I posted the other day about how much I loved Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. But it wasn't the only Spider-Man adaptation that I've thoroughly enjoyed over the past couple of months. You know what else is great? Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4.
But you know, as much as I loved it, it's got its weaknesses, and there's one in particular I'm thinking of; a weakness it shares with the Batman: Arkham series whose formula it copies.
And that weakness is this: Batman and Spider-Man have two of the best rogues galleries in comics. So why do you spend so much of the game beating up on generic thugs?
The generic enemies in the Arkham series fall along the lines of "thug", "thug in clown mask", "thug in Two-Face mask", that kind of thing. What's the difference between a Joker thug and a Two-Face thug? Not a hell of a lot.
Spider-Man does a little bit better. It's got its share of generic thugs, but the Demons and the Sable mercs are more memorable, and they have their own weapons and attack patterns that the other mobs don't share.
But I'd still like to see a little more color among the low-level enemies in the game. I'm not saying get rid of the street thugs entirely; Batman and Spider-Man are street-level heroes, and fighting ordinary thugs is definitely in their wheelhouse. But maybe increase the ratio of colorful costumed supervillains to generic muggers.
And here's my thought: they should copy the Nemesis system from Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor/Shadow of War.
I'm not saying copy it entirely. Like I said, Spider-Man's already got a fantastic stable of villains; he doesn't need a game built around pursuing new ones created at random.
But what I'm thinking is, those sidequests where you fight through a warehouse full of Kingpin thugs or whatever? Put some kind of randomized supervillain sub-boss at the end of those.
I'm also picturing the late, lamented MMORPG City of Heroes as a template. CoH let you choose a basis for your powers -- technological gadgets, scientific experimentation, genetic mutation, the usual superhero origin stuff -- and a power set related to that. It also had an extremely versatile character creation tool.
So I'm thinking, populate a Spider-Man game with minor supervillains whose names, costumes, powers, and origin stories are randomly pieced together from a set of stock supervillain tropes.
Silas Skinner was a lab assistant at Oscorp, until a lab accident caused his skin to begin growing out of control. When Mr. Negative offered him a chance at revenge on Norman Osborn, he joined the Demons. With the help of stolen unstable-molecule tech, he is now able to control his skin-stretching power, and runs the Upper-West Side as Epidermis Rex!
Dawn Dwyer was a ticket-taker at the Central Park Zoo, until she was badly injured in a stampede caused by Kraven the Hunter. In exchange for her loyalty, Wilson Fisk outfitted her with a mechanical suit that compensates for her injuries and grants her enhanced strength and speed. Now, she leads an animal-themed gang of enforcers as Bear Dawn!
Pointagar Stickagon is an Inhuman who owns a pointy stick. He terrorizes Midtown as Pointy Stick!