Spider-Man: Friend or Foe Exclusive!

Next week, the highly-anticipated video game “Spider-Man: Friend or Foe” hits shelves and Superhero Hype! has an exclusive interview with the game’s producer, Jamie Bafus, as well as new cinematic from the game (below interview), which is pretty darn impressive.

Defeat Spider-Man’s most famous enemies, like Venom, Green Goblin, and Doc Ock to add them to your epic array of playable sidekicks in this movie trilogy inspired adventure. Experience ground-breaking co-op multiplayer, as Spider-Man or a sidekick, in exotic spots around the globe, including Tokyo, Egypt and Nepal. Inspired by the “Spider-Man” movies, this action adventure game reinterprets big-screen moments and battles with a humorous twist. Replay chapters with different sidekicks and eventually with Black-Suited Spider-Man.

Superhero Hype!: “Spider-Man: Friend or Foe” looks quite a bit different than the last number of “Spider-Man” games in terms of both the gameplay and art style; can you explain the new direction?

Jamie Bafus: We wanted to do something really different with “Spider-Man: Friend or Foe” – both visually and with the gameplay. We chose to focus on the cool things Spider-Man can do with his webs in combat, then paired him up with some unlikely allies and took him out of New York for a unique Spider-Man adventure. In choosing an art style, we really wanted the look to match the way the game played – something that was fun, a little over the top and accessible to everyone.

SHH!: It appears as though you have film villains like Green Goblin and Doc Ock, but also some characters like Iron Fist and Blade that haven’t crossed paths with Spidey in the films. How did you pick which heroes and villains would be in the game?

Bafus: The team and I sat down with a list of the characters we had to choose from and poured through books, comics and websites to figure out who the best characters were for the type of game we wanted to make. We started with a blue sky list of our favorites and who we would want to play as, and then narrowed it down to the top list of characters we could create the best gameplay for. In the end, I think we came up with a really solid cast of characters – all really fun and unique in their own way.

SHH!: Are most of the level locations based on the films, or are they new?

Bafus: Actually, all of the level locations in “Spider-Man: Friend or Foe” are new, but many are reminiscent of “Spider-Man” movie locations. For instance, we have a level that takes place in Doc Ock’s lab in Tokyo, but it looks a lot like his dockside lab from the second movie. We took the famous locations everyone knows and added a new twist to keep it fresh while still familiar.

SHH!: How deep is the combo and special move system? Can you tell us about the types of moves the villains can do?

Bafus: Each sidekick in “Spider-Man: Friend or Foe” has a number of unique special moves that can be combined with their basic attacks and jumps to create combo moves. It’s a pretty deep system so there are a lot to master, but we’ve kept it simple and accessible by using common button inputs. There are also incentives to use combos. The more players chain them together or alternate between, the more efficient they become in combat, for which they are then rewarded with more currency tokens.

The villains all have their basic “class based” attacks (a variety of strength moves for tanks, weapons for gadgeteers, etc.) and they all have some pretty spectacular special moves that are unique to each. Some are weapon based, like Green Goblin’s Pumpkin Bombs, and some are from their own special abilities like Venom’s Symbiote Spikes or Iron Fist’s Dragon Spirit attack.

SHH!: How about upgrades? Will the characters unlock new moves throughout the course of the game?

Bafus: Yes, all characters will unlock new moves throughout the game. Spider-Man has the deepest upgrade system since he is our main hero, but each sidekick will earn new moves and attribute upgrades. Spider-Man also has a host of mods that players can purchase to upgrade his web abilities. Depending on which web abilities they choose to modify, they can really customize their Spider-Man to be more effective and stronger in the fighting style they prefer. Once they start purchasing the upgrades and mods, the game really takes on a different feel.

SHH!: It looks like Spidey’s always fighting alongside a sidekick; can the player control both characters? Also, how does the co-op system work?

Bafus: In “Spider-Man: Friend or Foe’s” single player mode, players can switch between the onscreen characters at any time during gameplay. Gamers also have the opportunity to go back to the game hub at any time and select one of the other sidekicks that they’ve unlocked. The game features drop in/drop out co-op, so a second player can join in at any time by simply plugging in a controller and pressing a button. It’s just as easy to drop the second player out when the first player is ready to go back to single player.

In co-op, the two characters will be fighting alongside one another, so players can make it truly co-operative by setting up team moves and assists, or can add a little competition by seeing who can pull off the longest combo chain or be the first to collect the special pick-ups as they drop.

SHH!: So why is Spidey fighting alongside villains?

Bafus: In this adventure, Spider-Man is being recruited to take on a worldwide threat greater than all of the villains he’s met so far, so he’s going to need some help. The villains all have their own selfish motivations for joining him as well. Pure revenge and the desire to stay out of jail are pretty big motivators for Super Villains, so it was pretty easy to find ways to get them to join the fight. Having said that, I should mention they are not all very happy about joining Spidey and that comes across in the character dialogue.

SHH!: Who wrote the story, any Marvel writers involved?

Bafus: The “Spider-Man: Friend or Foe” story was written by Brian Reed, who is currently writing for Marvel. Brian also worked closely with Brian Michael Bendis on the “Ultimate Spider-Man” game.

SHH!: What have Next Level Games been able to bring to the license, building off their experience with Nintendo?

Bafus: Next Level Games has been a great developer to work with on this title. They really get the license, they’re fans themselves and they also had the desire and vision to do something a little different with Spider-Man. Their experience working with Nintendo really helped ensure the game would be accessible, easy for anyone to pick up and play as well as be fun, fast paced and appealing to Spider-Man fans.

SHH!: Where can fans find a demo?

Bafus: There’s a “Spider-Man: Friend or Foe” Xbox 360 demo available on Xbox Live and a PC demo available on SpiderMan-Friend-or-Foe.com.

“Spider-Man: Friend or Foe” will be available for the Wii, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, PC, Nintendo DS and PSP.

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Source: Superhero Hype!