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Small details you missed in the new Spider-Man game

It's no secret that Sony is currently crushing Microsoft on the console exclusives front, mashing them into the carpet like a spider under a rolled up newspaper. But tortured metaphors aside, you can't deny that Sony just keeps delivering. The Yakuza series, Street Fighter 5, Detroit: Become Human, Bloodbourne, Uncharted 4, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and more recently the mighty God of War. And as if that weren't enough, there's still plenty more to come.

But now there's a brand new reason to own a PS4: Insomniac Games' love letter to one of Marvel's greatest comic creations, Marvel's Spider-Man.

Since it was revealed at 2016's E3, gamers have been clamoring for Insomniac to make good on their promise: an amazing Spider-Man game that wasn't some horrific, rushed movie tie-in. And oh boy did they deliver.

It has released to both critical and commercial success, thanks in no small part to the care and attention to detail that the developers clearly poured into the title. If you've played it, or even so much as watched a few seconds of gameplay, you'll see what we mean. It's packed to the rafters with fun little Easter Eggs and amazing little touches. Here's a few you might have missed.

The pun-damentals

How do spiders like to communicate? Via webcam! Anyone?

Okay, despite the fact that this is an utterly, utterly terrible joke, you can't deny that everybody loves a good pun. Sometimes they're unmistakably witty or whip smart, and sometimes they're so bad they're good. Despite the writing in Spider-Man being generally top-notch, in this particular instance it's the latter.

Anyone out there for whom this hasn't quite clicked yet, look at the name of the bookstore above. This is obviously a play on Tomb Raider. And a tome? Well that's sort of a book. And this is a bookstore. Where you search (or raid) for books. Got it? If the answer is still no, how on earth did you even manage to switch the computer on?

It's not quite at the level of Grand Theft Auto with its oh-so-punny brand names, but its a valiant effort nonetheless.

When missiles alone aren't statement enough

Some details are so inconceivably small that it would be completely impossible to spot them during normal play, no matter how keen-eyed you might be. The text on the side of missiles is one such detail: so small, moving so fast, and for such a short time that a plain texture would have perfectly sufficed. But Insomniac didn't do that. No. Instead, they wrote all over it.

Fortunately, the game includes a photo mode, pausing time in order for you to line up the perfect shot. For some players it seems like trying to take the best photos is a bigger part of the fun than actually playing through the campaign. And if, for whatever reason, you decide to take a photo of someone firing a missile at your head, you'll be greeted with the inscription: "Guaranteed to Kill Spiders." You can't argue with that.

Til games us do part

In what can only be described as one of the saddest Easter eggs of all time, in May 2018, avid gamer Tyler Schultz propositioned Insomniac Games into propositioning his girlfriend. And, initially at least, his wish came true.

"I'm ready to propose to my girlfriend and want to do it in a big way ... is there anyway you can put an Easter egg of 'Madison, will you marry me?' Anywhere in the game?" he tweeted. And amazingly, Insomniac replied. The team were fully on board, and the stage was set for one of the most romantic text-based proposals since Andrew Lincoln turned up at Keira Knightley's door in Love Actually.

Unfortunately, it seems like it ended just as similarly. Spider-Man released with the proposal on a theater's billboard, but by this time the couple had already broken up. In a since-deleted YouTube video, Schultz appeared to insinuate that she had actually left him for his brother.

Later, in a statement to the Houston Press, Schultz's ex Madison Gamble asserted that she was just friends with his brother, and hadn't been happy for a while. She also pointed out that she "never liked video games," and that this was not how she wanted to be proposed to. Oh dear.

Insomniac offered to patch the proposal out of the game, but for better or worse, this is one Easter egg that will definitely go down in history :(

Visiting the Insomniac office

Manhattan, being one of the coolest cities in the world, means it's sure to attract people from one of the trendiest professions in the world: video game developers. New York is home to some of the greats (Grand Theft Auto creators Rockstar) and some of the not-so-greats (Farmville creators Zynga).

One studio it's not home to, however, is Spider-Man developer Insomniac Games. They're actually based in Burbank, California. That didn't stop them from secreting themselves into their own game, of course. Should you ever find yourself swinging around on the Upper East Side of the island, you'll come across an office with a logo you may recognize from the opening titles. Some Reddit users have also reported being able to hear neat little Easter eggs like crimes in progress at their studio over the police dispatch radio.

