Published on June 20th, 2024 | by Chris O'Connor

The Art Of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 HC Review @DarkHorse @Marvel

The Art Of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 HC Review @DarkHorse @Marvel Chris O'Connor

Summary: Lift the mask on the creation of Marvel's Spider-Man 2.


Stunning Spider-Man

Marvel’s Spider-Man games are a fun open world experience that immerse the players in the world of Spider-Man’s New York. But those experiences don’t just spring out of no where… it takes an impressive team of people building them up from the ground and The Art of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 let’s us explore how this game came to be.

I’ve always been a fan of concept art and have fond memories of picking up a poster book of Ralph McQuarrie’s Star Wars images and flicking through them, soaking in their ambiance and how a story could be told with a single image. The pages of The Art of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has a similar feel but with a lot more detail about how the images came to be.

The book is set out in acts that cover the different elements such as character design, locations, props and so on. Different variations are shown and explanations as to the creative process that helped the team move from rough concepts to final presentation. It’s as much a guide to concept execution as it is an art book given that the creative team provide comments throughout which helps inform readers of the way they tackled problems and found the right balance to really bring the game to life.

But it’s not all simply about the static elements that go in to making the living world… there are storyboards as well, because of course part of the game is telling a story and to do that effectively it certainly helps to plot out the scenes. Again the creative team provide notes as to how they wanted given scenes to look and feel in order to move the story forward and engage the player.

To finish it all off there are galleries. This is where a lot of the elements of the game that really give it a “lived in” feel come in to play. Things like posters that you might spot stuck up on a building, graffiti sprayed on the side of a wall, murals and even different outfits for Peter. As the book says, it takes a lot of artists to build a city as large as Marvel’s New York and it’s nice to be able to enjoy some of that art in a more relaxed setting, rather than whilst chasing down a criminal or getting away from a challenging foe.

Final Thoughts?

Much like that time flicking through the concept art of Ralph McQuarrie… there are images here that I think would make fantastic posters. There are a great collection of images with wonderful insight into how they came to be and how they help tell the story. Grab a copy if you are a fan of the game, Spider-Man, game making or even just art in general… it’s a beautifully laid out reference to the love and care that went into making an engaging and at times quite moving game.

About the Author'

Father of four, husband of one and all round oddity. Gaming at home since about 1982 with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Moving on to the more traditional PC genre in the years that followed with the classic Jump Joe and Alley Cat. CGA, EGA, VGA and beyond PC's have been central to my gaming but I've also enjoyed consoles and hand helds along the way (who remembers the Atari Lynx?). Would have been actor/film maker, jack of many trades master of none.

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