You can thank Sunset Overdrive for why swinging in Insomniac's Spider-Man feels so damn good

Sunset Overdrive launched at a time when the Xbox One wasn't doing so well. Arriving a year after the launch of Xbox One, it even had its very own console bundle (which I actually bought), but that didn't mean that it was going to be a financial success. The game reviewed incredibly well thanks to Insomniac's ability to inject new life into an ageing genre, and bring its flair for ingenious, creative weaponry to the fore. 

But although it's a shame we're probably never going to get a Sunset Overdrive 2, it turns out the game has been critical as a starting point for Insomniac's next game, the ridiculously highly anticipated Spider-Man PS4 exclusive.

Speaking to Insomniac's Creative Director, Brian Intihar, at a Spider-Man preview event, he stated that the team's experience making Sunset Overdrive kickstarted the work on Spidey.

"Previous to Spider-Man we made a game called Sunset Overdrive. It was an open-world game and I think that gave us a leg-up in terms of getting things started [on Spider-Man]," explained Intihar. "We thought, okay, we know how to build an open world, we knew how to build New York, we knew how to make a game based on traversal, and we wanted Spider-Man to have kind of the same sense of flow and overall style that we had in Sunset. But now we had to inject the Spider-Man-ness into it."

If you've played Sunset Overdrive, and I highly recommend that you should, then you'll know that its traversal definitely has some comparisons to what you'd hope Spider-Man would be like. It's part parkour, part rail grinding, part trick flipping, and all of that combining into some slick combos. Okay, so you don't want Spidey doing any rail grinding, but you do want the web swinging and wall running to have the same fluidity as was present in Sunset. 

And that's exactly what Intihar says the team has done, citing Sunset Overdrive as the basis for making Spider-Man, "especially for swinging and overall world creation". 

"We knew Spider-Man was going to move a lot faster, and we knew that we wanted our New York to be bigger. Another thing is that Sunset didn’t have vehicles, didn’t really have a lot of NPC or pedestrians walking the street, so we had to take all that stuff into account. But I think if it wasn’t just for getting our feet wet with Sunset as an open world, we would have had a harder time doing it, but our very talented team was able to run with it." 

"One of the things I was very adamant about, early on, was that it had to feel like a living breathing New York City. It can’t be that something happens in the first hour and everyone disappears. New York City is so defined by its people that we need to make sure that that’s there."

Insomniac's Spider-Man is arriving exclusively on PS4 on September 7

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.