I'm ready for a cozy Spider-Man autumn
The calendar indicates that autumn is nearly here, and that means it's almost time for the unexpected mascot of the season to make its return into our...
The calendar indicates that autumn is nearly here, and that means it's almost time for the unexpected mascot of the season to make its return into our lives. Indeed, folks, a new Spider-Man game is just around the corner.
Earlier this month, I didn't feel the same. It may sound cliché to say that the weather in the Midwest is unpredictable, but two weeks ago, I was hiding in my apartment to escape the scorching heat of 99 degrees, and this week, I'm layering up, snuggling under a blanket, and have turned on the space heater beneath my desk.
This sudden chill in the air has me thinking about all the fun activities that come with autumn. Preparing buckeyes and spiced apple cider on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Watching Gilmore Girls. Carving pumpkins. Picking apples. And once October 20th arrives, playing Marvel's Spider-Man 2.
Insomniac initiated a tradition with the release of Marvel's Spider-Man in 2018. This game hit the shelves on September 7th, so I played it as temperatures dropped and leaves began to fall outside. Two years later, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales became the first major game I played on the PS5. Although it was released in November, I didn't start playing it until the end of the year when I received a PS5 as a Christmas gift – which turned out to be perfect since the game is set during the winter holidays. These games are emotionally linked to the Christmas season for me, and Marvel's Spider-Man 2 continues this tradition by being released just 11 days before Halloween.
This summer, I've been playing games that require leaning forward. Baldur's Gate 3 is the prime example, as it has consumed both my time and mental capacity. However, games like Metroid Prime Remastered, Marvel's Midnight Suns, Pikmin 4, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom have also compelled me to engage deeply with their systems and explorations. Lately, I've been enjoying immersing myself in immersive RPGs, but the Spider-Man games are perfect for leaning back and getting cozy on the couch.
That doesn't mean I consider the Spider-Man games to offer "mindless fun." I have thoroughly enjoyed their stories and relish the thrill of stealthily taking down a warehouse full of thugs. However, they are games that provide me with a physical exhilaration without demanding too much in return. I love tinkering around in open-world games, and there is no open-world game that allows for such enjoyable tinkering as Marvel's Spider-Man.
Equally important is that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 appears to continue the tradition set by Miles Morales and takes place towards the end of the year. The extended gameplay trailer showcased by Sony this summer is set exclusively during the golden hour, giving it a soft, autumnal look. Unlike a game like Dead Island 2, for example, the world doesn't seem to be hot. It looks like one might need a sweater in the evenings. The story trailer clearly takes place during this season, featuring Peter, Miles, Mary Jane, Ganke, and Harry Osborn all gathering at a fairground, dressed in sweaters and jackets.
During the first year of the pandemic, this kind of seasonal sign became very important to me. When you hardly leave the house, it's crucial to mark the passage of time in some way, and playing autumn-themed games like Bully and Pumpkin Jack in the fall of 2020 helped me overcome the double amplification of fear caused by COVID and the presidential election. I don't need the new Spider-Man as much as I needed milestones back then. But it will be all the more enjoyable to lean back and swing around when you don't necessarily need it.