From Spider to Wolverine: Transforming Mechanics in Marvel’s Superhero Games

Marvel’s Wolverine will represent a big departure from Insomniac’s Spider-Man video game. However, the mechanics may offer great opportunities for some change.

Marvel’s Spider-Man was the catalyst for Insomniac Games revolutionizing video games based upon characters from Marvel Universe. The game has inspired other developers to create games that bring Marvel’s characters to life. Marvel’s Midnight Suns have been a great example of this. It allowed its heroes to thrive in a turn-based strategy environment. Marvel Spider-Man 2 Is on the way. Insomniac has extended its reach to include Marvel Wolverine.

Marvel’s Wolverine will by its nature be a big departure from anything Insomniac Games has done before. The Mature rating will be the most significant change. This will allow for a more authentic Wolverine experience. Marvel’s Wolverine may require some changes in mechanics to those used for the Web-Head, but Wolverine isn’t much different from Spider-Man. But, Marvel’s Spider-Man foundations can be easily modified and extended for Wolverine’s gritty adventure.

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Wolverine’s traversal could be more layered thanks to the location

Because Wolverine doesn’t know how to swing from the web to reach its destination, the traversal will need to change significantly to allow players access to the world (should the game keep the open-world format). According to trailer hints, the game will likely be set in Madripoor (a fictional city island that is both sprawling and compact). The game may feature a parkour element for the traverse. Wolverine may use his claws to climb up buildings and use the roofs for transportation. However, God of War also has a method where the map can’t be easily traversed. Instead, it’s broken up into sections that allow for exploration of the city in detail without the need to travel too far at once, much like in Marvel’s Spider-Man.

Logan’s healing could revolutionize combat and stealth

Marvel’s Spider-Man requires players to rely on Spider-Sense to stealthily and combatively clear a space. Wolverine however has no such abilities. Instead, he relies on his brute force and healing factor which has made him almost immortal. The approach to combat that Wolverine takes is similar to Marvel’s Spider-Man might not work, however. Wolverine may rush into combat head-first, but when it is about stealth, he could learn strategies from Spider-Man to distract enemies and lure them into traps. A God of War-style brutality would serve the character well. Combinations and flair would not be the main focus since May uses his berserker rage to stop foes. This could be the best approach to getting an authentic experience. Additionally, his healing power would make it possible to inflict damage on as many foes as possible before he is knocked unconscious. In the end, Wolverine’s true essence would be captured better if the style was sacrificed in favor of aggressive combat.

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NPC Interactions Might Open Up Ways to Get Information

Marvel’s Spider-Man had many NPCs that kept New York city alive. These NPCs were meant more to assist the player in side missions, or offer short moments of interaction while they walked the streets. Marvel’s Wolverine could make things even better by giving Madripoor’s non-player characters a more prominent role as individuals who can provide information. While the ultimate goal would remain to tell the story and complete side missions; Wolverine could, by using a classic disguise, like Patch, infiltrate and obtain intel in places he wouldn’t normally have access to. He could use interrogation to obtain information from NPCs if he chose a more brutal approach. To achieve the same results, all NPCs should be offered a range of options to help the narrative.

Wolverine’s Past could have an impact on player choices

Marvel’s Spider-Man told a simple story, which allowed its players to have a great experience without having to worry about morality checks, such as endings that are good or bad. Marvel’s Wolverine presents a much more complex and darker character. That could give players more options in how they play the game. If players choose to embrace Wolverine’s darker side or keep it straight and narrow, there could be different endings available or a post-credits sequence tied to those choices. This could be related to Logan’s past, as Weapon X. It could also be related to how he could not fully shake the animal inside. This could extend Marvel’s Spider-Man storytelling by allowing players the freedom to explore as much or as little of the Wolverine’s backstory and narrative as they desire.

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