‘Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’ Creative Director Defends Mary-Jane Missions: “If She’s A Little OP, I Don’t Give A S–t”
While the interludes have proven themselves to be one of the most widely disliked features of the series among both critics and fans alike, Sony’s Insomniac Game’s Marvel’s Spider-Man series director Bryan Inithar is sticking by his team’s decision to bring back the first game’s mandatory Mary-Jane stealth missions for its symbiote-covered sequel.
Intihar offered his defense of these widely-panned moments of gameplay during an appearance on the 821st episode of IGN’s Beyond podcast.
Met with the observation from his hosts that he had made MJ “the most OP character in the game” before being asked for his insight into the development philosophy behind her missions, Inithar in turn explained, “So I knew that those missions weren’t the fan favorites coming out of Spider-Man 1.”
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“We had two choices,” he told IGN’s Max Scoville, Jada Griffin, and Josh Du. “We could say, ‘All right, we’ll make it easy and just not do it.’ And everybody would go, ‘Great. No MJ missions.’ Or we could say, ‘Hey, we’ve talked about showing the world from all different angles. We’re going to make her moments better. We’re going to take on the challenge. We’re going to make people like playing as her.'”
“We pick and choose our spots,” Inithar recalled, before declaring, “We knew we had to make her more of a proactive, capable person, And if she’s a little OP, I don’t give a s–t. She’s fine. I don’t care.”
“I felt like it would be taking the easy way out if we didn’t make her playable, to the point where I said ‘we’re gonna do it, I don’t care, we’ll cut other stuff,'” Intihar further elaborated. “Because it’s important to show her be a capable hero. I think that’s really – that’s important. And this may sound cliché or whatever, but you don’t need powers to be a hero. I wanted her to show that.”
Turning to the game’s final story beat, wherein Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and MJ all go toe-to-toe with an army of Symbiotes in order to stop their hive from overtaking Earth – the red-headed heroine armed with nothing more than a sonic-wave emitting firearm – Intihar then revealed, “For example, in the original plan she wasn’t a playable character in the last mission, but we thought ‘Hey, can we get all three of them working as a team in that final mission?’ So that at the very end she’s there.”
“Yeah, she’s probably OP,” reiterated the director, “but I don’t care.”
Moving to provide some insight into the development of MJ’s gameplay sections, Inithar next divulged how, “In Spider-Man 1, there was a really, really early, super-early in development, we never made it, but it was part of a story treatment where Pete was going to be injured, and he could barely walk.”
“She was going to actually try to get him to safety, and she was going to grab one of his web shooters and she was going to put it on, actually fire at enemies that were trying to get to them but that never happens,” Intihar continued. “I think that’s where the web-shooter idea came from, because I was like, ‘Let’s give her the ability to stun enemies in the first mission.'”
Giving his final thoughts on the topic, the director ultimately affirmed that the playable MJ sections made a return in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 because, simply put, “I just didn’t want us to wimp out and take the easy way out.”
“And again, it’s a testament to the team, especially like that second mission,” he concluded. “I just said “Make her feel like a hero” and they did it, and I’m really proud. And If she’s a little overpowered, oh well.”