Video game development is a fluid process; things change all the time through development until launch and beyond. One thing that changed with the upcoming Spider-Man PS4 game due out next week was the size of puddles in one particular scene. This has led to claims that developer Insomniac Games in some way downgraded the game’s graphics, and now the developer has spoken up to stress that there has been “no downgrade.”
This issue picked up steam thanks in part to this popular Reddit post (via IGN) that shows more puddles in an older, E3 trailer for Spider-Man and fewer puddles in a newer video. Writing on Twitter, Insomniac confirmed that it changed the size of the puddles, but stressed, “There’s no downgrade at all.” Some believed that Insomniac had to scale back the graphics to meet performance demands, but it appears this is not the case.
It’s just a change in the puddle size, there’s no downgrade at all
— Insomniac Games (@insomniacgames) August 20, 2018
Community manager James Stevenson said in his own tweet, “The puddles being moved had nothing to do with performance.” Then why remove them? “Pretty sure it was a design / art / usability reason thing,” Stevenson explained. “Definitely wasn’t performance, as we have spots with tons of puddles in the game with no performance issue.
Other Spider-Man fans have criticised the look of Peter Parker’s suit in newer trailers. It may look different, Stevenson conceded, but that’s because Insomniac is using different, better technology today than it did at the start of development. Importantly, the suit is meant to look good while Peter Parker is swinging from building to building.
“Bright sunlight causes concrete to blow out and look bright. Plus our post effects ( DOF and motion blur tech in particular) are way better in 2018, which causes stuff to be blurrier when pulled like that, but that’s because it’s supposed to look good IN MOTION,” he said.
GameSpot’s Spider-Man PS4 review will go live on September 4, a few days before the game launches on September 7. While the game isn’t even out yet, Insomniac has announced the first DLC expansion will be released on October 23.