Although the Marvel's Spider-Man 2 gameplay reveal at PlayStation Showcase illustrated an abundance of new and exciting gameplay mechanics, it left a lot of the upcoming title's plot ambiguous. The only potentially notable narrative elements divulged during the gameplay preview were that Peter Parker is, at least for a time, clad in, and deeply affected by the symbiote suit; and the fact that Kraven appears to be the game's primary antagonist. The reveal trailer also shows a full-fledged Venom, though it is unclear who the host is; fanning the flames of speculation and spawning an abundance of interesting theories as to the true identity of Venom's host.

The Creative Director of Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Bryan Intihar greatly enhanced interest in the identity of Venom's host, as well as furthered the pre-existing speculation when he announced, during the upcoming game's Summer Game Fest opening night event, that the most well-known host of Spider-Man's symbiotic archenemy, Eddie Brock, would not be reprising his role of Venom. Although Eddie Brock is not the only character to have hosted Venom in franchise history, Intihar went on to note that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 was an original story and like nothing before seen in any of the Spider-Man comics, movies, or video games, perhaps implying that Venom will have a relatively unfamiliar host.

Related: Marvel's Spider-Man 2: Everything We Know - Release Date, Story, Gameplay

How Kraven Could Become Venon in Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2's Kraven alongside his symbiote enhanced self, The Spider, from Spider-Man: Life Story

Although the gameplay from the PlayStation Showcase has not been confirmed to be from early in the game, as Peter Parker appears to willingly host the symbiote suit, it seems likely that the gameplay previewed comes from a section before the suit inevitably causes things to go wrong for Spider-Man. One prevailing theory regarding the identity of Venom's host is that Kraven the hunter, the game's big bad, will become Venom's host at some point during the story of Marvel's Spider-Man 2. Building upon this popular avenue of speculation, it's interesting to consider how Venom could bond with Kraven throughout the game.

Kraven's first encounter with the sentient alien symbiote will likely come as part of an early to mid-game defeat at the hands of a powerful and overly aggressive symbiote-powered Peter Parker. This loss could be particularly brutal or especially embarrassing, leading Kraven and his men to seek revenge against the victorious Peter and Miles.

Following this, as the story progresses towards the mid-game, Peter will possibly become far too aggressive whilst under the symbiote’s ever-increasing influence. This could ultimately lead to Peter seriously hurting someone, possibly MJ, Miles, or Harry. This will result in a boss fight between Miles and the symbiote-controlled Peter, with the defeated Peter ultimately free from the symbiote which has poisoned his mind.

Towards the end of Marvel's Spider-Man 2, despite being discarded, the symbiote survives and, one way or another falls into Kraven’s possession. Kraven, still blinded by vengeance and fixated on defeating Peter and Miles, has been looking for a way to get an advantage over the Spider-Men. He is, therefore, all too willing to provide his body as a host for Venom in a sort of mutualistic bargain; Venom survives and Kraven becomes immensely more powerful. Near the very end of the game, Peter and Miles must fight Kraven, who is now imbued with the full Venom appearance and powers.

Related:“It Can Be Pretty Jarring” - Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Promises A New Spin On The Venom Symbiote

Kraven Potentially Has Other Motivations to Host Venom

kraven the hunter's powers in marvel comics

The son of a Russian aristocrat, Sergei Kravinoff, also known as Kraven the Hunter, is, in the Spider-Man canon, a master tactician and one of the world's greatest hunters. Although he is a skilled marksman, Kraven prefers to kill his prey with his bare hands and he only hunts the most dangerous game. In the Marvel's Spider-Man 2 trailer, introducing Kraven the Hunter, Kraven's men recommend a new and more challenging hunting ground, New York.

Throughout the Marvel's Spider-Man 2 gameplay footage, Peter and Miles are forced to fend off wave after wave of Kraven's band of heavily armed hunters, with the pair's conversation suggesting that they have already encountered their leader, Kraven. This could potentially be as a result of him hunting them throughout New York City prior to the beginning, or at the very start of the game. Although Kraven was looking for a challenge, and likely anticipated the incredible difficulty of hunting the Spider-Men, Peter hosting the Venom symbiote may prove to be a more testing target than the master hunter could have ever expected.

Kraven's great hunt could prove to be the catalyst for his all-consuming desire to obtain an advantage over the superpowered prey he is hunting through the streets of New York. Although his unparalleled tactical and hunting abilities mean that he may have an easy time with many of his less powerful targets in New York City, after an early game defeat at the hands of Miles and the symbiote strengthen Peter, Kraven could realize that he is in need of additional power to complete his great hunt - leading to his willingness to play host to the immensely powerful symbiote, Venom.

Related: What Kraven's "Great Hunt" In Spider-Man 2 Means For Peter & Miles

Kraven Is A Good Candidate

A close-up of Peter Parker in the Venom symbiote suit staring directly into camera. His eyes have shifted to include more angular points reminiscing Venom more than Spider-Man

Significantly, at the Summer Game Fest opening night event for Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Creative Director Bryan Intihar seemingly referred to Kraven the Hunter and Venom as independent characters. Although this could be interpreted as an official indication that the two are set to be unrelated antagonists in the upcoming Spider-Man game, it has widely been theorized that Intihar's comments were intentionally misleading; aimed at misguiding fans to keep concealed the true identity of Venom's host.

Although there are numerous potential characters that could host Venom in the upcoming game, Kraven's apparent significance to the narrative makes his candidacy particularly compelling. Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is set to be released in October 2023; with this date closing in, it's probable that developer Insomniac and publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment will release further gameplay trailers, potentially shedding light on, or hinting at the true identity of Venom's host.