8 ways Marvel's Spider-Man 3 for PS5 can improve over the sequel

Marvel's Spider-Man is one of gaming's most beloved franchises. So it's time to look at how a future entry can improve upon its predecessors.
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 screenshot, Image courtesy Insomniac Games
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 screenshot, Image courtesy Insomniac Games /

The Marvel's Spider-Man franchise is - alongside the Batman Arkham saga - one of the holy grails of superhero video games. With three titles under its belt, it's all but confirmed we'll see more of Peter Parker and Miles Morales on PlayStation consoles (perhaps on a potential PS6?). After all, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 sold 10 million copies as of February of this year after being released in October of 2023. So unless Sony stopped caring about money, chances are we'll get to play Marvel's Spider-Man 3 at some point in the future. Now the only question remaining is: how does Insomniac raise the stakes and improve upon what's considered one of the best games of 2024?

There are multiple ways the next entry in the franchise could look to take us by surprise once again. Whether that is by adding additional gameplay mechanics, brand new elements to the saga, or by creating a villain worthy of being on the big screen. There's always something more that can be done to blow the roof off. So it's time to look at eight different ways Insomniac and PlayStation can make Marvel's Spider-Man 3 the best superhero game ever, and make it surpass the great heights reached by its predecessors!

1. Fully destructible environments

Let's kick things off with a mechanic that was supposed to be included in Marvel's Spider-Man 2, but got scrapped at some point likely due to time constraints. An important aspect of every superhero story is the amount of destruction it delivers. We've seen how Ultron demolished an entire city after lifting it to the sky in the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron. Another great example is how the entire Marvel Ultimate universe was wiped out of existence in the Secret Wars comic book storyline. Finally, audiences were originally unhappy with how Superman and Zod decimated Metropolis in their final battle in Man of Steel. There's no way to deny; it always comes down to the destruction.

However, there are few examples of good destructible environments in superhero video games. Hulk: Ultimate Destruction did manage to excel in this aspect when it was released back in 2005. Additionally, Batman: Arkham Knight made a nice attempt at incorporating some level of destruction when riding the Batmovil and crashing into buildings. But aside from those two titles, no other superhero game saga has managed to live up to this promise. Not even Marvel's Spider-Man.

Interestingly enough, leaked developer footage of Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (which you can watch above) shows that Insomniac toyed with the idea of destructible environments. But while that was nowhere to be found in the final game, chances are it will be present in the next title of the franchise. If done correctly, dynamic destructible environments can add a lot of depth to a game. And let's be honest: it would make it ten times more fun to face any bad guy in New York City if the stakes were higher due to the destruction.

A view of Madripoor from Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

2. New small open areas set within a larger Marvel universe

If you've played any of Insomniac's titles aside from Spider-Man, you know how creative they are in their level design (especially in the Ratchet & Clank franchise). However, that hasn't been displayed a lot in the wall-crawler's saga across its three games released so far. Part of the problem is how the open world has always been limited to New York City and nothing else. You can't take a lot of creative liberties when designing a landscape that has already been set in stone beforehand. So that all needs to change going forward.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 added new boroughs to the already existing map used in previous games. A fourth title in the franchise could look to do the same, but there's a better road to take. Insomniac should look to make small open areas outside New York City and set within a larger Marvel Universe. After all, Mary Jane has already gone to Symkaria off-screen, so why not let us explore a small part of the fictional country? Maybe we could be introduced to Doctor Doom's home: Latveria. Or what about giving us a glimpse into Madripor? Chances are Marvel's Wolverine for PS5 will let us explore it either way.

The idea behind letting us go to fictional locations is that Insomniac could take a lot of liberties in the level design to deliver engaging maps that aren't as generic as a regular city. Those new sections don't have to be big, but rather small and dense. Doing that would also fall in line with the idea of delivering destructible environments. If the console doesn't have to load a big open world, but rather a small level, then more resources would be available to handle the physics of the breakable elements.

