When Vicarious Visions was tasked with developing the Wii and PlayStation 2 versions of the Spider-Man 3 movie games, I was tapped to help support the team with a good deal of writing and narrative design. I balanced this work with my main role as a full-time producer on other titles.
The Spider-Man 2 movie game, developed by Treyarch, had set a high bar for these sequels. These sprawling open-world experiences offered diverse gameplay and a living, breathing New York City to web-swing through. Our game would attempt to deliver and improve on this type of experience, which meant a large amount of systemic VO dialogue to fill out the open-world experience. I helped design and wrote hundreds of lines for the systems that would allow Spidey's NYC to feel alive.
Spider-Man 2 had also featured cult movie star Bruce Campbell, voicing a smarmy, insulting Narrator who walked the players through their training. For Spider-Man 3 we brought Bruce back and wrote up our own smarmy, not-quite-as-insulting Narrator training dialogue. Naturally, Bruce nailed it, and reviewers picked up on these lines as one of the best things about Spider-Man 3 for the Wii and PS2.
Here are a few choice examples which I wrote and Bruce brought to life as only he can.
Training Hint - Experience Points
Upgrade - Increased Damage When Mounted
Training Hint - Point of Interest Markers
Upgrade - Health Bar Increase
And check out the videos below if you just can't get enough Bruce snarkiness.
Although the game as a whole wasn't warmly received by critics, its narative elements were seen by some as a bright spot, as evidenced by these pull quotes.
"The dialogue is spot-on and helps draw you into the game." —PGNx Media
"The voice acting is excellent with surprising performances by Tobey [Maguire], who plays a confident Spidey and a nerdy Peter, as well as Bruce Campbell who delivers some of the most priceless lines in the entire game. They even have console-specific one-liners and the Wii version may be just the best when it comes to humor. . ." —Game Chronicles
"Very good voicework from virtually all of the principal movie actors (as well as hilarious tutorial comments by Bruce Campbell)..." —Digital Entertainment News
"The voice narration from Bruce Campbell is . . . priceless." —Extreme Gamer