Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was a good game, but it wasn’t great. I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I enjoyed its successor, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, which improved on the game’s existing formula while keeping the spirit of what people loved about it. On top of letting you keep all the skills you’d unlocked in Fallen Order, it gave you more traversal abilities, added a variety of different stances to spice up gameplay, and provided quality of life improvements like fast travel. It’s more fun overall, and expanded on a story and character that finally absorbed me after the first game failed to capture my attention.

A lot of what Survivor has done with Fallen Order is exactly what fans are hoping Spider-Man 2 will do with Spider-Man. The highly anticipated game doesn’t have a confirmed release date and isn’t expected for a few more months, but that’s not stopping fans from speculating on what we’re going to be getting from it. The first Spider-Man game was well-received by both critics and audiences with an 87 on Metacritic, but there’s always room for improvement. After all, Tears of the Kingdom somehow improved on Breath of the Wild, which many thought would be impossible.

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Players are understandably craving fresh gameplay from Spider-Man 2. After seeing the potential of the Spider-Man formula used with other characters (Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales was great fun), fans are waiting to see what other innovative gameplay Insomniac can come up with to make Spider-Man 2 feel new again, instead of just more of the same. Survivor did this by giving Cal multiple combat stances, more traversal abilities, and new ways for BD-1 to be involved in gameplay. Spider-Man 2 could do well to do something similar - the traversal was already incredibly fluid and felt amazing, and would benefit hugely from a refresh of its open-world activities so they feel more meaningful in the context of the story. Combat could be made more acrobatic and dynamic too, in keeping with its protagonist’s flexibility.

Spider-Man swinging through New York City in Remastered PS5

But more than that, players want story. The first game’s narrative was fun, delving into Peter Parker’s life, struggles, and relationships, but fans are now looking for something more emotionally complex. Miles Morales told a much more poignant and personal story than Spider-Man, and fans hope the sequel will build on that. Survivor also elevated what was originally a relatively generic hero into one worth rooting for, and complicated Cal’s story while building on the foundation established by the first game. Survivor’s storytelling is miles ahead of Fallen Order’s because of the risks it takes, and Spider-Man 2 could do the same with some courage. I’ve always liked Spider-Man because it feels like he’s best when he’s losing – it’s when he really, really wants to quit that we see the strength of his character and the extent of his selflessness. I’d love to see that more emphasised in the games.

I like seeing studios iterate on already successful games to figure out what they could do better, and I like it even more when they take big swings. Whether or not Insomniac is doing that with Spider-Man 2 is yet to be seen, because we’ve heard very little about the game so far, but we might find out more at the upcoming PlayStation showcase. Regardless, what Respawn did with Jedi: Survivor is a great example of a sequel that improves vastly on its predecessor, and if we’re lucky, we’ll get that with Spider-Man 2 as well.

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