Sony's Marvel Game Universe Has An Opportunity To Outdo The MCU – Screen Rant

The MCU didn’t have access to some of Marvel’s most popular characters, but Sony’s PlayStation is building a new universe on Spider-Man and the X-Men.
With its upcoming Marvel’s Wolverine and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 games, Sony’s PlayStation brand and developer Insomniac Games have a chance to create a single, shared, video game version of the Marvel Comics universe. This universe could even outdo the MCU by fixing one of its biggest flaws: the absence of mutants. X-Men and its related comics have long been among the most popular Marvel IPs, but the MCU did not initially have access to X-Men‘s mutants, nor Spider-Man. Unhindered by licensing issues, PlayStation can focus on the most beloved elements of the comic setting, building a new universe from the ground up with both Spider-Man and Wolverine simultaneously.
The MCU began with a focus on forming the Avengers team, but it notably avoided Spider-Man and the X-Men, whose film rights were owned by Sony and 21st Century Fox, respectively. Deals allowed Spider-Man to appear in the MCU, and Disney’s acquisition of Fox gives it the rights to produce X-Men films, but the groundwork for the MCU has already been established. Mutants as they are known in the X-Men comics – humans born with the capability for spontaneous mutations and powers – are not a part of that world. Instead, the MCU has made attempts to replace mutants with Inhumans (a storytelling approach mirrored in the recent Marvel’s Avengers video game). The MCU’s Inhumans have become a sizeable population of humans with powers that set them aside from others, acting as a classic analogue for tolerance and civil rights issues – a role mutants traditionally occupied in the Marvel universe.
Related: Spider-Man 2 PS5: How Peter, Miles, & Venom Could Play Differently
With its hero choices, PlayStation has done what the MCU could not, building its world from the beginning with some of Marvel’s most recognizable and popular characters, Spider-Man and now Wolverine. These heroes have built-in popularity, unlike some lesser-known characters the MCU (successfully) worked to popularize, such as the Guardians of the Galaxy. Insomniac has not relied solely on the ubiquitous draw of Spider-Man’s characters, however. The developer avoided another traditional origin story, beginning with a Spider-Man who was already a hero, one who is struggling with relationship issues with Mary Jane and who encounters new villains whose origins connect to him on a personal level.
Creating a new continuity for the Marvel’s Spider-Man games allowed the developer to tell more dynamic stories with unexpected twists. Rather than carrying the baggage of an existing comic or cinematic universe, the games have the freedom to make drastic changes to the status quo. The new Marvel’s Wolverine game presents another opportunity to put Insomniac’s unique spin on a beloved Marvel character, unbeholden to prior iterations of Wolverine stories. The Spider-Man games have been very character-centered, and Wolverine will likely follow suit, but Insomniac also accomplished laudable worldbuilding. While the game’s focus should absolutely be on Wolverine and his story, linking the two game settings presents exciting storytelling opportunities.
If Insomniac handles Marvel’s Wolverine with the same authorial voice as Marvel’s Spider-Man, players can expect to see a version of the character that is true to its fundamentals but a story that surprises, while also laying the groundwork for a new vision of the Marvel universe. The idea of similar, character-focused games building a new, shared world is an exciting one – and one that mirrors the intentions of the MCU itself. But instead of struggling to drum up interest in parts of the setting that aren’t as popular, like Inhumans or The EternalsInsomniac has the potential to outdo the MCU, telling fresh stories anchored in Marvel’s greatest hits.
Next: Daredevil Game Leak Possibly Corroborated By Marvel’s Wolverine Reveal
Derek Garcia is a Game Feature Writer for ScreenRant. He lives with his wife, three dogs, and a likely excessive number of video game consoles. When he is not writing, playing video games, watching movies or television, or reading novels or comic books, he occasionally takes some time to sleep. Derek majored in journalism and worked for a print newspaper before discovering the internet. He is a fan of science fiction and fantasy, video game and tabletop RPGs, classic Hong Kong action movies, and graphic novels. After being immersed in nerd culture for many years, Derek is now happy to write about the media he enjoys instead of just ranting to his friends.

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