Marvel’s Spider-Man for PlayStation is taking off like a rocket ship in terms of sales. It’s been the UK’s fastest selling PlayStation exclusive, in the company of Infamous and God Of War. The game has even been revealed to be what the Iron Man film was to the MCU, the starting point of an entirely new media Marvel Universe. For all the easter eggs you find on screen and awesome screenshots players create in photo mode; Titan Books has published the behind the scenes story of developer Insomniac Games journey which can’t see by pressing the thumbstick on your Dualshock 4 in Marvel Spider-Man: The Art of The Game.
Filled with nearly 200 pages of concept art, in-game art assets, and the story of how Insomniac Games worked alongside Marvel and Sony to re-imagine Spider-Man, written by Paul Davies (The Art Of Horizon: Zero Dawn). It isn’t merely a collection of pretty pictures, the art book chronicles Insomniac Games love letter to Spider-Man. Reading notes from Creative Director Bryan Intihar on how the studio essentially started from the end with the climactic battle on the side of the building against the game’s true villain. Or how gaming veterans like Insomniac art director Jacinda Chew dealt with a new kind of pressure in redesigning the iconic Spidey costume. Even Marvel Games Creative Director Bill Rosemann tells some of his stories about learning just what makes a good Spider-Man story from Tom Brevoort.
Players who read this book will gain an entirely new perspective on the design of these characters and the New York that blends the real world with the Marvel Universe. Looking at what could have been from Insomniac’s first concept of the new Spider-Man suit, you see just how it evolved from dragging outdated notions like high boots to a sleek and sexy modern athletic wear style.
You’ll get just about every piece of concept art including Peter Parker’s design notes for his web shooters. Just as each unique part of Peter’s suit serves a function, the selections printed in this book were chosen to fill in pieces fans may not have caught while playing Marvel’s Spider-Man. In the game, we never see anyone notice Peter’s dual black bracelets and you’ll learn by gawking at this book, Insomniac had designed them to resemble Fitbit tech in the real world. That’s just one of the many nods you’ll encounter in these pages.
Once I flipped the last page of this gorgeous book, I gained a new appreciation for Marvel Games role in all this. Bill Rosemann and his team are credited here as more than just brand gatekeepers, they are a truly collaborative arm in the game’s development process. They manage to wrangle in hundreds of ideas on a single character and always steer developers to push boundaries while respecting iconography. It shows in the designs for Electro as you’ll see a few iterations of art where he looks unrecognizable then finally land on the star-shaped scars for a substitute of the mask.
This entire book not only reinforces how great a feat Insomniac and Sony pulled off but just how well Marvel understands that the Marvel Gamesverse can exist without movie tie-in grabs and do incredible business by letting talented storytellers play in their sandbox.
Simply put, Titan Books Spider-Man: The Art of The Game is the perfect set of special features for fans of Marvel’s Spider-Man on PlayStation.
If you’re in Southern California this weekend, you can stop by Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California to check out Marvel’s Spider-Man the art exhibit. Many pieces will be on display from September 15-23 with a special opening night reception this Saturday from 7pm-9pm with a signing featuring developers from Insomniac and some of the Marvel Games team.
You can find all the info here.
Nucleus Art Gallery
210 East Main Street
Alhambra, CA 91801