Spider-Man 2 Devs Expose What It Takes To Bring NYC Ambiance To Life

The New York City ambiance in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 took a lot of work to properly create, and it didn’t happen on the city streets.

Image Via. Insomniac Games

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is set on the bustling streets of New York City, and the game’s Senior Audio Designer has revealed how those sounds were recorded. This method involves a studio, a group of actors, and a mixture of pacing and mumbling in order to properly capture the essence of the city.

There are libraries of ambient outside music that can be used for movie, TV, and video game productions, but preparing the soundscape of a city requires a bit more work. Taking a microphone out on the streets of NYC wouldn’t be feasible due to all the vehicle noises present, so a controlled environment was needed to capture the audio for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

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To celebrate the game’s launch, Insomniac Games Senior Audio Designer Jerry Berlongieri has revealed how the city sounds were recorded for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. This involved something known as a “walla” group, where actors move in certain patterns while talking to create the proper noise needed for the background.

The walla group has to move around in circles, shifting between different patterns while performing inane background chatter. These are noises intended to be heard in the distance, with snippets of conversation that the player will hear while swinging through the streets, rather than something that needs to be focused on as part of the storyline.

Notably, none of the performers wore shoes during the recording session, likely to prevent any unnecessary noises. It’s fascinating to see the production in action and how much work goes into something that players likely won’t notice unless it’s not there, which is the beautiful (and sad) part of that aspect of video game production.

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The critical response to Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has been extremely positive, with critics raving about the game’s visuals and the cast’s performances. Berlongieri’s team helped to bring the digital New York City to life, so they deserve as much credit as everyone else involved with the game, as that unique soundscape is pivotal to making Spider-Man’s home feel alive.