Recently, a teaser trailer dropped confirming that Insomniac, the developer behind Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is working on a new game revolving around Wolverine of the X-Men. Wolverine, being easily the most popular and recognizable of the X-Men surely has countless fans rejoicing, and once again this fan finds himself going against the tide.
Logan Gets More Than Enough
‘Wolverine Publicity’ is literally a trope on TV Tropes. Wolverine, while great, is an overexposed, overblown character. He has gotten comic series after series, been the star of many films, and other media adaptations of X-Men. Even in the original film trilogy, he was positioned as the main character. This is bad because the X-Men work best as an ensemble. Each member works for someone, and everyone can have their favorite mutant, with each of them getting character development and exposure. Variety is the spice of life, why must we always be saddled with the dude with the claws?
The X-Men Desperately Need Another Solo Console Venture
2011’s X-Men Destiny was the last solo console X-Men game, and it was a flop. You couldn’t even be the X-Men themselves. Once I found out that (plus that Jean wasn’t going to be there, which definitely turned me off more than most), I refused to play. Checking online, I quickly saw that most players despised the game and called the gameplay repetitive and uninspired. I had hoped that some developer somewhere would just give us the X-Men Legends III game we all sorely deserved, but alas…
What Should Have Been a Step in the Right Direction
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 in and of itself, after so long since the relative flop of 2, was already a welcome return. But the fact that the game, despite having some similarities to the MCU, brought back the X-Men as well as the Fantastic Four (after years of both properties previously being owned by FOX) being properly featured or promoted in other media again, especially video games. Also, the X-Men’s comics for a long time were stale as hell until Jonathan Hickman revamped the title. Many game franchises, even ones that previously featured X-Men or Fantastic Four characters, demonstrated rather glaring omissions of them overall. Even the Lego Marvel sequel and Capcom vs Marvel releases after 3 didn’t include them even though they played notable roles in previous installments.
So Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 was a return to form and a welcome return for the X-Men and Fantastic Four (via DLC) in video games, coming just in time after Marvel Studios reacquired the rights to those franchises. The X-Men in particular got special attention by being a part of the core gameplay and storyline, with no DLC required. This game and the inclusion of our favorite mutants were a sign of good times to come.
What Could’ve Been, and Hopefully Still Might Be
Insomniac made me want an X-Men game from them when they featured a scary and convincing lightning storm in one of the side missions in Marvel’s Spider-Man game. My immediate first thought was: what if Storm of the X-Men could do something like that in a world like this? I talked about that and other aspects I would love to see in an open-world X-Men game in a previous article. If they could pull it off with multiple characters, somehow, I know the game would be a hit and would be a lifelong dream for X-Men fans everywhere. However, I also theorized in that same article that open-world games probably work best with one or very few playable characters. I just wish that if it had to be only one X-Man that it could have been someone else. Wolverine has more than enough games and stuff overall. Why not Storm? Why not anyone else? Synch, Mimic, or Rogue could work well with their abilities to copy/replicate other people’s powers.
I understand why people love Logan so much. So do I. I read his iconic solo comic from the 80s, which really put into perspective how and why he works. However, the X-Men fall apart when it becomes the Wolverine show. It should always be a team, an ensemble, and a family. My best hope is that for one, the game is fun as hell and features more than enough thrills and fanservice and iconic characters anyway (including villains), and that it leads to either more solo or minimalistic playable (as in up to just a few playable characters in a single game) X-Men characters in individual games until we get enough of the iconic characters. That or if Insomniac can make an open world X-Men work with numerous playable X-Men. It would be a dream come true.