Variety’s Cut Scene Blog is reporting (h/t 1upnews) that Radical Entertainment, the facet of Activision that is behind Prototype, will be working on a Spider-Man game after Prototype is released upon the populace. Apparently, Blizzard needed a studio to take over the franchise, as Treyarch — who had designed Spider-Man games in the past — is pretty busy making Call of Duty and James Bond titles every other year. Radical, whose current project is about an agile hero who leaps from building to building in an open world environment, makes an obvious choice. Whatever coding they’re using for Prototype will probably carry over to their next project seamlessly, so long as they remember to remove the whole people-absorption thing.
I’m pretty happy about this development. Prototype looks amazingly fun, but what’s more intriguing is the ruthlessness of the some of the action. Past iterations of Spider-Man in videogame form have often been cartoony and mediocre, as developers have designed children’s games and tried to sell them to adults. Maybe Radical will change the direction of the series.
Last year’s Web of Shadows (which was made by Blizzard’s own Shaba) was full of repetitive gameplay, button mashing, and lame ass quests. Web of Shadows got everyone in a tizzy over skateboarding villains, but flashy moves do not a game make, especially when you have to use and overuse those special attacks until they become the equivalent of high-kick. To its credit, the game did have nice open environments in which you could web sling to your heart’s content, but the boring combat and worse storyline brought it all down to earth. Nothing about Web of Shadows made the player need to move the story forward, or want to learn a new trick. Every new move got old fast, and every quest made one wish a power surge would knock out the electricity.
We need a Spider-Man game that doesn’t feel kiddy, contrived, or banal. We need a Spider-Man with the heart of Jack Bauer. We know that Radical can handle the open world design. Hopefully, it will also bring with it the gritty and unforgiving attitude it is making use of in Prototype when it turns its attentions to the Spider-Man franchise. Lord knows Peter Parker could use a facelift. Hopefully Luke Cage will not be involved.