Fans of Insomniac’s Spider-Man for PlayStation 4 are going to find a big surprise when they play the remastered version of the open world web-slinging game on PlayStation 5. Peter Parker has a new face, which you can see above.
This isn’t part of some kind of simple optimization. Insomniac has recast the character, basing the model on a new actor.
“We loved working with John Bubniak on the original game; however, to get a better match to Peter Parker/Spider-Man actor Yuri Lowenthal’s facial capture, we have cast Ben Jordan to be the face model for Peter Parker on the PS5 console,” Insomniac Games community manager James Stevenson notes in a new PlayStation Blog post. “He looks incredible in-game, and Yuri’s moving performances take on a new life.”
Yuri Lowenthal is the voice actor for Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the game, while John Bubniak served as the original face model for the character. Now Peter gets his face from Ben Jordan.
What the hell happened to Peter Parker’s face lol
Before vs After pic.twitter.com/5uGn6nzdng
— Vishhal Bhattman (@vbhatt08) September 30, 2020
It’s a bizarre change to see in a game that millions of people have already played. It’s not every day that a game just recasts its lead’s face. The explanation is also strange. Is Ben Jordan really such a better match for Lowenthal’s facial capture work that it was worth all this work? You have to wonder if the fact that Jordan looks more like the current movie actor for Spider-Man, Tom Holland, influenced this decision.
It also brings into question just how much games should change after release. Patches gives developers an opportunity to tweak their titles long after launch. A big remaster like this one for Spider-Man gives a studio a chance to make even more changes. But is replacing the hero’s face going too far? I know that if I saw a Spider-Man movie two years after it first came out and Peter Parker had a new face, I’d be beyond distracted.