Interview / Talking Spider-Man with Web of Shadows’ senior executive producer Graham Fuchs

Activision had only one thing on their mind for all three days of the New York Comic Con event: Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. Activision’s booth was simply a very large hi-def television showing the recently released trailer for the new Spidey game and yet it still managed to consistently draw huge crowds. What can we say? Spidey is huge and Activison’s Spidey games have been huge as well, especially Spider-Man 2 which basically set the tone for what a great super-hero game should play like.

So now our friendly neighborhood hero is back in action without a movie tie-in and with what looks to be a very large black slime problem on his hands. There isn’t much information out there on the new game yet so I sat down (ok, we stood) with the game’s senior executive producer Graham Fuchs to pick his brain on everything this new web slinger game is going to offer. Since we were on the con floor, and since they really aren’t letting that much out right now, the interview was fairly short. But it definitely revealed a bit more about the game.

That VideoGame Blog’s Matthew Razak (TVGB): So tell me a little about what Spider-Man: Web of Shadows is all about? The trailer gives away very little.

Graham Fuchs (GF): Well New York has been invaded and is under marshal law. S.H.I.E.L.D. has been brought in and all the heroes and villians in the city are sort of holed up doing what they can. So Luke Cage is in Harlem trying to fight there for example and there is a bunch of other heroes all over the city. It’s New York under siege.

TVGB: What are you doing to improve from the previous games?

GF: This is a whole new approach that we’ve done. We’ve rethought a lot of things. First off this is a comic book based game so we can take parts from the Spider-Man comic and take any ones we really like and use them. We aren’t stuck to a movie script or telling a certain story. In this one your actions will also effect how you are perceived by others.

TVGB: You’ll be able to be good or bad?

GF: There are plenty of heroes and villians in the city and you are in control of what it is you want to do. So you can side with a villian if you like. Are you going to be a hero in every situation? All of your choices have repercussions so you have to decide what kind of hero or villian you want to be. People will react to you accordingly and so will the rest of the heroes. If you’ve been kind of making some of the less heroic decisions the people of New York are going to act accordingly.

TVGB: What is it that is causing all this trouble? The black substance in the trailers is very reminiscent of the Venom Symbiote.

GF: You’ll just have to keep speculating on that for now.

TVGB: The game is coming out on every major platform. What differences can we expect? Any special features from system to system?

GF: You’ll have to wait for when it comes time for the first look for that. All the games are being developed by us though, all the same developer.

TVGB: Going back to changes in the game. The first story at IGN commented that the fighting system was going to be much more vertical now so that that fights take place not just on the streets but in the air too. How is this working?

GF: We’ve redone the entire fight system. We’re saying this is going to be the most 3D Spider-Man game ever in that you’ll be fighting up the sides of building. You can start a fight on the ground and then fight all the way up to the roof tops. We’re taking all the action vertical so that you’re really using all of the city.

TVGB: Your average thug can’t really get up to the top of a building, so is the battle system being designed to launch them upwards or something?

GF: Since we’ve really had the whole comic book universe that is enabling us to have all kinds of fights with all kinds of enemies. Spidey isn’t the only guy that can stick to walls you know.

TVGB: Good point. So what about those walls? What is New York going to look like this time around? In the trailer it looks pretty post-apocalyptic and torn down.

GF: We’ve completely rebuilt New York from the previous games. It’s going to look absolutely amazing.

TVGB: And will it be all torn down and destroyed or looking nice and new?

GF: A little of both. As the missions take place the city is going to change a bit. You’ll have to wait and see.

TVGB: I heard mention of a contest to get your voice in the game.

GF: Yea we’re doing a contest where people can submit entries to have their voice used in the game for some pedestrians. People can also go to the website (www.seizecontrol.com) and vote on what they want the first trailer to be. We’re trying to get the community involved around the game.

TVGB: So what do you think stands out most about the new game?

GF: It’s really hard to say. I think people are really going to be impressed with the new city and combat. It’s much more fun from top to bottom.

TVGB: You probably can’t talk about this yet, but are there any online aspects?

GF: We’re just focusing on the single player.

TVGB: The Spider-Man games sort of created the whole open world super hero genre which is being used so often now in hero games. With Hulk and Iron Man coming out in much the same open world style how are you trying to stand out?

GF: I don’t really know about those games because we’re not doing them so we’re not really thinking about them. We’re just making the best possible Spider-Man game we can. It’s what people want and we’re going to do the best job possible.

[See also: Spider-Man: Web of Shadows gallery]

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