Superheroes have remained a surprisingly resilient crossover force in America's fraying political divide. Marvel and DC properties, for the most part, seem to have been tailored to walk the line between what entertains both blue and red America. Superheroes have remained safe topics to discuss during family gatherings, and they seem like a harmless subject on which to build a video game. Then along came Spider-Man on PlayStation 4.
Insomniac's recent breakout hit has received near-universal praise for its rich story, its fantastic rendering of New York City and its enormously fun gameplay. However, as enthusiasts swung their way from skyscraper to skyscraper in a bid to clean up the Big Apple, another conversation began. It was one that didn't have a whole lot to do with the excellent traversal mechanics or the stellar voice acting from Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Parker. Instead it was about how the game treated Spider-Man's relationship with the New York Police Department.
From the very beginning of the game, it's made abundantly clear that your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is very much in cahoots with the local PD. His first main overworld contact is the gruff police captain Yuri Watanabe (played by Laura Bailey), who asks Spidey to repair police communication all over Manhattan. Spider-Man gladly obliges and sets off on a number of Watanabe's requests, happily coordinating with the police to forward their objectives without question or concern about the ultimate goals. There's an odd bit at the beginning when he even refers to himself multiple times as "Spider-Cop," much to the chagrin of Watanabe.