Video game movie tie-ins are almost always bad. However, there is a handful that are good.
2004's Spider-Man 2 is arguably the best among them. The classic Spider-Man game might not have made it to our list of the best video games based on movies, but it was a close call. Although it later spawned a less successful sequel with the release of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3, fans were still hopeful that a fourth Spider-Man movie and game would come out.
Ultimately, this never happened. Sony decided to reboot the Spider-Man franchise with the Andrew Garfield-led Amazing Spider-Man movies, before striking a partnership with Disney to make Spider-Man a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Tom Holland in the lead.
With that said, recent footage of what could have been a fourth Spider-Man game gives us a glimpse of what Sam Raimi had planned for the future of his Spider-Man movies.
First look at Radical Entertainment's cancelled Spider-Man game
Obscure Gamers uploaded footage of an Xbox 360 build of the cancelled Spider-Man 4 game on YouTube. It consists of 20 minutes of gameplay footage and appears every bit like an improved version of Spider-Man 2. Apparently, Radical Entertainment had worked on the game for a while before they dropped it after Sony decided that a fourth Spider-Man film with Sam Raimi in the helm was no longer worth it.
Of course, this isn't the first time that the cancelled Spider-Man 4 game became public knowledge. Environment artist Wayne Dalton released images of the said game back in 2019 after the studio took over development from Treyarch. Radical would later reuse some of the assets and gameplay mechanics on Prototype 2, which was the studio's last big game before becoming a supporting studio for Bungie.
What makes Spider-Man 4 so interesting is how it could have potentially changed a lot of things. For example, would it have redeemed the awful Spider-Man 3 and led to Spider-Man 5? Furthermore, what kind of story would it have told? Rumors suggest that it would have seen Spider-Man go up against Vulture and Sable. Lastly, would Sony even think about "loaning" Spider-Man to Disney if moviegoers kept on watching Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films and critics continued to love them?
Not to mention, Radical Entertainment would have benefitted from a huge potential boost in sales. If the fourth Spider-Man film was successful and the movie tie-in game was good, the studio wouldn't have faced financial issues in the early 2010s.
With that said, we're lucky that Spider-Man has done just fine since. Thanks to Insomniac Games, fans of the webhead have been spoiled with two of the best superhero games ever in 2018's Marvel's Spider-Man and 2020's Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales with Marvel's Spider-Man 2 set to release in 2023.
As for the movie part, Sam Raimi eventually landed a gig in the MCU after he secured a seat in the director's chair for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Coincidentally, the upcoming MCU film might reunite Raimi with Spider-Man, albeit the Tom Holland one. Speaking of, movie audiences can also look forward to watching Spider-Man: No Way Home later this year.