Spider-Man hits the PS4 in just a week, so we decided to look back at the wall crawler’s history that spans four decades from Atari 2600 to PS4.Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man for PS4 is one of the most anticipated games of this year, which is something the webhead isn’t all too familiar with. He’s had a rocky history with some truly great games peppered throughout the past four decades, but none of them have quite hit the fever pitch that Insomniac’s take on the character has.
So how did our friendly neighborhood wall crawler get here? Well, we at GameSpot looked back at Spider-Man’s history in video games, from humble beginnings on the Atari 2600 to swinging through a virtual, open-world Manhattan. Without question, Spider-Man has evolved alongside video games. Early 2D games attempted to capture what the hero was about with simple web-shooting mechanics and eventually beat-’em-up action, and as games moved into the 3D space with fully-realized open worlds, Spider-Man swung through them (whether or not his webs actually attached to buildings).
And speaking of the web-swinging, we got the chance to speak to Jamie Fristom, who kicked off and helped create the physics-based swinging system that made its debut in 2004’s Spider-Man 2, which released on PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox. Unsatisfied with the swinging in the first Spider-Man movie game, Fristrom went into the office after hours and created a prototype, which eventually went on to be implemented in the next game. It’s an interesting story of game development, for sure, but as a defining point in Spider-Man’s video game history, it’s an absolutely essential story to hear for fans of the red-and-blue hero.
In fact, Spider-Man 2 set the bar for all of the webhead’s games moving forward, thanks in most part to that swinging system, which was very well received by critics and fans alike. Even with the upcoming PS4 game, our hero can’t step out of Spider-Man 2’s shadow. Whether it’ll surpass that game or be able to swing on its own as another great entry in the series… well, we’ll just have to wait for reviews to find out. Until then, take some time to revisit the past and watch The History of Spider-Man In Video Games.