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Insomniac wasn’t sure The Lizard was “slimy enough” in Spider-Man 2

Insomniac Games reinvents several iconic Spider-Man 2 villains in its PS5 sequel, and The Lizard is no exceptional, bearing a significant change to Marvel lore.

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Peter Parker and Miles Morales won’t be catching a break in Spider-Man 2, but that’s essential to the portrayal of our favorite webheads. New threats emerge on the streets of New York City in Insomniac Games’ sequel, one of which is scientist-turned-reptile The Lizard. Many Marvel fans will be familiar with the tragic story of Curt Connors, and now, Insomniac reveals how it reinvents the character for new fans.

Senior art director Jacinda Chew expresses that “when we look at a Marvel character [we] reference the comics […] we collaborate with Marvel to put our own spin on it.” Though The Lizard will sport his iconic white lab coat, Chew explains that in “our version of [the] Lizard, he’s leaner, meaner […] he’s lost all humanity. So, we’re not able to communicate with him. That’s a really big difference.”

It is a unique portrayal of the character, as such an erratic transformation leaves Connors looking for answers, but his warped mind can’t process it. Set to be one of the best PS5 games this year, we’re sure that there will be plenty of emotive moments with other key Spider-Man 2 characters that dig into what remains of Connors’ humanity.

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In many iterations of Marvel lore, Curt Connors’ transformation into The Lizard often has the human-reptile able to communicate normally, often taunting Peter Parker in the process. The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man No Way Home depict a speaking version of The Lizard on the big screen, but that isn’t the case with Spider-Man 2.

On the design process of bringing The Lizard to life in Spider-Man 2, Chew clarifies that Insomniac Games “looked at a lot of lizard skin for research. The thing about lizards in real life, their skin’s actually really dry. Most people who looked at our Lizard kept initially saying, ‘he’s not slimy enough.’” Whether you believe the Insomniac version has enough slime or not, Chew says that “he’s got that lizard skin, but it’s actually much shinier than what you’d see on a real lizard.”

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The power of the PS5 is crucial to making The Lizard’s appearance special for players, too, as Chew references making his eyes and muscles react properly with Sony’s technology. “We also wanted eyes that look more like animal eyes. If you look at cats, their pupils grow at night […] We did a lot of research on how to make that happen in real time on the PS5.”

Additionally, The Lizard’s body uses “program[s] to simulate how the skin might move fluttering in the wind” as well looking at how skin ruptures in real-life for both animals and humans. You’ll be able to see it soon when the Spider-Man 2 release date arrives, so make sure you know what Marvel legends are set to appear in our Spider-Man 2 voice actors list.