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Spider-Man 4 Wii prototype shows a game and film that never were

(Image credit: Sony)

A newly unearthed pre-release version of the Spider-Man 4 Wii game is a double whammy of entertainment archaeology, both for the game itself and the movie it was based on. Spider-Man 4 was set to continue the series of films that starred Tobey Maguire until it was canceled in 2010, followed immediately by the announcement of the Amazing Spider-Man reboot series, and we've seen little of the project since then.

The video game adaptation of Spider-Man 4 that was in the works at developer Eurocom died a quiet death and was forgotten. Then video game history site Gaming Alexandria got its hands on a Nintendo Wii development kit that still had a playable version of the game on its built-in hard drive. Now you can download a copy of the game's ROM and play it on an emulator yourself - the site recommends using Dolphin version 5.0-8582 rather than the latest one. Or if you'd prefer to just see what Spider-Man 4 looks like in action, you can watch this YouTube playthrough from Hard4Games.

This version of Spider-Man 4 is incomplete and unpolished, but it still has enough to give you a good idea of how the game would work. Two prototype stages show off a mostly linear level design where Spider-Man is able to leap, run, and swing from certain marked objects in the environment to advance. Occasionally he has to stop and fight a bunch of identical goons wearing baseball caps and gas masks. Compared to the current gold standard of Spider-Man games, Spider-Man PS4, it looks real rough. But there was still a lot of work to do when the game was canceled for reasons outside of the developers' control.

Elements of the game's menu and environments seem to confirm that The Vulture would have been the main villain of the story, though sadly it doesn't give us a look at any potential costume design for him. The Vulture would finally make his cinematic debut years later in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Get up to date with the current film universe in our guide to the Marvel timeline.

Connor has been doing news and feature things for GamesRadar+ since 2012, which is suddenly a long time ago. How on earth did that happen?