3. Three playable heroes

Marvel's Spider-Man for PS4 featured three playable characters in the form of Peter Parker, Mary Jane, and Miles Morales. However, only one of them had superpowers that were fun to control. The sequel changed things around and gave us two webbed heroes each with unique gameplay mechanics to their own. So keeping in touch with this little tradition, a third title in the franchise should feature three Spider-People as protagonists.

Fortunately, it seems that will be the case. Spoilers to follow for Marvel's Spider-Man 2 in case you haven't seen its post-credits scene yet. But it appears Insomniac is setting up Cindy Moon as the next hero to join the roster. That prospect is incredibly exciting, and it would expand the franchise in multiple ways. After all, Miles Morales had his own stand-alone game which turned out to be phenomenal. So Silk could look to have a stand-alone adventure as well after being introduced in the fourth chapter of the saga.

It all seems to indicate Peter Parker will be out of the picture after Marvel's Spider-Man 3. So more than ever, we need other heroes to take on the mantle and keep his legacy alive. Come on, Insomniac, you have to give us Silk!

4. A multiplayer mode

At this point, it's pretty well-known Insomniac was working on a multiplayer title called The Great Web. However, it got canceled likely due to PlayStation's shift in strategy regarding its live service games. That's unfortunate considering just how good the leaked trailer looks. But the fact that we won't get a multiplayer Spider-Man game doesn't mean the next chapter in the franchise shouldn't implement some of these scrapped ideas.

Perhaps PlayStation could test the waters by adding an online multiplayer mode to Marvel's Spider-Man 3. If everything goes well - and fans respond positively - then they could finally release The Great Web. After all, it's all but confirmed the next chapter in the franchise will feature three playable heroes. So it only makes sense for different people to control Peter, Miles, and Cindy simultaneously.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 featured multiple missions where Peter and Miles worked together to save the day. Additionally, there were other instances where Harry Osborn - adopting the Agent Venom persona - helped Peter save supervillains whom Kraven was hunting. For those levels, an A.I. would take over the non-playable characters aiding players in completing their objective. Marvel's Spider-Man 3 could bring back that mechanic to allow the game to be experienced in a single-player mode all the way through. But it should also give us the option to play online so that our friends take control of Miles Morales or Cindy Moo instead of an A.I.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League did a lot of things wrong, but it also nailed down this multiplayer/single-player dynamic pretty well. Let's hope Insomniac can also make the most out of it in their next title.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 - Pete and Miles
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 screenshot, Image courtesy Insomniac Games /

5. A longer campaign

On a personal note, I'm usually against quantity over quality just for the sake of it. However, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 could've been a better game than it was had it been longer. While Kraven's arc was executed to perfection, Venom's story arguably felt rushed. Part of the problem is how Insomniac's latest title takes around 23 and a half hours to complete (along with some side activities) while it took 25 hours to do the same with the first title of the franchise.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is a game with a very large scope. It has two playable protagonists, two main enemies, a huge story that saw New York being invaded by symbiotes, and all characters that were a part of both the Peter Parker game and Miles Morales spin-off. Yet, by being shorter than its predecessor, it had the unfortunate effect of feeling rushed at some points in the story. If the next entry in the franchise truly features three playable characters and it sees the Green Goblin, Dock Ock, and Carnage as main villains (as it was implied) then the campaign needs to be longer.

A lot of gamers don't have the time to pour 60+ hours into one single title, and that's okay. Insomniac shouldn't strive to create an experience that long. But aiming towards 30 hours could be the ideal scenario. That way every arc could have enough time to develop, and important stories - such as Venom's in Marvel's Spider-Man 2 - don't feel rushed.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 - Miles Brooklyn Swing screenshot
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 screenshot, Image courtesy Insomniac Games /

6. New swinging mechanics

When the first title in the Marvel's Spider-Man franchise came out, many were quick to praise it for having the best swinging mechanics out of every game featuring our friendly neighborhood hero. But just when it seemed impossible for another game to surpass it in this aspect, its sequel blew our expectations away. Just by adding the ability to glide using web-wings, Insomniac was able to improve upon what was there without actually needing to add many new swinging mechanics. Of course, one or two new tricks were added for players to pull off when using webs to traverse the city. But the web-wings clearly stole the spotlight.