Peter's disorderly dwelling

Spider-Man opens with a cinematic in Peter Parker's bedroom, setting the scene for his chaotic and fragmented lifestyle as the camera pans across various bits of detritus. On the surface it's a textbook bachelor pad, but pay close enough attention and you see that it's actually full to the brim with little discoveries, and more subtle nods than a Kendrick Lamar concert. Peter's bedroom is basically Easter egg central — notes, items, newspaper clippings — all referencing the wider Marvel universe.

One notable example includes a Post-It note with "call T.S back RE: job offer," with the T.S in this instance most likely referring to Iron Man himself, Tony Stark. Wonder what exactly old Tony would be employing the web-slinger to do?

Another such note reads "RR suit fabric ballistic? Call to confirm", where RR would be Reed Richards, arguably the most fantastic of the Fantastic Four (being as he is, Mr Fantastic). Still, despite these, it's probably a little too early to be getting excited about crossover games.

Hey cousin, let's go bowling!

There's a whole bunch of fun side missions to undertake in Spider-Man, if you can peel yourself away from photo mode for long enough to find them. One such mission, entitled Spider-Man P.I. has you tailing various mystery characters across Greenwich Village and to the border of Hell's Kitchen.

Then from the window outside a building, being the spy-der that you are, you must snap some secret plans being formulated by a couple of shady — though somewhat familiar — looking guys. Those accents ... those tracksuits ... and we are in the land of liberty, after all.

Turning the subtitles on confirms it. The characters speaking are Niko and Roman, the two ill-fated, strangely lovable protagonists from Rockstar's landmark 2008 release Grand Theft Auto IV. Despite the fact it's been over a decade, it seems the disconcerted duo are still stuck in their old ways — although it's perhaps even more surprising that they're even alive at all.

Peter had to pay the bills in college somehow

There's been plenty of Spider-Man games throughout the years, some much better than others, but one that really captured the imagination is 2004's Spider-Man 2. In particular, the comical –  yet fiendishly hard — pizza delivery missions that interspersed the action, while a jaunty Italian tune piped along in the background.

The tune even became something of a Spider-Man meme in the years following, and fans were certain there would be a pizza delivery mission in the new game. One Twitter user even went so far as to ask Insomniac, to which they replied giving a canon reason why there wouldn't be.

That didn't stop them from putting the music in the game though, as a quaint little homage. For those interested, the piece is a late 19th-century Neapolitan song called Funiculì, Funiculà, which when translated, has nothing to do with pizza.

Uncle Ben's burial

Poor old Uncle Ben. Created only to suffer a noble death, over and over again with each new iteration of the franchise. He does it so well though, and Peter would be nothing without him.

If you web your way over to the north of the island you'll find a church beside a modest graveyard, and within that, of course, is the headstone of Peter's beloved uncle. If you go as far as to walk up to it and inspect it — which you're obviously going to –  you'll be treated to an easy achievement trophy sporting Ben's iconic quote "With great power comes great responsibility ..."

Notably, the scene is also superbly devoid of schmaltz. There's no long, weepy monologuing, or hackneyed black and white flashbacks. It's not forced either, making it starkly different to Call of Duty's stupid remembrance, nor are you prompted to treat the tombstone like a hurdle. Well done Insomniac.

Who you gonna call?

The original Ghostbusters films were cult classics, and as many fans may already be aware, the building in which they set up their base is a real-life building in Manhattan. More specifically, it's the exterior of the New York City Fire Department's Hook and Ladder Company 8. It's an iconic landmark either way, and one saved from closure in the past by locals including none other than Steve Buscemi, himself an ex-firefighter.

It would be a crime to miss it out of Spider-Man's Manhattan map of course, but one very nice touch if you look closely is that the developers graffitied some ghosts on it in a pleasant little homage. Not any old ghoul either, but one that bears a striking resemblance to the film's slimy sidekick. There's no guarantee that calling this particular building will rid you of your paranormal problems, but it's a nice touch anyways.

Kinda Shirtless Games

"Shirtless Spider-Man" is one of those phrases that just doesn't feel right to say. It rolls off the tongue easily enough, but the way it makes you feel after you've said it is something completely different. It's probably advisable not to Google it at work, either.

But the employees of Insomniac are clearly hardy folk, with a high threshold for bizarre forms of cosplay and casual nudity. Ex-IGN man and Kinda Funny Games founder Greg Miller was the pioneer of this movement, tweeting images of himself topless but for a Spidey mask asking "Is it September 7th yet?" in the lead up to the game's release — and those crazy cats at Insomniac did it. They actually did it. The forced meme can actually be found at one of the game's fancy dress parties, sweating away on the dance floor.

You can even snap a selfie with him in photo mode, if you really want to help him live his best life. #blessed