From the early 2000’s Josua Benavidez has been working behind the scenes on many Triple A games.
Now being the Design Director at Insomniac Games for the PlayStation 5 exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and thanks to PlayStation HQ, STG was able to have a one on one with Josua about his work in the game and what PlayStation players can expect from Insomniac Games’ latest webbed hero’s adventure, before the game’s release.
Shane: Hey Josua, thanks for chatting to us here at STG. Great to meet you. So the map of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a reimagined New York. Can you tell us about the favourite parts of this now expanded city?
Josua: Yeah, so I really wanted to see a lot of details added in to the game, The likes of, you know, Amy’s House, Peter’s Aunt, May’s houses, and so you get to see part of his neighbourhood where he went to school. You’ll actually get to visit Peter’s High School. And then for Brooklyn and it was great to be able to add because Brooklyn has so much iconic landmarks to it. And so we added lots of really interesting areas, including Coney Island and Brooklyn also ties into Miles (Miles Morales). That’s actually where Miles is going to school. And so that’s part of our game. It was like Miles and his journey as he’s finishing up high school.
Shane: Now there’s always complications when you build a game. Was it hard coming in to this second game when expectations were already set high?
Josua: Well, one of the things we wanted to do is to make sure that there is something new for players to explore and you know, we wanted to give them an experience that’s new and exciting. One of the ways that we went about delivering on that was adding new traversal measures, new traversal moves. We added the web wings, which is great because it’s a new traversal feature that allows you to glide around. It works really well with swinging, but also allows you to explore and kind of see the city in a new way.
You can swing, but also you can kind of glide over the tops and with that it also allowed us to add more traversal features to the world. So we’ve got wind tunnels and we’ve got updrafts, these allow you to play with the city in a way that you didn’t have before. And then also we’ve got the two heroes.
And so we did have the Miles Morales game, but this is the first time we actually have two full Spider-Man heroes at the same time, right. And so being able to switch between them was another thing that we thought would really help add to creating a new experience. You get to see two different spider arcs, Hero arcs, right? Cause we’ve got Miles who has his own arc and his own story and journey that he goes through. And so does Peter, right. And Peter’s is very heavily tied to the symbio. And so you’ve got both of them kind of going on their own journeys and so that allows players to experience things from two different sides, but then also of course, you know, they converge together.
Shane: Without giving any spoilers, what is your favourite part of the game?
Josua: I don’t have a favourite part. I love, you know so much in the game.
There’s so many great moments. I love the story, I think it’s amazing. It’s great. It’s just such a great story for telling, you know, the journey that Peter Peter goes through. I love a lot of the new things that we’ve done with the open world and spider bots. I guess that’s kind of a little bit of a spoiler, but like, you know, spider bots were really fun thing that we got to add to the game.
Shane: What what I found when I was playing Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is that I would deviate a lot from the main story because the city was so dynamic and there is so much going on.
Josua: There’s a lot of little twists and then we have lots of great missions that have a creative take on the experience. And so we thought about the missions and what players would expect from a big Marvel blockbuster game experience, right? But then we also have missions that are more playing to kind of the characters of the city and are a little bit more character driven. And so I love that we have that balance right that we’ve got all these different scales that people can engage within.
Shane: So you’re the Design Director for Spider-Man 2, but you have also worked on other top shelf games.
Josua: Yeah, I mean this is the third Spider-Man game that I’ve worked on and been on since the beginning.
It’s been a really fun experience working on Spider-Man from the beginning and being able to take on different challenges from the first Spider-Man game. This time I focused more on the initial layout of the City of Manhattan and figuring out where our landmarks were going to be and what our scales and metrics we’re going to be and how we would actually kind of build the world and the city itself. I’ve been Directing on missions, different side contents and the expanding the city. So it’s been a really fun experience just getting to do lots of different things and being part of creating these games.
Shane: What’s next for you and the team at Insomniac Games?
Josua: Right now we’re just waiting for the launch, right? That’s just like I’m playing the game everyday. Still just looking for things and watching what people are posting and reading comments. You know what people are saying about it and we’re still basically focused on getting this game out here and waiting for everyone to get playing it.
Shane: What would you say to future players of Spider-Man 2?
Josua: We’ve got an amazing story and amazing main campaign to play through that I think does a great job of telling the different arcs of our heroes and our different characters. It’s actually not a game just about the spider heroes. There’s other characters. We have lots of other characters that you can experience, but also, like, take the time to explore the city and play through some of our other content which kind of goes into again a little more character focus or just offers a different experience.
And there’s so much that the game has to offer. I’m really excited and hopeful that people try out that try out everything. I know it’s exciting and sometimes just want to get to the end of the story, but also take the time to explore the other parts of the game and see all the different things that we have to offer.
Shane: Thanks Josua for chatting to us at STG. Really appreciate it and I know many PlayStation gamers are looking forward to the release of Spider-Man 2.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is now out on PlayStation 5.