If you’re one of the eight people who think there are too many Marvel films and TV shows, well, I come bearing somber news. As of Thursday afternoon, there are probably too many Marvel video games for you, too.
During Sony’s ballyhooed fall PlayStation showcase, Insomniac unveiled two new Marvel games it has in the works. The first is a proper sequel to the studio’s beloved 2018 Spider-Man game. Alongside main hero Peter Parker, it’ll feature Miles Morales, who headlined his own spin-off last year. (Fingers crossed for a cat suit cameo.) The studio’s second Marvel-related game on display — which was briefly teased in a cinematic trailer — stars X-Men mainstay Wolverine. Also in the showcase: a tease for Eidos Montreal’s forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy game.
These announcements were preceded two days prior by a proper gameplay reveal for Marvel’s Midnight Suns, an upcoming strategy game by the makers of XCOM. Also on Tuesday, Square Enix clarified that Spider-Man would at long last join the Avengers roster later this year, but only for PlayStation players.
Whether you’re for it or not, that’s…a lot of Marvel on the horizon.
As a full disclaimer here, I am squarely in the “for it” camp. Though I don’t really read the comics, I’ve watched through the entire suite of MCU films — twice. (I also live with someone who’s basically a walking Marvel wiki in case I’m ever struck by sudden curiosity about esoteric references.) I saw Infinity War and Endgame in theatres at midnight on release day. I even liked the Avengers game! So, yeah, I’m pretty pumped about most of these. Wolverine, in particular, seems ripe for a kick-arse action game.
The only thing I’d hope for, and am somewhat reticent about, is that this crop of forthcoming video games deviates from Disney’s sanitised formula. I mean, seriously, we’re talking about a fictional canon with a freakin’ multiverse. Over on Disney+, shows like Loki and What If… are doing yeoman’s work to firmly establish that Marvel characters don’t have to fit into the mould established by 25 movies (and counting). Basically, if Loki can exist as an alligator, the video game versions of these heroes needn’t be carbon copies of the cinematic versions.
Insomniac’s Spider-Man series has so far nailed it, with games that stay true to decades-old characters while also carving out their own space. Early looks at the Guardians of the Galaxy game, meanwhile, have shown a game that appears to hew a bit closer to Kevin Feige’s studio-approved tone. But trailers are trailers, and could very well just be obvious marketing tools leaning on the quips and characterizations that literal millions of viewers are already acquainted with. I guess we’ll know for sure when Guardians en-Guardians on October 26.