This game isn't an original product based on the general Spider-Man comic-book universe as most super-hero games usually are, instead it is based on a specific mini-series of the Marvel universe called Maximum Carnage. Much like the game, the series begins with Spider-Man's enemy Carnage escaping jail, who after gathering some equally psychotic 'pals', goes out on a killing spree all over New York. This time not even Spider-Man alone can stop him, so an uneasy alliance of superheroes spearheaded by Spider-Man and his nemesis Venom is formed to try and stop the madness. Spanning over 14 issues and encompassing all Spider-Man titles at the time, Maximum Carnage was a massive development by Marvel with lots of guest appearances and remains to this day one of Spidey's most ambitious and certainly most violent (a fact sadly toned-down for the game) sagas ever.
Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage was published in: The Amazing Spider-Man #378, 379, 380; The Spectacular Spider-Man #201, 202, 203; Spider-Man #35, 36, 37; Spider-Man Unlimited #1, 2; and Web of Spider-Man# 101, 102, 103