Wolverine is one of Marvel’s most popular superheroes ever! Insomniac Games are very aware of this, with a short trailer for their upcoming Wolverine game exciting many fans. This trailer tells us very little; all that is hinted is our main character is prepared to kill (or at least beat to a pulp) those who threaten him. Furthermore, Brian Horton – the Creative Director for Wolverine – has tweeted the game will be “Full size, mature tone”. This is what fans want to hear as the likes of Logan received an R rating, and the game for X-Men Origins: Wolverine got an M rating, and both were highly acclaimed.
Full size, mature tone
— Brian Horton (@BrianHortonArt) September 12, 2021
We know nothing else about the game just yet. With a release date of 2023, it will be a while before we know what the game entails. So, I’m going to speculate and address what this game should have to be the best Wolverine experience.
Lots of X-Men Characters
The X-Men are my favourite superhero team, so this one is personal to me. Many of Marvel’s most interesting characters can be found within the X-Men universe. This is due to many things, such as the varying powers and personalities, as well as the social and political themes addressed through the band of misfits. Some of the most popular Marvel characters – including Magneto and Deadpool – originate from the X-Men comics. With such a strong set of characters, it would be great to see many of them appear in Wolverine.
Perhaps we can visit the X-Mansion and see Wolverine teaming with Storm, Gambit, Iceman, Psylocke and more! Seeing the love triangle between himself, Cyclops and Jean Grey would be interesting, if effectively executed. It would also be interesting to see his relationship with Professor Xavier. This would be useful for establishing a team for a future X-Men game too. I am a big fan of the X-Men Legends games that released in the mid 2000s, so a play on this formula would be most welcome in the future.
Reintroducing and Altering X-Men Villains
One of the best elements of Insomniac’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the way they handled the villains. For example, Doctor Octopus, Electro and Mr. Negative were given brand-new touches that flesh out the villains even more. If this could happen with Sabretooth, Omega Red and Lady Deathstrike – and more – I would be behind it. Give us some character elements exclusive to this game! I would also love some Magneto backstory if they decide to introduce him here.
A Backstory Involving Weapon X
Wolverine and the Weapon X Facility go hand-in-hand. The earliest thing Wolverine remembers is waking up in the research centre with wires coming out of his skin. In several depictions of this event, Wolverine is seen escaping, killing anyone in his path. Having a series of flashbacks or a prologue in the Weapon X Facility would be wonderful fan service. Seeing as the game is M rated, it would be awesome to escape in a brutal and bloody way. Have we seen Wolverine’s Weapon X escape a million times before? Yes. Would it be cool to see it one more time? Absolutely!
Could We See Other Iconic X-Men Locations?
I mentioned the X-Mansion, but what about Muir Island, the Savage Land and more? All these places have their purpose in the X-Men, but this could be a strange direction to take. The mentioned locations have importance across the X-Men universe but are not important to Wolverine. It would be nice to see homages paid in this sense, but they could be saved for a future X-Men game.
Both Spider-Man games took place in New York rather than being scattered across the world. It’s difficult to say where the Wolverine game would be set. Canada or New York (the state rather than just the city) are the most feasible options. It would be refreshing to have somewhere different that has significance to Logan’s arc.
This seems easy enough for Insomniac. Both X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X2: Wolverine’s Revenge have a satisfying amount of moves and skills for Wolverine to perform. Taking influence from the gameplay of both games and adding in some brand-new moves could make the combat match that of both Spider-Man games. Granted, Wolverine does not have the variety on the surface with attacks, but a bit of creativity with his moves and I’d be playing for hours on end.
Would Wolverine Work as a Sandbox?
Obviously, Spider-Man benefits from being able to explore New York City. Web slinging makes exploring easy, satisfying and fun. Wolverine obviously does not benefit from the same powers. While he can climb thanks to his claws, he is often grounded. Exploring New York City once again in a sandbox does not seem too interesting with Wolverine. Making the game more linear should benefit the title because this game should feel separate from Spider-Man. The best way to do this is to play to the X-Man’s strengths.
With a mixed bag of X-Men games and films over the past 15 years, there is no studio I trust more than Insomniac with a Wolverine game. Granted that Wolverine is a very different character from Spider-Man, but I think they will create a great experience and succeed with the X-Men universe where many have failed. I’ve not been excited for many games recently. With the Sony announcements of Wolverine, as well as Spider-Man 2 and God of War: Ragnarök, this has drastically changed. If these games live up to their hype, we’ll be treated to some high quality content.