Alongside the titular Spideys, Venom was a powerhouse in Spider-Man 2 PS5, complicating Peter Parker’s relationship with just about everyone. Given Venom’s significant role in the story and intricate design, it was important to Insomniac Games to nail this iconic character. After finding out that one developer spent almost a year drawing tentacles and pouring over the source material, it’s no surprise that Insomniac created a great Venom for the PS5 game.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 blew PS5 players away – including us – with a story as emotional as it is epic, rightfully earning a place among the best PS5 games and best open-world games. As Sony likes to do with its prestigious PS4 and PS5 exclusives, Spider-Man 2 has been given the Creator to Creator treatment – an interview series with creators discussing the ins and outs of their projects. This time, key creators behind Insomniac’s games and the animated Spider-Verse movies dive deep into their depictions of its iconic characters.
It’s in this Spider-Man Creator to Creator interview that Insomniac senior art director Jacinda Chew reveals that she “spent the last eight months of productions just drawing tentacles. Tentacles animating, tentacles moving, tentacles wrapping around things.”
It was important to not just capture the style of Venom but put a unique spin on the character, Chew explains, a sentiment backed up by senior creative director Bryan Intihar and creative director Bill Rosemann.
However, this process began much earlier than this, as Chew says she had spent “almost five years thinking about Venom and the symbiotes and how to depict them” before Insomniac finally tackled the character in-game. Returning to the comics, movies, and other Venom appearances, she was impressed with just how varied the designs are: “Sometimes the tentacles are really fine and smooth and curvy”, while “other times they’re very angular and they’re very thick”, Chew explains.
Ultimately, Insomniac’s version of Venom, the symbiotes, and Peter’s edgy new suit strikes a balance between these two extremes to create a unique depiction of the iconic character. It wasn’t all about the visual design, however.
Intihar expresses that he was “so petrified to get the character right… That’s why we cast the voice of Venom last”, he explains, speaking on the pressure to adapt such an iconic and menacing villain.
“I remember working with one of our dialog managers and I was like, you know, what if it was someone like Tony Todd… not thinking we would ever, ever get Tony.” A few weeks later, Intihar was over the moon that they managed to wrangle Todd for an audition tape: “He said two lines and I’m like, just give him the job”. Ironically, Tony Todd claims only 10% of his Venom lines were used in Spider-Man 2.
Evidently, Insomniac took great care and pride in creating its version of Venom, from months of mastering tentacle designs to finding the perfect voice. Jokingly, Across the Spider-Verse director Justin K. Thompson responds to the game developers’ comments by saying: “We didn’t have Venom in our movie, so there were no creative challenges”.
As one of the best games on console, we can’t wait to see what Insomniac does next in the Spidey universe, particularly after leaks of a Spider-Verse PS5 game. There’s also Insomniac’s Wolverine PS5 game, which will no doubt be another excellent adaptation of an iconic Marvel character. In the meantime, dive into all the new PS5 games as we’ll likely be waiting quite some time.