How Insomniac Updated New York City in Spider-Man 2

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    Sony PlayStation’s Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is officially out, and apparently, it’s pretty good. If you want to know about them all, read our review.

    Notably, Spider-Man 2 takes place on the same open-world map as the first game and its sequel, Miles Morales. That is New York City. Similar to how Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios handles its primaries Kamorocho Open-world in the Like a Dragon (formerly Yakuza) series, Insomniac chose to iterate on their New York City reinvention approach with some major changes. Those changes are the addition of Queens and Brooklyn boroughs on top of the existing Manhattan map and the switch from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 exclusives (Spider-Man 1 and Mel Morales are also on PS5, but cross-platform). It’s on a much larger map that looks much better.

    To show some of these changes, I photographed the world of Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 from the top of the Empire State Building, highlighting the key changes. This article doesn’t go into too much depth to avoid spoilers, but still, consider this your spoiler warning.

    Note: In all cases, the first image is of Spider-Man 2, shot on a PlayStation 5, and the second is of Spider-Man 1, shot on a base PlayStation 4.

    Lower Manhattan

    First, we have Lower Manhattan. Most immediately – as you’ll see in all these images – graphical fidelity and draw distances have increased significantly. I find this all the more amazing considering all the boats in the surrounding waters and the game’s stand-in for One World Trade Center (the towering skyscraper on the right side of each image).

    Interestingly, if you look at the back left of the Spider-Man 2 image, you’ll see that Governors Island has been added to the game. You can also see Liberty Island, which has the Statue of Liberty, and what I believe to be Ellis Island has moved a bit. You cannot visit any of these areas. Brooklyn and the surrounding areas have also moved on a bit, but more on that later.

    Hell’s Kitchen

    Here, we see Hell’s Kitchen and New Jersey across the Hudson River. Apart from the graphical fidelity, there is nothing remarkable.

    Harlem

    It’s the same with our views of the upper reaches from Manhattan to Harlem. Moving on.

    Brooklyn

    This is where things start to get interesting. In Spider-Man 2, we have Brooklyn as a fully explorable area. Personally, I find it too bland, but I also find most of the world of the Spider-Man games too bland. It’s a little different with Queens, but we’ll get there.

    One thing to note is that Spider-Man 2 is missing the iconic Chrysler Building from the first game. We did a whole feature on why the building was pulled back when Miles Morales came out. You should read it. Even so, it still hasn’t come back, which is a bummer. I love the Chrysler Building. This is my favorite building. I wish it was here. So it goes.

    Fisk Tower

    One thing I noticed while exploring the area was the building just across from the Chrysler Building that had just finished construction. In Spider-Man 1, it was being built by Fisk Construction, and is now a fully-fledged Fisk Tower. The finished building actually first appeared in Miles Morales, but I didn’t notice it until now, and I bet most of you didn’t either. We all have something to learn here. Welcome.

    the queen

    Aside from being my home, Queens is one of the coolest areas in Spider-Man 2. Compared to the rest of the map (save for parts of Spanish Harlem), it has the most personality and distinctive flavor. It feels like somewhere people can live – like me! I recommend viewing this area of ​​the game from street level. It feels unlike the rest of the game.

    One thing I did notice, though, compared to Brooklyn in the first game, Queens in Spider-Man 1 looked like a real place – you couldn’t go there. Now you can. And you should.

    Oh, the fleet also changed its mark.

    George Washington Bridge

    Finally, I want to point out the George Washington Bridge. In Spider-Man 1, it is a fully functional bridge. Then, in Mile Morales, it is destroyed. In Spider-Man 2, it’s still being rebuilt! The incredible Mayor Adams should invest more money in proper public infrastructure instead of filling the subways with cops.


    There you have it! There are probably dozens more changes across the city. Have fun finding them yourself.

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