The Next Spider-Man Game Shouldn’t Be About Venom, It Should Be About…

Look I know nobody likes clickbait headlines like this where you have to click to see the answer. But nobody likes spoilers either, so what are you going to do? My hands are tied. This is the best I could do without jumping ahead and wrecking some teases or reveals for other players, even though Insomniac showed off way too much of the Symbiote stuff before launch anyway. Anyway, it’s Hailey. The next game should be about Hailey.



Obviously, spoilers follow for Spider-Man 2. After clicking a headline like this and reading through the first paragraph about needing to avoid spoiling too much, you have to expect that. Anyway, the day the game came out, discussion immediately turned to the sequel. That’s probably not a healthy approach to take to new experiences in gaming, but it’s to be expected – especially with Insomniac’s typically quick turnaround time for games. Discussion quickly turned to Venom, but that doesn’t seem like the best route.

Related: My Spider-Man 2 Quest For Peter Parker’s Rubik’s Cube

If you’ve played the game, you’ll know there’s a ‘play as Venom’ mission, which may whet your appetite further. But you’ll also know that Venom is defeated at the end of the game, the Symbiote ripped off both Peter and Harry towards the game’s closure. Peter keeps his anti-Venom powers (Miles’ electricity, for unrelated and highly confusing reasons, is also known as Venom Power), but that’s the closest we’ll get to playing as Venom again. Hailey, however, makes a lot of sense.

Cindy Moon meeting Hailey, Rio, and Miles in Spider-Man 2 post-credit scene

Spider-Man 2 teases a lot of things for its eventual sequel, one of which is a firmer passing of the torch to Miles. Another is the arrival of Cindy Moon in a post-credit scene, AKA Silk. In Spider-Man 1, we play as one Spider-Man. In Spider-Man 2, we play as two Spider-Men. So in Spider-Man 3… the setup is perfect. Peter as a mentor in the background, while we play as Miles, Silk, and Hailey taking the role of Spider-Gwen.

Though less talked about than playing as Venom, we also play as Hailey. With Hailey being deaf, this offers a unique gameplay-mechanic. There’s very little sound while we play as Hailey, just vague white noise. We also see various emojis pop up over peoples’ heads, as Hailey reads faces to tell emotions when she can’t hear. The section itself, much like when we played as MJ in the first outing, feels very slow in comparison to the rest of the game. Miles and Peter can zip around the city with ease, after all.

However, unlike playing as MJ, I never resented it. There’s no way to fail as Hailey, so you don’t get annoyed that ‘Spider-Man could just do this’. Instead, it brings you into her world, which may be crucial for the sequel. It’s worth noting that when you paint your flowers as Hailey, she paints almost exclusively in Gwen Stacy’s white, pink, and blue, all outlined in black, with only a flourish of yellow in her fourth and final painting.

The first game had us play as non-super Miles, leading into Miles being the lead of the 1.5 game, then sharing the spotlight with Peter in the full sequel. Of course, the first game also ends with Miles revealing he got superpowers, but Hailey’s presence in the ending scene could be important too. On a narrative level, her and Miles are official now, and her having dinner with his mom and her new boyfriend brings her into Miles’ family. But thematically, it means the key shot shows Cindy greeting Hailey and Miles together – our new trio?

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Anti-Venom Spider-Man attacking Venom

Aside from a fleeting Spider-Verse reference, there’s nothing connected to Gwen Stacy in this game, despite its million different teases of other things. Her popularity is at an all-time high thanks to Spider-Verse, and with the next movie delayed until 2025 at the earliest (which seems overly ambitious as more stories of Across The Spider-Verse’s hectic production are revealed), then Insomniac games could keep pace with the movies.

It feels like the Gwen Stacy spot is wide open, and Spider-Verse explicitly links that character to Miles. Cindy could kill two spiders with one rock and be both Silk and take the Gwen role, but that feels like a wasted opportunity. Clearly there is a plan for Silk, so more Spideys will join the team. And with no knowledge of how Peter or Miles actually gained these powers, we don’t need to learn much about how it may have come to pass for Hailey or Cindy either.

A major roadblock to any of this is that people want to play as Peter, but would move on for Venom. Would the same be said for a Gwen Stacy-type who isn’t actually Gwen Stacy, but who is an original character (who also has a disability that would transform the game)? More to the point, if the devs want to go this way, do they have the credit in the bank after their spidery successes to take a swing like that? Or will it be mandated by the money men that Peter Parker must be a playable and central character in any version of Spider-Man 3.

This is where a 2.5 could come in, built around Hailey and Cindy. I don’t know if Insomniac needs to or even should jump to a Miles-style spin-off before landing a third main game, but it’s clear there is a plan for a third after so many set-ups throughout the game. Fans are going to want a Gwen Stacy in the ranks, and Hailey is perfectly positioned for that. Her disability might make her a harder sell to both executives and some fans, but I imagine similar conversations were had about Miles, and most people think he’s the best thing in this sequel.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Miles backflipping in his new suit through a Symbiote Nest

I’ve been going to bat for Hailey since the very beginning, and I think she only grows in importance this time out. I can’t wait to welcome Silk into the fold, and like everyone else who saw Spider-Verse, I love Gwen Stacy. Someone needs to take that spot. Between playing as her, the dynamic she had with Miles, the unique gameplay she offers, and her pink, white, and blue colouring, I can think of no one better placed or more suited to the mantle than Hailey.

Next: Spider-Man 2 Wastes Its Biggest Narrative Swing

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