It’s hard to say no to more Symbiote. Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2 explores a totally new story about the iconic alien parasite, and while many of the game’s plot threads get resolved by the end of the story, there’s still plenty of room for future DLC or a sequel to bring Spider-Man’s beloved foil Venom back for more carnage. And the PlayStation Spider-Verse has already established more than one way to do just that.
*Late-game spoilers for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 follow.*
As teased by the post-credits scene from the 2018 game, the Venom Symbiote was used on Harry Osborn in an attempt to cure him of Oshtoran Syndrome, a degenerative disorder he inherited from his mother. In Spider-Man 2, we learn that the Symbiote arrived on Earth via a meteorite discovered by Oscorp. The wickedly dangerous alien corrupts each of its hosts, including Peter Parker for a long stretch of the game.
In one of Spider-Man 2’s most thrilling sequences, a dying Harry Osborn reclaims the Symbiote from Spider-Man and transforms into the hulking monstrosity that is Venom. You even play as Venom for an extended period of time, complete with Symbiote abilities distinct from Peter’s Venom abilities. The overall moveset is rather similar to those of Peter and Miles, but it emphasizes slower, stronger attacks augmented by fluid shapeshifting. It seems Insomniac designed Venom’s playable toolkit with room to grow, paving the way for his potential return in a future game.
Once Peter, Miles, and Mary Jane successfully destroy the Symbiote, Harry survives but is left incapacitated. The most likely future outcome is that Harry will eventually succumb to his illness, but earlier in the game, a piece of the Symbiote remained in Peter that eventually became the Anti-Venom Symbiote. What if Harry retains a piece of it as well? We’re led to believe that Venom is completely eradicated, but since when do deaths in superhero stories ever stick?
We also know from the Spider-Man 2 side mission called “The Flame” that serial killer and cult leader Cletus Kasady escapes with his own Symbiote. Comics fans will know that Kasady is the host of the Carnage Symbiote, an offspring of Venom. In most Symbiote storylines, the emergence of Carnage compels Venom and Spider-Man to team up, putting the former on a redemptive arc toward becoming more of an anti-hero. Could this be in Harry’s future?
Even if the Venom Symbiote is totally destroyed and Harry never fully recovers, the fact that Oscorp had another means that there could be more. Spider-Man 2 features Mary Jane as Scream, yet another one of Venom’s progeny, but there are plenty more in comics canon. The 2018 Venom movie famously featured Riot as the principal villain and also teased Scream, Phage, Lasher, and Agony. Each was grown from a seed of Venom, and given that we saw the symbiote spread throughout New York for an extended period, there’s a strong possibility here.
What’s more, Venom’s original host in the comics, Eddie Brock, already exists in Insomniac’s Spider-Verse. In the 2018 game, one series of collectibles consists of backpacks that Peter has left all over the city. Each has some sort of memento that helps tell some of Peter’s backstory from the time before the game. One backpack in the Upper West Side of Manhattan has a Good Luck Card in it.
“Aww!” Peter says when you view it in your inventory,. “The good luck card from when I left the Daily Bugle to go into research.”
Five people signed it, including Brock, who is typically depicted as Peter’s journalist rival. After the Black Suit Spider-Man comics arc that leads to Peter rejecting the Symbiote, the alien bonds with Eddie Brock to fully become Venom, feasting on Brock’s hatred of Peter Parker and Spider-Man in equal measure.
Spider-Man 2 clearly goes in a totally different direction with the Symbiote arc, but that just opens things up for a myriad of new possibilities. One thing’s for sure: There’s no way that we’re done with Symbiotes in whatever comes next for Insomniac’s Spider-Verse.