Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Artist Explains Insomniac’s Painstakingly Detailed Depiction of the Lizard

PlayStation Blog posted a new article detailing the creation of the Lizard in the upcoming Insomniac Games-developed superhero action-adventure, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

Senior art director at Insomniac Games, Jacinda Chew, discussed the team’s efforts to craft this character in-game. Firstly, they reference the comic, as is always the case with Marvel characters. Based on that collaboration, they then established that their chosen depiction of the Lizard has lost all humanity, making communication impossible.

Chew also highlighted that they researched real-life lizard skin, adding a sense of realism to the character and giving him spikes based on “more prehistoric” references radiating aggression.

Other discussed elements regarded making the the Lizard’s eyes react to light, occurring real-time in-game, and ensuring the villain looked like a threat with the way he moved.

You can view some quoted comments from Jacinda Chew about the Lizard in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 below:

“We looked at a lot of lizard skin for research. The thing about lizards in real life–their skin’s actually really dry. Most people who looked at our Lizard kept initially saying ‘he’s not slimy enough.’ But I think it’s a nod to what people expect a lizard to look like–he’s got that lizard skin, but it’s actually much shinier than what you’d see on a real lizard.

“We gave him spikes, too. For design references, I tried to look at real-life lizards that looked a bit more prehistoric, because some lizards can look kind of soft and cute. I was looking at spikier, more snake-like, more aggressive references.

We also wanted eyes that look more like animal eyes. If you look at cats, their pupils grow at night. We made those kinds of eyes for him–when light hits his eyes, they look smaller, his eyes are actually reacting to light. We did a lot of research on how to make that happen in real time on the PS5.”


“We are also doing muscle simulations–looking at real animal or real human actors and seeing how those muscles deform and running simulations. I think it’s incredible that we’re able to do this at this point in developing video games, but it’s also somewhat subtle, because you may not always notice that difference until we disable all the muscle simulations.”


“Lizards actually move very low to the ground–it’s not very intimidating. In the comics, Lizard is more bipedal and upright, so more human. We had to thread that needle–he’s bipedal but still has to maintain some of that lizard look, so he’s got that curved back. The idea behind his movement is that he moves at a speed that feels fast but heavy. The animation team deserves a lot of credit for conveying that strength and power and speed.”

You can view the PlayStation Blog post for additional details and comments.

Marvel’s Spider–Man 2 will focus on Peter Parker and Miles Morales following the events of the latter’s latest title. Players can anticipate more acrobatic parkour with web swinging alongside several variations built upon that foundation. Further, Venom will play an integral role in this entry’s narrative, so fans have quite a bit to look forward to this time around.

For those unaware, a Marvel’s Spider–Man 2 prequel comic was recently launched for Free Comic Book Day. It highlights Peter Parker, Miles, and Mary Jane as they balance the multiple faces of their lives. Additionally, the well-known villain The Hood debuts in this specific universe.

Marvel’s Spider–Man 2 will launch on PlayStation 5 on October 20, 2023.

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Orpheus Joshua

Random gamer equally confused by the mainstream and the unusual.