Yesterday we finally got the news we’d been waiting for; Spider-Man will indeed be a playable character in Marvel: Powers United VR when it launches on Oculus Rift next week (along with several other fan-favorite characters like Wolverine). But those of you that watched the game’s launch trailer may have noticed some of Peter Parker’s most iconic features were strangely absent.
Namely, Spidey doesn’t web-swing or wall-crawl in the footage (as seen below). Instead, we see the web-head running on the ground like other heroes, and zipping up to higher spots using a web-line. So, can you actually web-swing in the game?
Sadly not, but developer Sanzaru Games did test it out, and there’s a good reason why it’s missing.
Taking to Reddit this week, an Oculus Studio PR member explained that web-zipping would be Spidey’s “main for of locomotion in the game. “We iterated on web swinging and wall-climbing,” they explained, “but faced a ton of challenges: how do you swing a player directly at a wall, and then flip them to face the action without making them uncomfortable? How do you determine where in the game Spidey can wall-cling, when some levels don’t even have walls (Dark Dimension)?”
Indeed, Sanzaru isn’t even the first developer to encounter these issues. Last year’s free tie-in to Spider-Man: Homecoming also avoided any kind of wall-crawling and one lone swing right at the end of the experience heavily shrunk your field of view.
“We also realized that for levels to be big enough for Spider-Man, they would be too big and frustrating to traverse for everyone else,” the spokesperson continued. “And if you grab a wall with one hand, you’re 50% as effective as everyone else using two hands to fight…it sounds good on paper, but it puts Spider-Man at a disadvantage in practice. He can, however, zip farther across the map than any other Super Hero and there are special perch-points for non-flying characters.”
It’s definitely a shame that we won’t be able to experience the full extent of Spidey’s powers, but we’re still happy he’s in the game. Marvel: Powers United VR hits Oculus Rift on July 26th.