Please give Peter Parker his face back for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Opinion by Lee Brady,

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 has yet to reveal what Peter Parker's face will look like in the PS5 game, so while the game is in active development it might not yet be too late for Insomniac Games to give him his original face back.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2's release date has yet to be announced, but we can expect the follow-up to one of the best PS4 games ever made to launch exclusively on PS5 sometime in Fall 2023. That means we've still got roughly half a year left to convince Insomniac Games to bring back Peter Parker's original face from the PS4 version of Marvel's Spider-Man.

Spider-Man 2 Peter ParkerPeter Parker from Marvel's Spider-Man, back when he had emotions.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 should really fix Peter Parker's face

When Insomniac Games' Spider-Man was ported to the PS5 as Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered in 2020, it came with a host of excellent upgrades, and one considerable downgrade: it changed Peter Parker's face. James Stevenson, Community Director at Insomniac Games, said the reason behind the change of Peter's face model from John Bubniak to Ben Jordan was "to get a better match to Peter Parker/Spider-Man actor Yuri Lowenthal’s facial capture" — and that's pretty admirable, really.

Not many studios would go to such extensive lengths to find an actor that really matched the performance of the voice actor they hired, so you have to give it to them. We're sure if we could just ignore the fact that Jordan kind of looks a bit like movie Spider-Man actor Tom Holland, and if we tried not to question whether this makes any sense given Jordan's face stretched onto Lowenthal's performance looks marginally less expressive than Bubniak's, then yes, we would all be on board with Insomniac Games' reasoning here. We can also pretend they didn't recently announce that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 recast the actor who played Harry Osborn too, if that helps.

Spider-Man 2 Peter ParkerJust who is this guy?

Look, whatever the reason, it just doesn't wash. It was frankly galling to play Marvel's Spider-Man Miles Morales and see him there, this Peter Parker imposter, just chatting with Miles like these guys have some sort of pre-existing relationship. And, I must emphasise, this really has nothing to do with Jordan's face. It's a fine face, I'm sure he hears it often — it's just not the face of our Peter Parker.

I'm sure for a few players who booted up the PS5 version of Spider-Man first and foremost, this change didn't even cross their minds. For the majority who played this on PS4, however, it's just eerie. It's like somebody deep-faking Tobey Maguire's face out of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films and replacing him with— well, Tom Holland, that comparison just writes itself. Whether you think it's a better fit for the performance or not, try and think about this emotionally from the audience's point of view, not with whatever face capture data or similarly cold excuse you have to justify this.

Actors get recast; that's just a thing that happens. However, when they are recast, they tend not to maintain the performance and voice and charisma of the original performance like an eerie marionette. If you were to watch a film starring, say, John Travolta, and then suddenly when you watch the film again, it turns out they were Nicholas Cage the whole time, it would freak you out. And then when you watch the next film in the series, Look Who's Talking Too, and he's still got Nicholas Cage's face, and suddenly you're being gaslit by the Look Who's Talking films over what John Travolta's face looks like — your mind would be in shreds.

SpidermanWho's to stop this from becoming real?

Look how deranged that last paragraph was, Insomniac Games. This is what you've done. I associate the performance of Yuri Lowenthal's Spider-Man with the face of the guy from the PS4 version — it's too late for me now. This is why I'm begging you to fix it. You don't have to fire Jordan's face; just give me the option to choose. Loads of games have custom characters, I know it's possible to narrow it down to two. How many scenes will Peter Parker even have his mask off in Marvel's Spider-Man 2, like four scenes? A face slider — that's all I'm asking for, Insomniac Games.

Let us know in the comments whether you're absolutely fine with the face recast, or whether you too could go for a face slider in Marvel's Spider-Man 2 for Peter Parker. Maybe if there were also some lingering threats about your odds of picking up one of the most anticipated upcoming PS5 games of 2023, that might also seal the deal — help me out here.
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee loves writing about the game design of classic PS Plus Premium games and upcoming PS5 games like Marvel's Spider-Man 2 and Final Fantasy XVI. He's a big proponent of video games as an evolving artistic medium, though he's also a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog games, so the medium might want to keep looking for a better spokesperson.
Hide ads
View discussion...
Hide ads