Marvel's Spider-Man 2 and Marvel's Wolverine are eagerly awaited, but there's one story developer Insomniac could be perfect for: Marvel's Spider-Verse​​​​​​. Insomniac's already been highly praised for its previous Marvel adaptations, Marvel's Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, with some fans ranking those portrayals of Peter Parker and Miles Morales among their favorites, so considering the studio's understanding of the superhero, it would be great to see it adapting multiple versions from across the Spider-Verse.

[Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse]

In recent years, multiverse and alternate reality stories appear to be everywhere in comic book media. The MCU's The Multiverse Saga is in full swing after Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Loki. Meanwhile, Sony and Marvel's award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel, Across the Spider-Verse, and DC's The Flash are the two most recent examples, releasing in cinemas just two weeks apart. Across the Spider-Verse continued Miles Morales' coming-of-age story with him a year into his superhero career, but introduced the Spider-Society, a group of Spider-People from across the multiverse brought together by Miguel O' Hara (aka. Spider-Man 2099) to keep the multiverse and its canonical events intact.

Spider-Verse Stories Have Already Proven Successful in Games

All four Spider-Men in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, from left to right: Ultimate, Amazing, Noir, and 2099.

Comic book multiverses have been around for a while, with DC's 1961 story The Flash of Two Worlds generally accepted as the first multiversal story with a crossover between the then-current Flash, Barry Allen, and the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick. While the concept of the Spider-Verse can be traced back to the 90s Spider-Man animated series' 2-part Spider Wars Saga, which served as a series finale, its recent popularity which led to the newer comics and animated movies is often accredited to a video game: Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions brought together four Spider-Men from different comic arcs, Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 2099, and Ultimate Spider-Man. Each version of Spider-Man was voiced by an actor who had portrayed the web-slinger in various animated series in the past, making the title truly feel like a celebration of the superhero's vast history, much as the recent Into the Spider-Verse and Across the Spider-Verse movies have.

As recently as June 2023, Marvel: Contest of Champions expanded their Spider-Verse with a new chapter to coincide with the release of Across the Spider-Verse. Whereas titles such as the aforementioned Shattered Dimensions showed multiple Spider-Men working together against the same threat, Contest of Champions will see a full Spider-Verse civil war after the previous chapter saw the Web of Fate and Destiny being destroyed, and the Spider-People forming rival teams to go head-to-head in battle. Although the set-up is different, the idea of multiple Spider-People facing off against each other over differing ideologies surrounding the multiverse is much like the one Beyond The Spider-Verse may depict after Across the Spider-Verse's shocking cliffhanger ending.

The Spider-Verse Movies Already Have Ties To Insomniac's Spider-Man Games

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales gameplay still of the Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse suit

Each of Sony's animated Spider-Verse movies have shared a release year with a Marvel's Spider-Man game, and as a result, both movies have included reference to Insomniac's version of Peter Parker. Marvel's Spider-Man's distinct Advanced suit appeared in Into the Spider-Verse in a display case and throughout the film's end credits, and Across the Spider-Verse went a step further by giving Yuri Lowenthal a full cameo in Miguel O' Hara's Spider-Society as this version of Spider-Man alongside the reveal of Marvel's Spider-Man 2 gameplay footage in the background of a scene in Miles and Ganke's dorm room.

Some immediately assumed upon catching a glimpse of Insomniac's take on the character in Across the Spider-Verse's promotional material that there would be a larger crossover with the games down the line. However, Lowenthal's cameo in the movie was small, and it will likely be been out of place to force such a large story as the Spider-Verse into Marvel's Spider-Man 2's narrative, as the game is already adapting the Venom saga, which is a prominent and beloved Spider-Man story on its own. A separate Marvel's Spider-Verse title would be a better option that could take what Insomniac's built with its previous games and allow it more room to breathe with its scope and the vast number of dimensions and characters it would require.

Insomniac has previously included Into the Spider-Verse suits in Marvel's Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. While Peter's Spider-Verse suit in Marvel's Spider-Man shared the same design, with the animated movie's textures, Miles' Spider-Verse costume in his game took things a step further, including a "Vibe the Verse" suit mod that changed the character model's frame rate movements to match those of the movie (which animated Miles on either every single frame or every other frame depending on his experience as a hero at that time) as well as the "Bam! Pow! Wham!" visor mod, which replaced the game's hit effects with the comic-based effects of the movie, with onomatopoeic text like that of the mod's name popping up in-game.

Through these suits and mods, Insomniac has shown that the Spider-Verse movie style could work in a game. If it were to develop a Spider-Verse story, it would be interesting to be able to jump to different dimensions with their own art styles, much like Across the Spider-Verse does with Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy's, with different, distinct open-world versions of New York (or 2099's Nueva York) to explore that have been built upon Insomniac's pre-existing map from Marvel's Spider-Man 2, which has already evolved and is larger than its predecessors.

A Marvel's Spider-Verse Game Could Utilize Spider-Man 2's Hero Swapping

Peter Parker and Miles Morales side-by-side, with the former in a suit of the Venom symbiote. Behind them are industrial buildings and an orange sky.

A multiversal story would need to jump between the alternate Spider-Men's worlds to tell its story, and although previous games have done this before, current hardware could allow a Marvel's Spider-Verse game to do it in a way players haven't seen before. The aforementioned Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions was level-based, with every fourth level taking place in a different hero's dimension until the finale brought them all together. Spider-Man: Edge of Time came out a year after Shattered Dimensions and used the fact it took place within the same building in different time periods to swap between the present-day Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 timelines, but much like Shattered Dimensions, swapping between the heroes was scripted and only occurred at key moments in the story.

Insomniac's PS5-exclusive titles could provide the solution to this, and enable players to traverse dimensions fluidly. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart told a dimension-hopping story and utilized the PS5's SSD to quickly warp between areas via "rifts" without the need for loading screens, which could be useful if the characters had the Spider-Society wristband technology seen in Across the Spider-Verse which enabled them to open portals to other universes. Whereas both Peter and Miles have had standalone titles where a player will control either hero on their own, Marvel's Spider-Man 2's recent gameplay footage revealed that players will be able to switch between both of them instantly across the open world as well with a Grand Theft Auto 5-esque mechanic, further indicating how such a feature could work in a Spider-Verse story with multiple Spider-People as playable protagonists.

While players are understandably looking forward to seeing how Peter and Miles deal with the threat of Kraven's "Great Hunt" and the Venom symbiote in Marvel's Spider-Man 2, and are curious about what the M-rated Marvel's Wolverine will bring, the technology is finally at a point where a studio could do justice to a multiversal, dimension-hopping story on a massive scale. With how much acclaim Insomniac's garnered for both its take on the Spider-Man mythos and how it's utilizing the PS5's hardware to enhance both its storytelling and gameplay rather than just visuals, it makes the studio the perfect choice to create a Marvel's Spider-Verse game in the future.

Source: Marvel Entertainment/YouTube