Next to nothing is currently known about Marvel’s Wolverine, and it will probably be some time before fans hear more about it while Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has its time in the sun. Insomniac is now commonly known for its charming science-fiction adventures in the Ratchet and Clank franchise, but its Marvel’s Spider-Man franchise is gradually transitioning from that same endearing tone to a much darker take. This is likely in preparation for how graphic and mature a Wolverine game will need to be since one of the few details shared about it thus far is that Marvel’s Wolverine will feature brutal violence dished out by the player.
Marvel’s Wolverine’s brief teaser didn’t even give fans a look at the titular character’s face, but it did make a relatively important reveal by showing him brandish adamantium claws from his hand. This might not seem like a reveal at all for fans who are familiar with the character, but it makes a clear distinction that will have an inevitable impact on combat. If Wolverine has adamantium-laced bones, then he will be slicing and dicing with indestructible metal and not the ordinary bone claws that protrude from his hands naturally. That said, if Wolverine did have bare bone claws, that could have allowed for a distinct mechanic to balance combat in an interesting way.
Marvel’s Wolverine Could Have Had Degradable Bone Claw Durability
The least interesting part of Wolverine’s adamantium-laced claws is how enemies might be designed in Marvel’s Wolverine as a result. In particular, if Insomniac doesn’t want players to be mindlessly killing hundreds of military goons or any other type of human enemy, it might resort to hurling hundreds of robot enemies at players instead. There is logically no way that the character’s combat could be subdued in a way where his claws wouldn’t lop limbs or cause impalement, but if they lacked the adamantium coating then that would afford much more diversity in combat.
Bare bones are capable of degrading, for example, and it would have been fascinating to see Wolverine’s long bone claws break with subsequent attacks in real time. This could behave identically to The Last of Us’ approach to most melee weapons, where they all come with a predetermined amount of durability depending on the weapon.
Wolverine’s bone claws could have had their own durability, with the balance in combat being whether to have them unsheathed or not in combat. This would give players the opportunity to decide whether they wanted to engage in regular close-quarters combat with Wolverine’s fists, which could provide less damage, or in close-quarters combat with Wolverine’s bone claws, which could provide more damage but break with each strike landed.
Because Wolverine’s tissue and bones regenerate, players could have to wait for a period of time while his bone claws rematerialize and regain their full durability since they are not protected by adamantium. In the meantime, bare-knuckle brawling would need to suffice and players could choose to sheathe their claws before they break fully in an attempt to preserve their effectiveness in combat as they grow back.
On the other hand, adamantium-coated claws were perhaps the right choice for Insomniac to make since it fulfills one of the character’s most notable features, but that will only be wholly true if the sharp metal is employed in savage scuffles that let Wolverine cleave and dismember enemies. If not, then this balance of sheathed and unsheathed attacks would have been incredibly entertaining to micromanage in combat with bone claws, and also mitigate how often players would actually be puncturing or lacerating human enemies in Marvel’s Wolverine.
Marvel’s Wolverine is currently in development for PS5.