Why Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Should Include a What If Mode

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is one of the most anticipated games currently announced, and for good reason. With both Peter Parker and Miles Morales as web-slingers, there's even more opportunity for epic villain encounters and memorable moments swinging through New York City. Plus, with another Spider-Man game will come new Easter eggs and features that fans of the characters will love. That being said, with such a long history of video games featuring the wall-crawler, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 could be a chance to include a long-forgotten game mode.

1999's Spider-Man was released for the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 and was the first massive 3D Spider-Man experience, featuring a host of classic heroes and villains. The game also featured many easy-to-miss Easter eggs. By entering the cheat code "GNBHSRSPM," players could access a mode that alters the main storyline without changing its chain of events: "What If" mode. With that game as precedent and the What If...? series making the concept more familiar to a wider audience, Insomniac should consider incorporating a similar mode into Marvel's Spider-Man 2.

RELATED: Marvel's Spider-Man 2: How Did Doc Ock Impact Miles' New Suit?

In the 1999 Spider-Man game, "What If" begins similarly to any issue or episode of the series, with Uatu The Watcher introducing a world similar to the main game's -- though with some key differences. From there, players can interact with the environment without any changes to Spider-Man's abilities or controls, though some locations with collectibles are altered. For example, a comic book cover on top of the Baxter Building is replaced with a character model and dialogue from Spidey's friend, the Human Torch. Other characters like Ghost Rider and Namor can also be seen hidden throughout the story. With even more heroes available in the Marvel Universe, similar cameos could greatly benefit Marvel's Spider-Man 2.


There are also some out-of-universe Easter eggs in the game's narrative, like a nod to Die Hard in the bank vault or the Beatles' Yellow Submarine floating in Doc Ock's undersea base. With pop culture references being so widespread in contemporary media, similar Easter eggs in Marvel's Spider-Man 2 could be fun for players to find, while also making the game's world feel fleshed out and lived in.

RELATED: Is the Rarest Spider-Man Game Worth the Money?

Cameos and Easter eggs aside, the most entertaining parts of "What If" mode were the visual gags and minor dialogue changes that reinvigorate the game. For example, some of the villains' lines are altered throughout the game, like Scorpion saying, "Here's Johnny!" as he's hunting J. Jonah Jameson. While these don't change the story, they let players experience the game in a different way, increasing its replay value overall.

Insomniac Games hasn't been afraid to take risks with its Marvel titles, and it feels like the studio has only scratched the surface. While a "What If" mode probably wouldn't be considered canon to the main universe, its contents could give fans even more to enjoy. Plus, it could also be used to tease heroes and villains that may be explored in future titles. Incorporating the "What If" formula into video games is a great idea, and with one Spider-Man game having already tried it, it just seems natural for Insomniac to take another stab at the concept -- hopefully perfecting it.

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Nicholas Brooks (1039 Articles Published)

CBR Features Writer Nick Brooks has been writing for over ten years about all things pop culture. He has written for other sites like Animemojo.com and Gamefragger.com. When not writing you can find him with his lovely girlfriend, cooking, reading comics, or collecting any new Star Wars Black Series, Marvel Legend, or Transformer. For more of his thoughts on pop culture check out his blog, The Next Panel with Comic Brooks.

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