Insomniac’s “Spider-Man 2” first trailer was an incredible tease for fans of the studio’s first two Spider-Man games. Peter and Miles even appeared to have a team attack somewhere in the trailer, which made many fans speculate that the game might have a cooperative mode. This is not the first time; since Insomniac’s first Spider-Man game was released in 2018, fans have been speculating about the cooperation model. But the thing is this: Spider-Man 2 does not need a cooperative mode. In fact, this may be detrimental to the game.
Don’t get me wrong. I like good cooperative games. Left 4 Dead, Cuphead, Sea of Thieves and It Takes Two are all games I played with my friends, and I think they are better experiences. However, these games have been designed from the ground up, with co-ops in mind.
This is important because the co-op is its own beast, and it takes a lot of work to make a game that is fun for both players. Portal 2 only makes it work by designing the co-op as a standalone mode. Nintendo was able to enter Luigi’s Mansion 3 cooperatively by letting players play Gooigi. Nevertheless, the interaction of the second player is still a bit limited, and this mode is effective because the Gooigi mechanics are already in single player games. I don’t think any of these options will apply to Spider-Man 2.
Insomniac’s Spiderman game is a great open world action game. Like many people, I think it would be fun to wander around New York with friends and stop crime. However, some of the best moments of Insomniac superhero games are story and action movies. These elements cannot be mixed well in cooperatives. If Spider-Man 2 has a cooperative mode, I am worried that it will lose a lot of charm and what it does best.
We have seen this situation before. Series such as “Dead Space” and “Resident Evil” are known for their incredible single-player campaigns, and the introduction of the cooperative mode will only weaken many of the things I like about these two series. I don’t want this to happen to Spider-Man.
So how should Insomniac use Peter and Miles at the same time? I think they should make both characters playable and allow players to switch between different points of the story. They can still perform team attacks, but it is still a single player experience. In fact, Insomniac uses a similar concept in its The City That Never Sleeps DLC, as does Rocksteady in Batman: Arkham Knight.
I believe Insomniac knows what it is doing. The studio won my trust on this point. So if Spider-Man 2 eventually has a co-op, I hope it’s great…but I don’t think it needs it.