Developers need to realise there's more to Spider-Man than the films

Sam Wilson Captain America

Wilson is a very different character to Steve Rogers, and so they can use him to tell different stories, but still have that fancy shield on his arm.

Steve Rogers is still around, he was just old for a bit. The problem is that he's now uttering allegiances to Nazi criminal supergroup HYDRA after an encounter with a sentient cosmic cube changed him from a patriotic grandpa to a young fascist.

It's one of the biggest shake-ups, unfortunately leading to some of the more entitled fans sending the writer death threats, but imagine a Captain America game where you're the villain. Prototype and Infamous have both shown us that being a dick with superpowers is incredibly rewarding, but if this was licensed? That's a chance to offer something unique.

You could also turn pretty much any comic arc featuring Nick Fury into an excellent stealth game; the Mighty Thor's human form is currently a woman stricken with cancer; and there's an alternate universe where Gwen Stacy becomes Spider-Woman after she gets bitten by a radioactive spider and beats Peter Parker, who's a lizard here, to death in their first fight.

Less Peter, more Miles

That last one made me cheer a little. I love Spidey, but I've got a healthy dislike for Parker, and the first thing I'd do in a new Spider-Man game is to cut Peter Parker entirely. There's already a second Spider-Man in the Marvel universe, Miles Morales, and it's his time to shine.

Peter Parker is vanilla, an orphan with superpowers struggling to balance his social life with his commitment to Justice. Parker's most difficult choice is whether he wants to date daughter of the city's police chief Gwen Stacy, or the supermodel Mary Jane Watson.

Miles Morales

Contrast that with Miles Morales, the "new" Spider-Man, who took the mantle after Parker's death in the Ultimate universe and was one of the few characters to be brought over to the main Marvel continuity. Morales was bitten by a different radioactive spider (because comics) and has somewhat similar powers to Parker, although his Spidey-sense is toned down a bit and he can turn invisible.

What's really interesting about Miles is that he's much less sure of his place in society. Morales is of dual heritage, and his parents (both still alive) are struggling to make ends meet.

It's not that he's a much better character than Parker, it's that he's a 'new' character. That little change is enough to make a big difference both in terms of the stories you can tell and in gameplay terms for the way you could play it.

How would it change? Morales mostly deals with more street-level threats so he could stomp around Manhattan dealing with hoodlums and gang leaders. He's also more of an unskilled Spider-Man, meaning you get the chance to play as him as he learns his skills.

Looking beyond the mainstream

If Insomniac go with Morales for another Spidey game, they shouldn't be afraid to mix in a few different heroes to keep things interesting too - the superhero movies do this so well that even the different studios that have carved up the rights to Marvel's roster want to play nice with each other to get those crossovers.

My point is that there's so much more to these characters than their big screen adaptations suggest. There's a diverse set of characters and themes hailing from different alternate universes with a much more interesting set of stories to tell.

We've already had a taste of some of them in 2010's Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, but it's about time some other superheroes received the same treatment.

Unfortunately, it's too late for Insomniac's Spider-Man, but for any games coming after it - why not read a few comic books, eh?

Jake Tucker
Editor in chief, TechRadar Gaming

Jake Tucker is the editor in chief of TechRadar Gaming and has worked at sites like NME, MCV, Trusted Reviews and many more. He collects vinyl, likes first-person shooters and turn-based tactics titles, but hates writing bios. Jake currently lives in London, and is bouncing around the city trying to eat at all of the nice restaurants.