After months of teasing trailers, suit previews, and screenshots, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is finally here for everyone to get stuck into. It's a sequel that is packed with upgrades like new abilities, a much larger map, more ominous villains, and of course those visuals that make this one of the most eagerly awaited releases for virtual photographers.
There are even a few improvements to Insomniac's already excellent, and award-winning photography tools, so here are 10 things that have changed for the Marvel's Spider-Man 2 photo mode.
- MARVEL'S SPIDER_MAN 2 // MILES -
1. Character Mode
By far the most significant upgrade is the addition of a new Character Mode section in the photo mode UI. Here you can enable custom poses, and alter the facial expressions of the playable character, as well as rotate them on the sport through 360°.
The selection of poses for Spider-Man is different depending on whether he is on the ground or in the air at the time, and you even get unique sets of poses and expressions when playing as Peter, Miles, or even MJ.
2. Suit Styles
Following on from the ability to swap between suits without leaving the photo mode that came with Miles Morales, Spider-Man 2 also lets you cycle through the various colour styles that the game includes for many of them.
As before, you'll need to have unlocked the suits and styles in-game before they become available, but from then on, it's a cinch to choose the right style for a shot.
Insomniac Games do like their photo mode stickers and have made no exception for Spider-Man 2. There are two fewer categories to choose from this time, but that doesn't stop there being more than 375 stickers in total, including Chibis, Burst Bubbles, and character specific stickers that unlock as you progress through the game's story.
Like a few of the new features here, this is one that comes straight from the photo mode improvements that the studio made in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
Found on the Filters & Frames tab, the new Backgrounds option masks everything in the frame apart from the character, and puts them on a single-coloured backdrop. Perfect for an easy route to getting those "black background" shots, but there are also another 10 colour options to get creative with.
NOTE: if the backgrounds don't show up for you when cycling through them, head into the game's Visual Settings to enable Fullscreen Effects.
5. Camera Range
It's always good to have a large range of movement on a photo mode camera, and both Marvel's Spider-Man and Miles Morales had a reasonably good one that was exactly the same in each. As you can see from this test, the camera can move almost to the edge of the fountain in Washington Square Garden before it hits the limit of its bounding area.
Doing the same thing in Spider-Man 2 however, sees the camera sail straight past that limit thanks to a larger range that will allow for even greater freedom to find and compose shots.
6. Precision Camera
One of a couple of major quality-of-life improvements, the Camera tab now features a Precision toggle for enhanced control over camera positioning. By reducing the camera movement speed & acceleration, activating this takes away the twitchy camera movements and gives you much finer control to precisely adjust the composition of a shot.
As well as a few of the simpler frames that make a return from the previous games, like the 2.35:1 cinematic crop and the camera viewfinder for example, Spider-Man 2 features a number of frame designs that are specific to the events of the story.
Much like the stickers, more of these will become available as you progress through the game, so keep checking back for new ones.
8. Visual Effects
Replacing the previous Show Weather option, the new Visual Effects setting does something much more interesting. Rather than simply hiding raindrops or falling snow, this feature enables animation in various elements in the environment such as the swirling effects of a sandstorm, burning flames, and of course, the weather.
Paused by default, toggle the option to Play to add a little movement into the photo mode scene, be warned though, that temporary effects like combat impacts will quickly vanish.
9. Lighting Camera
The excellent 3-point lighting setup from Insomniac's previous photo modes is again present here, and this time includes a neat feature to make placing lights a little easier in the form of a Lighting Mode camera option under the Move Camera setting.
Enabling this lets you move the camera around freely while in the Lighting Mode to get a better view while placing lights without affecting the composition of the main photo mode camera.
10. Selfie Mode
The final change is not an addition or anything new, but actually the removal of a feature that was present in the previous Spider-Man games. Say goodbye to the Selfie camera and the associated tab of settings that went with it.
Although this third camera type was a bit of fun as Spidey held it out at arm's length, its limited scope for use probably means that it won't be too sorely missed.
So, there you have it, 10 changes that I found in the Marvel's Spider-Man 2 photo mode with everything else being just like you'll find in Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered or Miles Morales.
For a look at all of the features they have to offer, please check out my Photo Mode Explained post, and be sure to subscribe to the channel for more virtual photography content.
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