The wallcrawling adventure from Gameloft unleashes a symbiote update!

All-new characters swing their way into Marvel’s “Spider-Man Unlimited” from the symbiote-loaded “Venom Inc.” comic event. Players will get a crack at Agent Anti-Venom, Maniac, and more, along with an event and some new items. We talked to Gameloft Product Marketing Manager Sergii Gotsman to get the lowdown on everything coming to “Spider-Man Unlimited.”

Marvel.com: When have more symbiotes ever been a good thing for Spider-Man? I have a feeling things are going to get tricky for our heroes with this many baddies on parade.

Sergii Gotsman: It’s definitely worrisome, but as we’ve already seen in the comics (for example in “Venomverse,” “Poison-X” or “Maximum Carnage”), when faced with a greater threat, symbiotes can find a bit of common ground with the good guys and work with them. And with all the interdimensional menaces that threaten the Spider-Verse in “Spider-Man Unlimited,” I’m sure the Spideys and symbiotes can put their rivalry aside—at least for a moment.

Marvel.com: What can players expect from this update? We’ve got some new characters, some new items—and did I hear something about a new event?

Sergii Gotsman: Yes, we’re bringing in nine new characters, two new collectables and new limited-time events. Most, but not all, of this is tied to the recently concluded VENOM INC. comic books. You’ll be able to play as Agent Anti-Venom, Maniac (Lee Price), and Inkling versions of Black Cat, Hammerhead, and Mac Gargan, and take part in new Venom Inc.-themed events.

But it’s not only about “Venom Inc.— we’re also bringing some other heroes from the Spider-Verse into the fray, like Alistair Smythe, Ezekiel, Venom Angelo Fortunato, and Venom Zombie.

Marvel.com: The team is releasing nine new characters with the event? Holy moly, that’s a lot! Do you have a favorite? Anyone you want to take running?

Sergii Gotsman: In terms of my personal preferences, I really like Agent Anti-Venom—his 3D model looks really awesome and I like the idea that Eugene “Flash” Thompson is the new Anti-Venom of Earth-616. But I’m betting that Venom Zombie will become the community favorite from this update—Marvel Zombies has a pretty huge fan base and our players have asked about this character for a while.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us a little more about the items and event coming down the pipe?

Sergii Gotsman: As I mentioned, story-wise it’s tied to Venom Inc. In addition to running, fighting and web-swinging, players will have to collect Symbiote Samples and Astrobiological Serums—which are drawn from an important plot device in the original Venom Inc. story. You see, when Lee Price absorbed Mania’s symbiote and became Maniac, he developed a new ability—the power to infect people with pieces of the symbiote, giving him control over them. That’s where Astrobiological Serums come in handy—in small doses, they regulates the hormonal output of the symbiote and may help to get rid of Maniac’s influence.

The Venom Inc. events are scheduled to run until the end of April, and those who will have managed to collect all the new characters from them will also be rewarded with Rank Up cards and vials.

Marvel.com: What are you all most excited for players to get their hands on with this update?

Sergii Gotsman: I really like that we’re able to offer events tied to a recent Spider-Man story. I mean, we’ve just read VENOM INC. and now we get to enjoy it a bit more in the game. The whole “Spider-Man Unlimited team is eager to see how the community will react to it.

Marvel.com: Anything else that we need to know?

Sergii Gotsman: Be sure to keep up with all the latest news about the game on Facebook and YouTube—we’re constantly sharing art and videos from the game with our community there. And stay tuned, the next update—which we’re currently working on—will feature some crazy, titanic-sized stuff!

Pick up “Spider Man Unlimited” on Google Play and iTunes and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more news and interviews.

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Who is spreading symbiotes through NYC? Marvel.com’s resident therapist hypothesizes.

After being contacted by the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Bobbie Morse, aka Mockingbird, this profile of the super powered criminal known as Maniac was prepared. As details are scant, this summary relies on a significant amount of conjecture and hypothesis in lieu of an in-person intake or other therapists’ notes. Please account for this in reviewing it.

The subject, the criminal — colloquially, a super villain — Maniac is most likely Lee Price. Price had recently been identified as a criminal associate of Felica Hardy, aka the recently regressed criminal Black Cat, and a former host of the symbiote that creates the Venom identity (former hosts include Eddie Brock and Flash Thompson).

The subject’s childhood was marked by chaos and trauma. His parents frequently fought with one another and abused him in multiple ways including verbal, physical, and via neglect. To make matters worse, Price did not connect well with others his own age — either because of difficulties in his home or other personality factors — and as a result had a limited social support network. The one friend this writer was able to locate mention of in old New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) records reacted violently when authorities attempted either contact or arrest — depending on accounts — of said child because he was a mutant.

Venom #159

Maniac’s apparent attempts to spread symbiotes to others, when viewed through the lens of his past, thus makes a kind of sense. He is creating a network of friends/families on whom he can rely for companionship, comfort, support, and shared goals. However, he is unable, seemingly, to trust others to be with him because they wish to – he does not trust them to do it of their own free will. Thus, the bits of symbiote he ensnares them with eliminate their free will and, essentially, force others to become his friends/partners in crime.

Previous to now, the only place that Price seemed to feel mastery and find a sense of camaraderie with others is as a member of the US Rangers. This also offers some explanation for why he’d desire to build his own team. However, ultimately, the Rangers cost him three fingers and medically discharged him, leaving him once more alone. Therefore, once again, he is seeking to control his environment by refusing to allow others the free will to “ruin” his group.

The subject is definitely fueled by a desire to achieve mastery once more. This is held up by testimony from Eddie Brock via his connection to the Venom symbiote. When Brock helped separate the symbiote from Price and successfully rejoined it, he claims the symbiote provided him information about the previous host. In this case, the alien “told” Brock that the subject refused to merge with the creature and “work together” and instead sought to bend the symbiote to his will. Rather than fully tap into what the alien could offer the subject, Price made it more of a tool, choosing control over increased power and/or efficiency. Again, this speaks to a lack of trust in others to stick with him.

Venom #160

What this does not do is offer much insight into what Maniac’s end goals might be. Does he seek to infect everyone and thus, in essence, make everyone his family? Is he looking to strike out at old resentments, a possibility reinforced by rumors about those he has recently converted? Is this a limited time thing or would he prefer to maintain it as long as possible? This writer hesitates to guess at this time with the resources available to me.

For a more in-depth exploration of symbiotes and how they can influence behaviors, I have referred S.H.I.E.L.D. to Doctors Mike Costa and Gerardo Sandoval who are experts in the field. Even though Lee Price has sought to dominate his alien “companion” it may still be influencing his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and any thorough profiling should account for that. The report will be available on January 10 in the file marked VENOM #160.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who is only influenced in his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by the union of chocolate and peanut butter.

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