Though Insomniac’s recently announced PS5 Wolverine game is still years and years away, coming after Spider-Man in 2023, that hasn’t stopped fans from asking one central question about the game.
Will this do Wolverine “justice”? And by that, they mean … will this be an M-rated game, or Teen like Insomniac’s Spider-Man series? Will Wolverine be allowed to curse and chop people up like his best comic and film iterations?
That question appears to have been answered by the game’s creative director, Brian Horton, responding to a fan on Twitter:
Of note, the fan didn’t even ask about the tone or rating, and that information was offered freely. The question was if it would be a big game or a “Miles Morales” style sub-spin-off.
It’s no surprise that it is going to be a full game, as why wouldn’t it be? But I feel like “mature tone” is a years-early nod to the idea that yes, they’re going for an “M-for-Mature” rating for the game, which almost all fans are going to want to see. I’m not sure why he’d use that exact word otherwise, and I’m guessing he’s not just talking about “emotional” maturity here. And I mean hell, there’s already blood on Wolverine’s hands in that teaser trailer, if you look closely.
I don’t think this was a matter of Insomniac's potentially wanting the game to be Teen, or Sony demanding it. An M-rating means very little in the video game space when it comes to sales, when massive sellers like Call of Duty, GTA, Red Dead, The Witcher and more are all M-rated. This isn’t the domestic box office where rating your superhero movie R is destined to make it sell X% fewer tickets than a PG-13.
And Marvel has been fine letting Logan loose in the past, past the pages of the comics. Activision made an M-rated Wolverine Origins game to pair with the PG-13 rated movie years ago (that had surprisingly great Wolverine combat!). And of course Logan was hard R in terms of its violence and gore, and that was a huge hit.
The main question was Disney, as the FOX X-Men are now owned by them, and Disney has been painfully shy about letting its Marvel heroes do anything remotely R-rated. The times that has happened? Some seasons of Daredevil and Punisher on Netflix, which were technically MCU? Well, all those shows are dead now. So maybe Disney would demand a T-rated Wolverine game.
And yet, Insomniac Wolverine has nothing to do with FOX or MCU Wolverine, and should be allowed to exist in its own space, just like Insomniac Spider-Man isn’t in the MCU either. Spider-Man doesn’t need to be M-rated to work, but Wolverine? It’s just almost impossible to imagine Insomniac designing a gore-free combat system around his claws, and it doesn’t sound like they’re going to try. Thank god.
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