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Why Marvel's New Game (Probably) Won't Be Open-World Like Spider-Man

Skydance New Media's new Marvel game led by former Uncharted director Amy Hennig is unlikely to feature an open-world like the one seen in Marvel's Spider-Man, with the announcement hinting at a more story-driven experience, and with Hennig's past games all having a linear focus. While no specific details on the game were included in Skydance's announcement, such as the superheroes it'll include or when it may release, fan speculation has already started in earnest online. However, regardless of which heroes Skydance's Marvel game may include, it's doubtful the studio will follow in Insomniac Games' footsteps by adopting an open-world setting.

Both Marvel's Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales featured incredibly detailed open-world depictions of New York City, with each game focusing on the Big Apple during autumn and winter respectively. Although fans haven't seen much of Marvel's Wolverine yet, it could feature an open-world like Marvel's Spider-Man as well, with the game's announcement trailer seemingly hinting at it being set in Madripoor. The open-world formula seen in Insomniac's Spider-Man games has yielded big success, but it still seems doubtful that Skydance would imitate it in the studio's upcoming Marvel title.

Related: Marvel's New Secret Video Game Theory: Why It's Likely Fantastic Four

Based on Hennig's work on Uncharted and general comments she's made about her approach to game design in interviews, it appears far more likely that Skydance's untitled Marvel game will take a more linear approach. Visceral Games' canceled Star Wars video game was said to also have a linear focus before it ostensibly shifted towards an open-world setting, with Hennig departing the project in the midst of its development. This could also provide a hint that Skydance's Marvel project will forego an open-world, with Hennig's past experience on Uncharted also serving as a potential indication of the kind of game it will be.

Amy Hennig's discussed her approach to AAA game development previously, speaking about her love of narrative storytelling in video games, and how she prefers to work on experiences that more closely resemble a mix of film and video games. Although it's impossible to say for certain whether her philosophy may have changed with this new Marvel game, the themes she spoke of in its announcement, and specifically what drew her towards the Marvel Universe in the first place, seem in keeping with her previous comments and arguably lend themselves more to a linear title than they would one that featured an open-world.

Instead, Skydance's upcoming dive into the Marvel Universe is more likely to be a third-person, action-adventure game akin to the Uncharted series. It's still unclear which Marvel heroes will lead Skydance's game, but even without the finer details being available, based on Hennig's work history alone, it would make much more sense for Skydance's Marvel game to take a more linear approach, and focus on relationships between characters and the overarching story more than the exploration of an enormous open-world. Marvel's Spider-Man was able to achieve both of those things, but whereas the open-world fit Spider-Man's role as a New York superhero, not every Marvel character can be contained to just one city.

Next: Why Marvel's Wolverine May Have Logan Team Up With Joe Fixit

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