On May 24th, PlayStation held its first major showcase since 2021. While it featured some cool games, it lacked the big and wild exclusives the company had released in the past. However, most would agree that the finale – a big gameplay preview of upcoming PS5 exclusive Spider-Man 2 – was an impressive end to the show . Well, unless you ask some eagle-eyed players who have decided to focus on the game’s waters.
This has happened before. Ahead of the release of Insomniac’s debut album Spider-Man , when the studio released the open-world action game for PS4 in 2018, it naturally featured early gameplay and theatrical trailers to feed the hyped beast. At some point during the pre-release hype cycle, people noticed that a certain area of a construction site was missing some puddles.
This quickly led to a huge controversy -dubbed Puddlegate- with some claiming the developers downgraded the game or the puddles were removed out of laziness. Finally, Insomniac explained that it’s probably just an example of how open-world games – with dynamic times of day and weather – can look different on different screenshots of the same room.
Now it’s 2023 and Insomniac’s next Spider-Man game has at least one major battle for the nasty waters of New York City, and because nothing ever changes, people are water-mad again. It’s time for Puddlegate 2.0.
Insomniac / PlayStation / Marvel
In the New Spider-Man 2 gameplay shown during the Playstation Showcase, we see Miles and Peter hurling webs over and around the East River in New York. However, after the trailer was released, people started pointing out “problems” with the water . Some said the spatter looks bad . Others have had complaints about how the water just looks “rough” or lacks reflections. Even more gamers began to zoom in on far-flung details to draw attention to issues that they propose to make the game look like a PS3 title . A screenshot –taken from a 1080p stream of the game on someone else’s phone – was shared as an example of how ” unfinished ” the game is.
Some players are concerned about the water reflections in Spider-Man 2 game
On Friday, Digital Foundry , John Linneman tweeted that the demonstration shown on March 24 “looked pretty good, right?” and pointed out that the game had improved ray tracing and other visual features. Minutes after I tweeted this, a cadre of gamers replied that the man who spent years analyzing video game graphics and visuals was actually very wrong . In fact, Spider-Man 2 – a game still in development – is ugly and the water is awful.
At one point, Linneman shared a screenshot of the game’s diffuse reflections off choppy waters and compared it to a real-world photo of reflections off choppy waters outside of New York City. And then someone hilariously replied, ” The right one looks rough. “The right picture was the real photo. Apparently the water is pretty bad in real life too, right?
Before anyone assumes otherwise, I think people should be free to criticize games, movies, etc. And I also think it’s fair to judge trailers and pre-releases of games released by people asking you to pre-order based on that alone.
However, we also have to keep in mind that game pre-recordings do not represent the final product and a heavily compressed 1080p stream on your phone will not fully represent what the actual game will look like on your own TV. Likewise, taking a single image of a game and weaponizing it online is silly and not very useful.
It also sucks to suggest that game developers are lazy or rushing something just because you spotted a (possibly) low-resolution texture or particle effect in a pre-release footage. If you’re wondering why so many game developers are nervous about sharing early game glimpses, this is the type of behavior that’s likely making many developers pause before showing pre-release content. Thankfully, I’ll take note that I’ve seen loads of comments from people pointing out how silly these complaints are getting and that offending the developers isn’t right.
Basically everyone just needs to relax, put away the microscopes and go outside. Maybe jump in a real puddle. Enjoy your life. I promise you this will make better use of your time.