However - for a new entry in the franchise - Insomniac should look to go back to basics and improve upon the swinging formula. Perhaps Spidey should be able to attach his webs to moving objects such as vehicles and slide over the pavement.

Maybe a "manual web" mode could be added where players aim to the specific place where they want their webs to perch instead of doing the whole process automatically. Or what about dynamically letting us web cars and helicopters in order to stop them instead of doing chase sequences just as a quick-time event? Possibilities are endless, so we hope Insomniac makes the most out of this opportunity to make Marvel's Spider-Man 3 the best title in terms of swinging mechanics.

Green Goblin from Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME. Courtesy of Sony Pictures. ©2021 CTMG. All Rights Reserved. MARVEL and all related character names: © & ™ 2021 MARVEL /

7. Make the Green Goblin relentless

Throughout Marvel's Spider-Man saga, we've gotten six different "main" villains in the form of Mr. Negative, Doc Ock, The Tinkerer, The Prowler, Kraven, and Venom. However, if you were to count how many of them were truly evil instead of a hero in disguise who firmly believed that they were doing the right thing... then that number starts to go down.

Otto Octavius wanted to create an arm prosthesis to help those in need and himself (considering he has a degenerative disease similar to muscular dystrophy). However, he ended up going mad in the process. The Tinkerer wanted to fight Roxxon for using an unstable form of energy that was highly volatile and could destroy the city (and she also wanted revenge for what the company did to her brother). The Prowler had a quick fight with its nephew and then went into an arc of redemption. Venom wanted to "heal the world" from sickness using the symbiote since the alien parasite provides its host with regenerative properties. They are all... kind of nice in a twisted way. Only Mr. Negative and Kraven broke hell loose because of selfish reasons that weren't for "a greater good". And even then, the former turned into a good guy on Marvel's Spider-Man 2.

For the next entry in the franchise, Insomniac should strive to create a truly evil villain just for the sake of it. Norman Osborn already has a pretty solid reason for hating Spider-Man since he put his son into a coma. So now, he shouldn't aim to turn the world into a "better place" by executing an evil plan. Instead, He must make it his personal goal to make Peter suffer just because he can. Everything the Green Goblin does in Marvel's Spider-Man 3 must come out of his hatred for the wall-crawler. He should be a relentless villain and not some form of a misunderstood hero. That way, the next antagonist of the franchise could be the best out of them all.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 - Venom
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 screenshot, Image courtesy Insomniac Games /

8. Don't spoil the game's surprises before its release

Marvel's Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man 2 have the same overall story structure. Both titles feature an already-established villain with next to no connection to Peter Parker as the main antagonist for two acts of the campaign. In the third act, however, someone who was really close to Peter goes mad, gets a new set of powers, and turns into the final boss. However, players reacted pretty differently to Doc Ock and Venom. The former was praised by fans for being a fantastic antagonist while the latter was heavily criticized for how short his arc was. But even then, both characters had a similar screen -time. So what was the difference?

Well, before Marvel's Spider-Man for PS4 was released nobody knew Doc Ock would make an appearance. So everything related to him was a huge surprise for players. It didn't matter he was only the antagonist for the last act of the game since we didn't expect him to appear in the first place. But marketing for the sequel put Venom in the spotlight and highlighted him as the main antagonist. So when players found out he was just in the ending segment instead of on most of the story, they were right to be disappointed.

Marvel's Spider-Man for PS4 was a game with many twists and turns. Nobody expected Aunt May to die, Doc Ock to steal the spotlight, or to find a lot of references to the Green Goblin. Even if we all knew Miles would develop superpowers through that game, it was a joy to behold. However, my biggest personal complaint about the sequel is that it had no shocking moments whatsoever. We all knew Miles and Peter would fight against each other at some point, and we all suspected Harry would turn into Venom when Insomniac themselves announced Eddie Brock wouldn't make an appearance. There were no surprises left going into Marvel's Spider-Man 2. Just imagine for a moment Venom was never announced as the main antagonist. Then players would've reacted differently to his appearance.

For that reason, Marvel's Spider-Man 3 needs to save all of its surprises for its release.