniac sees this very much as a Peter Parker story and while the team is staying tightlipped on whether we actually get to play as Parker, James Stevenson explained the importance of his part in a true Spidey tale. 

“This is 23 year old Peter Parker. He is kind of in his prime at being Spider-Man,” he said. “He is masterful at it. He’s been fighting crime for a while. Early in the game, he’s taken down Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, and put him behind bars finally and Peter Parker is feeling really good about things being Spider-Man. He’s taken down his adversary but his personal life is still a mess. He’s still Peter Parker, the bills still aren’t being paid, he’s juggling his personal relationships and his work life and trying to be Spider-Man. One of the big things for us is that it’s really critical that in a good Spider-Man story you see those two worlds collide.” 

Spider-Man PS4's open world is four to six times the size of Sunset Overdrive and will be open from the get go 

New York is big. No, seriously. It's HUGE. Insomniac has confirmed that Spider-Man's open world is "four to six times" the size of Sunset Overdrive, the team's previous open world game. According to Comicbook.com, Insomniac has also confirmed that the whole open world will be available from the get go so no introductory missions to unlock New York. Phew. 

Insomniac is working very closely with Marvel 

And if you were worried about the authentic nature of the story, stand down, Marvel is very much involved. Marvel Games creative director Bill Rosemann has been enthusing about the game. As reported on Reddit by GamingSince95 (me too, pal), Rosemann was waxing lyrical about the Insomniac and Marvel teams' shared love for Spidey. They even eat together and had the same underpants growing up, and it's all leading up to one thing; showing the world how brilliant Spider-Man is.

"You may have heard that we’re making a Spider-Man game with Ted Price’s team at Insomniac and our friends at Sony Interactive Entertainment," he said. "The other day we were sitting around talking… Insomniac is only ten minutes away from Marvel Games offices… and we’re eating lunch and talking, asking each other: “hey, when you first get into Spider-Man? And we all realized we had the same story. We discovered him when we were very little. Not only that, we all realized that we all owned the same Spider-Man underoos back in the day." 

"And it feels like our lives have driven us to this moment. This is our purpose: to show the world why this character is so awesome. To bring this fictional world into the real world. It’s very personal for us. We’re going to focus our life’s journey into this game, to celebrate him with the world." Hmm, anyone betting on promotional Spidey underwear with the special edition...?

The Spider-Man PS4 costume is an original comprised of familiar parts

Not only is Insomniac's Spider-Man story brand new, so is its take on the iconic superhero outfit. While the red and blue motif of the Spider-Man PS4 costume is in line with almost every depiction of the character dating back to 1962, the enormous white spite logo stretching across his torso is a striking deviation from the norm. While not exact, the white logo does recall the classic design of Spider-Man's black costume which in the late '80s turned into the villain Venom.

There's a reason for it according to Insomniac but we don't know whether that reason is alien symbiote-related. 

It's also interesting to note that the white continues to Spidey's web shooters which, color aside, are very similar to the Spider-Man Homecoming web shooters.  

Don't worry, Insomniac’s Spider-Man delivers all the web-filled choice you could want

Spider-Man developer says its Manhattan map will be "four to six" times bigger than its last open-world

Insomniac is developing a Spider-Man game

There's actually loads of info about Insomniac's PS4 Spider-Man