Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018) was an incredible title, receiving one of our highest awards. It breathed new life into Marvel’s highly popular character, offering renewed interest in the Tom Holland films whilst also bringing a lot of much needed love to Miles Morales. Five years later, and the highly anticipated sequel is ready to drop. Naturally, it has left many wondering about what Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 differences might be in store when compared to the original title.

Next-Gen Only

Both games portray the adventurous life of the beloved superhero Spider-Man and are developed by Insomniac Games. These titles bring forward a rich narrative, engaging gameplay, and high-end graphics to provide an immersive experience to all PlayStation players. Unlike the first title, however, the second is exclusive to the PlayStation 5. The sequel takes advantage of the many advancements made to the ‘remastered’ version of the original, and pushes Sony’s next-gen console to its limits.

Visual Enhancements:

One of the striking Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 differences are the visual enhancements on offer. Sony confirmed the game would be playable in 4K at 60fps with ray tracing activated in all modes, which is a significant upgrade from its predecessor. Ray tracing is a rendering technique used to simulate the way light interacts with objects to generate realistic images. This feature, coupled with the high resolution and frame rate, contributes to much better visuals, offering a more realistic and engaging gaming experience. Better looking games are more immersive, slowly blending the line between real and imaginary.

Playable Characters:

In Marvel’s Spider-Man, players primarily assume the role of Peter Parker. However, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 expands the playable character roster by including Miles Morales – now a full fledged part of the story versus simply being available in a ‘spin-off‘. This addition brings a fresh perspective to the gameplay whilst also allowing for a more diversified narrative. Each character comes with unique abilities and gameplay styles, offering a more enriching and varied gameplay experience. The dual-character gameplay might also hint at a more complex narrative structure, possibly involving intertwined storylines and character arcs (no spoilers here, but there are way more villains this time around too).

Narrative Depth:

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 boasts a narrative inspired by the long-running comic book mythology, showing a commitment to honouring the rich history and complex narrative arcs of the Spider-Man universe (like the Sinister Six). This approach could lead to a more engaging story resonating well with both long-time fans and newcomers alike. It also suggests a potential for exploring deeper thematic elements and character development – especially if the trailers are anything to go by – thus providing a more layered storytelling experience.

Gameplay Mechanics:

One of the more notable Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 differences is the introduction of the ability to glide using Web Wings. This new feature significantly alters the way players navigate around New York, providing a fresh gameplay experience. The Web Wings are not just a flashy addition from the comics and movies, but are designed to integrate seamlessly into the gameplay, adding a new layer of traversal mechanics. This enhancement builds on the classic web-swinging fun from the previous game, making the city traversal more enjoyable and engaging. There is also the ability to instantly switch between Peter and Miles at any point throughout the campaign, made possible because the game was built with SSD technologies in mind. This should result in some interesting gameplay choices. It should also be noted how there will be more Spider-Man suites to unlock, something fans can look forward to.

Enhanced Environment:

Certain online comparisons have shown how Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 differences include significantly improved environment details. For instance, areas like Times Square have been showcased with more intricate designs and technical advancements, making the game’s environment more lively and realistic. These kinds of enhancements often lead to more immersive gameplay experiences as players navigate through more detailed and dynamic worlds.

Game Presentation:

The presentation of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 during the 2023 PlayStation Showcase event unveiled extensive gameplay, indicating a continuation and expansion of gameplay elements from the previous title. The sequel seems to maintain the essence of what made the first game successful while introducing new elements to keep the gameplay fresh and exciting. The presentation also hinted at a polished and refined gameplay experience, likely benefiting from the feedback and lessons learned from the previous instalment whilst taking advantage of the PlayStation 5’s hardware to make the game feel and look even better.

The transition from Marvel’s Spider-Man to Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 showcases a significant leap in terms of graphical upgrades, gameplay mechanics, and narrative depth. The inclusion of new characters, gameplay mechanics, and narrative arcs, alongside technical advancements, underscores Insomniac’s commitment to delivering a more enriching and immersive gaming experience. Through these enhancements, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is poised to offer a more refined and engaging gaming experience, building upon the solid foundation laid by its predecessor.

The game will be available from 20 October 2023, and although we have had the privilege of reviewing the previous titles in the franchise before release; we have not been so lucky to be picked by PlayStation this time around. With that said, should we invest in the title, a review will be produced in due course.

Owner, founder and editor-in-chief at Vamers, Hans has a vested interest in geek culture and the interactive entertainment industry. With a Masters degree in Communications and Ludology, he is well read and versed in matters relating to video games and communication media, among many other topics of interest.