News surrounding Insomniac's upcoming Spider-Man game has been hard to come by in the two years since it was announce--or rather it was, because this week will pull back the curtain thanks to Game Informer. Not only is there information on how the game will provide the best Spidey experience possible, we also now have a firm release date for the PS4 exclusive title: September 7. That's not too far away, and for those that are able, it would be best to get their hands on one of Insomniac's earlier titles if they want to get a feel for what the studio is capable of.
That game would be Sunset Overdrive.
Released in 2013, Overdrive takes place in the year 2027, where a soft drink company called FizzCo has released a new energy drink called OverCharge Delirium XT that isn't exactly R&D approved and turns its drinkers into mindless mutants. As a result of the mutations that cropped up during the launch party, Sunset City is quarantined from the rest of the world. and its citizens are left to fend for themselves. Players take control of a FizzCo Employee that was at the launch party, but avoided infection due to not being allowed to partake in the drink... and also because they work in the sanitation department.
Overdrive's similarities with the upcoming Spider-Man game will be obvious once you spend a few minutes with the former. Controller--movement is the name of the game, not entirely unlike how we'll maneuver Peter Parker through New York City. The Employee has the ability to jump really high when bouncing on top of objects, can wall run to you heart's content, and grinds on anything possible. There's a fun freedom of movement throughout the game that will most likely translate to Spidey's adventures. Thanks to its goofy physics, Overdrive does a good job of making you feel like the Amazing wall-crawler.
While the game is very much influenced by punk rock, from head to toe, it also is very clearly influenced by comic books; not just in its more than ridiculous setup, but also in its art style and writing. Gerry Duggan, who has written Spider-Man in the past, contributed to the game's script, and it shows. The male version of the Employee (you can choose your gender at the start of the game) is voiced by prolific voice actor Yuri Lowenthal, who'll be playing the wallcrawler in Insomniac's game, and his quips are very in line with what Peter would say, give or take a couple of groaners. For fans of the recent Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon and how it basically turned the hero into a more toned-down Deadpool, this game will be right up your alley. There's a lot of self awareness and quirky humor at play in Overdrive.
If you were to look at the marketing artwork for the game, you'd find yourself thinking that it would be fitting for a comic focused on Spider-Punk, the Earth-138 version of the hero. The Punk costume will be able to be worn in the Spider-Man game, which is ironic and fitting considering how much of Spidey's DNA is in Overdrive. Freedom is at the heart of Spider-Man, it's all over the madness that is Overdrive, and looks to be incredibly prevalent in the traversal and combat of the Spider-game. Looking at footage of both Sunset Overdrive and Spider-Man, it's easy to see why Marvel picked Insomniac for the job.
The only downside when it comes to Sunset Overdrive is that it's an Xbox One exclusive, but don't let that deter you if possible. It's one of Insomniac's best titles, easily able to stand up with the strongest Ratchet & Clank games and the PS1 Spyro the Dragon trilogy. Sunset Overdrive is a great game that has its flaws, but makes you feel like you're playing a Spider-Man game on current generation consoles, and soon it'll be joined by the genuine article.