X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review

6 06 2009

Wolverine Box Art

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a video game adaptation of the movie both of which were recently released and for the first time explores the back-story of Wolverine. While the developer, Raven Software, didn’t stay completely true to the original story most of the movie storyline is also in the game. In this game you take control of Wolverine, from a third-person point of view, and release your inner animal rage in traditional hack n slash fashion to dissect Wolverines past and eventual recruitment into Weapon X.

While the premise is great the true question is whether this is a traditional movie tie in game or something actually worth sinking your claws into?

Single Player

First off, Wolverine is not your typical superhero video game adaptation. One of the first things I noticed was the excessive and sometimes unnecessary gore and how brutal the actual game is, it definitely deserves its ‘M’ rating.

Although the damage that Wolverine can inflict is complex the controls are rather simple and rely on three major options: light attacks, heavy attacks, and grabs. By mashing different variations of those attacks Wolverine can perform combos capable of dismembering an entire army. By using the grab option you can effectively use the environment to your advantage by impaling foes onto spikes or throwing them off roof tops. However the attack I used the most was the lunge assault, which allows Wolverine to quickly close the distance between him and his enemies by pouncing on top of them. This fluid ability keeps the combat at a fast tempo and captures the ferocious nature you would expect from Wolverine. As you dismember, disembody or any other possible brutal way to kill your enemy you gain experience as well as fill your rage meter which can then be spent to unleash certain fury attacks that are also upgradable through points you receive when leveling up.

Wolverine 1

One of the major improvements over previous Wolverine games was the inclusion of Wolverines regeneration ability. In this system the damage that Wolverine sustains will be reflected on his body allowing you to see his muscles and skin heal back in real-time. Personally I thought this was a great addition that truly captures the feeling of being this nearly invincible mutant.

The checkpoint system in the game is fairly forgiving never leaving you too far from where you just died, however that shouldn’t happen very often. The game is very lenient in combat and from what I remember the only time I did tie was during the platforming sections. During these sections it becomes clear that the controls are meant to be for combat and not for these tedious platforming sections.

Wolverine 2

There are many collectibles throughout the game for instance you can collect 95 dog tags each giving you varied experience and by collecting all of them you will be granted you a trophy. You can also collect different mutagens that can then be equipped in one of three slots granting Wolverine special bonuses like increased health, added experience per kill, or increased rage just to name a few. Lastly you can collect different custom costumes and after completing a challenge can then be worn in game during the campaign. The trophies while relatively easy will require you to at least play through the game twice. I was able to get 60+% of the trophies without much effort. The slight replay ability this game does supply is by collecting dog tags and leveling up your skills.

Wolverine 3

For a game with no co-op or multiplayer the single player campaign was fairly short with 5 chapters which took just around 10 hours to complete. While the game starts out fresh and new it slowly lost its appeal. If it weren’t for the gratifying kill scenes and graphic nature of the game it would have lost its appeal a lot earlier. The enemies had little to no variation throughout the game and the boss fights were anti-climatic. Once you learned the weakness of an enemy the future encounters became that much easier since nothing changed. The story was also convoluted and difficult to follow as it frequently switch back and forth between the past and present.

Despite the negatives Raven Software, in my eyes, truly captured Wolverine as a near invincible brutal claw-wielding sociopath.

Overall

Historically movie tie in games are rushed and the final product reflects that. This is not the case for Wolverine. This title actually started out as a standalone release title and the developers were actually asked to wait and release it with the movie. While this is their first attempt at a solo character from the X-men franchise they aren’t altogether unfamiliar with Wolverine from their days developing the X-Men Legend series along with the Marvel Alliance game.

In my eyes only one comic book hero could pull of this much gore and brutally and not have it seem over the top and that’s Wolverine. In any game you truly want to feel like you are the character and during the action portions of this game I genuinely felt that sensation. It’s unfortunate that at times the game tried to be something it’s not with clunky puzzles and mundane tasks.

The flaws started becoming apparent once the shock value wore off thus revealing the repetitious nature of the game. I began to lose interests once the game stopped stunning me with new gruesome depictions of ways to dispatch your enemies. With that said the action and combat was still enjoyable enough to make up for those slight flaws and allow me to still have fun and finish the game.

Simply put, Wolverine is the best at what it does and flaws aside Wolverine could be one of the best comic book hero video games of all time.

However due to the relatively short gameplay and lack of co-op or multiplayer and therefore lack of replayability I can’t recommend purchasing this title at full price but recommend you only rent this title. However it’s a strong rental recommendation. Although if you are a fan of Wolverine I believe there is enough incentive for a purchase, either way I doubt you will be disappointed.

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Instead of putting my review stance and a link to my other reviews here I had a question that this time was more important. I recently have been receiving e-mails asking for me to include review scores in my reviews, traditional I hadn’t been doing it. But figured since the reason I do these reviews are for the readers I would leave the decision up to you. I hope to hear back from each and every one of you. Do so by simply leaving a comment here on this post or dropping me an email by clicking here. So, would you like me to include review scores?

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5 responses

6 06 2009
Shaha44

Another well written post, keep’em coming Sean!

7 06 2009
BeyondTheD-Pad

Thanks Josh, much appreciated! Glad you checked it out.

7 06 2009
GregHorrorShow

Good review, I think I might pick it up when it drops in price. Sounds a bit like The Bourne Conspiracy – the enemy takedowns were really good and made you feel like Bourne. That is probably the only reason I’d recommend it.

P.S Up to you on the score front mate – the reviews are cool without a number on the end. I include it in my reviews because most of the time the review is positive and I feel like I should give an indication of how good a game/film whatever is.

7 06 2009
BeyondTheD-Pad

Its definitely worth a pick up at a lower price point, I had a lot of fun with it. Also thanks for the response about the review score, I appreciate the feedback.

P.S. Don’t change your reviews, I love ’em.

6 07 2009
Month in Review: June « Beyond The D-Pad

[…] Due to my recent purchase of inFAMOUS, look for that review soon, I had the opportunity to participate in the Uncharted 2 closed multiplayer beta. The beta includes two modes: competitive multiplayer and co-operative multiplayer. In competitive multiplayer there are two different game types, plunder and regular team deathmatch both of which can be played on […] X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review […]

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