Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the depiction of Peter Parker in the Playstation 4 (PS4) hit, Marvel’s Spider-Man. This depiction will not carry on to the Spider-Man remaster on Playstation 5 (PS5). When Sony revealed the updated Peter Parker, many gamers were not happy with the change. And it seems like the developers at Insomniac Games depicted Parker to slightly resemble Tom Holland, who is the actor who currently plays Peter Parker/Spider-Man in films. This was very interesting to me. I can’t recall there being a time when a remastered game led to its main character appearing completely different.
Some of you reading this will see nothing wrong with the change and others will support the developer’s new direction with the Parker character. I also understand that some gamers have not played the PS4 version of Marvel’s Spider-Man and are awaiting the PS5 version to try it for the first time. So the depiction of Peter Parker above will be all they know without any reference to compare it to. But having played and completed the PS4 version, I am one of the gamers that felt the switch for Parker was unnecessary for the PS5.
John Bubniak was the face capture used for Parker in the PS4 version and Ben Jordan became the new face model of the upcoming PS5 edition. According to Insomniac, the change was implemented, “In order to bring the best performances to players with our next-generation Marvel’s Spider-Man games…” The developer went on to note that, “…to get a better match to Peter Parker/Spider-Man actor Yuri Lowenthal’s facial capture, we have cast Ben Jordan to be the face model for Peter Parker on the PS5 console.” Insomniac is pointing this out as a necessary move in order to take advantage of the new hardware, yet the resemblance to Holland makes me believe it was more than just technicalities.
I loved my playthrough of Spider-Man on PS4. It was given to me as a gift last Christmas and from the moment I booted up the game, there was no doubt this is the best Spider-Man game ever made. Swinging around the city, taking out baddies with an array of moves, and the ability to play certain parts as Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson never wore out its welcome. Part of what kept me invested was the story and Peter Parker played a major role in that. While I will admit that expressions of the characters could have come off a bit less robotic, they still did a great job of conveying emotion and tension throughout the game. The PS4’s Parker pulled me in and kept me invested throughout the game. When I finished the main story, I came to the conclusion that this game’s Peter Parker was the best video game version I’ve ever seen and arguably better than any movie version as well.
Spider-Man is my favorite comic book character and Tobey Maguire was my favorite actor to take on the character in the Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 films. Nothing against their acting ability, but Andrew Garfield and Holland just didn’t have the same impact on me. When I was introduced to Spider-Man as a child through my older brother’s comic book collection and the 1960s cartoon of the web-slinging superhero, I mostly saw him depicted as either a college student or just out of college. He was a young adult that was beyond high school age. That is the version of Peter Parker that drew me to the character. The fact that the PS4 game portrayed him in this way won me over.
Bubniak and Lowenthal’s portrayal was amazing in the sense that I felt more empathy for Parker’s plight in a video game than I felt in most of the Spider-Man films. The character portrayed sadness, worry, anxiousness, and pain in a way that actually made me want to find out how everything would play out for him. I truly wanted to see him overcome every obstacle that had been set in his path and emerge victorious. And without giving away any spoilers, there are some huge challenges he must push through. There is a lot at stake within the plot of the game. And I was committed to seeing him through it.
Hopefully Insomniac can provide the same experience for gamers in the PS5 version that I had the privilege of on the PS4. While I can’t fathom the emotional range of the PS5 Parker matching the PS4 Parker when I view both pictures, there still is some time before the remastered release. I know the PS5 version will have outstanding visuals, but I am just fine with my PS4 version. It’s one of the best games within the past two years and one of the best superhero games ever made. If you are getting the PS5 version, I hope you enjoy it as much on that platform as I did on PS4.
Which version do you think is the best?