Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions interview

Could Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions be the ultimate game for Spidergeeks? Michael's been talking to its producer to find out more...

We’ve written before about Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, the upcoming game which is blending together four different depictions of the web-slinger, but Activision are slowly leaking out yet more tantalising details. Last we knew, the Amazing and Noir universes make up half of the game’s Spidey selection. Now, we know of the third: Spider-Man 2099. Yes, that mostly-forgotten, but fondly remembered by some, 90s futuristic take on the character will be filling out the roster, bringing the cyberpunk-ish tone of the comics with him. 

As a recap, Spider-Man 2099 was created by Peter David and Rick Leonardi in 1992, and was a part of Marvel’s short-lived line of dark tales of the future. Clever but cocky youngster Miguel O’Hara is endowed with amazing spider powers after an accident at a genetic research lab, and takes up the mantle of Spider-Man to clean up the streets of his dystopian New York.

This is yet more evidence that Activision/Beenox has its sight set squarely on the Spider-Geeks with Shattered Dimensions, picking up properties that would usually be relegated to sly nods and Easter egg references in other games. And it inspires yet more thoughts about the fourth universe: just who could it be? Ultimate Spider-Man? Marvel Zombies Spider-Man? Spider-Man 1602?

We’ve been assured that it is as visually distinct from the ones we already know, as they are from each other, and offers a very different tone. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, but we’ll have to wait until San Diego Comic-Con in July to find out for sure.

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In the meantime, we had another chat with Kevin Umbricht, producer on the game, asking him about how Spider-Man 2099 slots into Shattered Dimensions, and hearing some tidbits about the game’s voice cast.

Spider-Man 2099 is now quite an old spin-off series, so what made you want to include it? Did Marvel suggest it, or are there some closet fans on the team?

No, it was Beenox’s idea, and they really wanted to try it out, because it’s such a different experience that the player can have from the traditional Amazing world. But still, the character of Spider-Man 2099 has the core abilities of the other Spider-Men, so you are never feeling that you’re playing a completely different character. There are nuances – actual animations and upgrades are different, and there’s a unique mechanic per universe. But, ultimately, you’re still playing as Spider-Man.

So the Amazing universe is all about web-slinging and primary colours, and Noir is stealth and shadow – how does 2099 fit in?

2099 is all about speed and verticality. So, there are a lot of freefall sections. He has these web foils on his back and under his arms, so he’s able to navigate and glide around.

And New York of 2099 is built up, like, three times as high. So, we have tonnes of vertical space to play with. But then, within his core combat, he’s lightning fast, and he has talons on his fingers, so he does a lot of claw-based attacks, rather than straight punches.

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What can you tell us about the voice cast for the game?

We picked four voices from Spider-Man’s past… games, movies, cartoons… and chose the actors that were nostalgic and fan favourites and right for the role.

So, we went with Christopher Daniel Barnes, who was the voice of the 90s cartoon, who had sort of an angstier, grittier tone, but now this is the actor fifteen years later, so he’s slightly older, so he fit very well with the Noir universe. The darker, edgier Spider-Man.

Then we got my Spider-Man, from the 80s Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, Dan Gilverzan, to do 2099 as well. People grow up with Spider-Man, so they have their golden years, when they first encountered him. For me, it was the early 80s, so to me that’s my Spider-Man.

So, hopefully we’re capturing that for different ages of people as well.

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Thank you for your time, Kevin!

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is due out in September.