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X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review

For Playstation 3 and Xbox 360

MSRP $9.99

1 Player

Let’s admit it, superhero games are hit or miss. Most of these games range from barely average to utterly horrible (I’m looking at you Iron Man 2). Most educated gamers have learned over the years to stay away from these titles because they’re sure to have by-the-numbers and repetitive gameplay as well as uninspired/rehashed stories and subplots.

Enter X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Developed by Raven Software, the guys behind the successful X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance franchises, Wolverine takes the nigh-invincible mutant to uncharted territory, one that the film it’s based on couldn’t even come close to treading.

The game is subtitled Uncaged Edition because the violence and the action does not hold back. Wolverine is like a rabid hunter, a killer on the loose, and anyone who stands between him and his goal gets sliced, diced, impaled, and mutilated in ways that would make even The Punisher queasy. It also features some really cool real-time skin and body damage; Wolverine’s healing factor adds to the immersion in the mutant universe. It helps that the gameplay behind all the violence is pretty good too. Wolverine doesn’t bring anything groundbreaking or innovative to the action genre, but the visceral action and hectic pacing keep the players coming back for more.

Arguably, the story is the game’s weakest point since Raven had to work with FOX’s muddled interpretation of Wolverine’s origins. The story goes back and forth in time through a variety of locations and set pieces. While the game presents some really great boss battles (Sentinel being the best), players are left with little backstory as to why they have to face these villains in battle.

Just as in other more recent action games, Wolverine gains experience the more opponents he defeats. This earns him deadlier combinations, finishing moves, upgrades, and mutagens for use in battle. Enemy AI gets harder the farther into the game the player gets so he/she is forced to keep changing their tactics or get demolished.

For a straight up action game, X-Men Origins: Wolverine has a decent length. My first playthrough took me about 12 hours. That’s not including playing through all the unlocked modes, costumes, and secrets. Compared to games like Ninja Gaiden and God of War, Wolverine holds his own in the battle for action game supremacy.

Technical Presentation:

Audio – The game sports an average audio presentation. Music is generic and uninspired; as well, voice acting is uneven across the board. While Wolverine (voiced by Hugh Jackman) is done well, the other characters are forgettable. Audio does not stand out and adds nothing and does not enhance the experience.

Video – X-Men Origins: Wolverine features various locations based on the movie (as well as some original ones) with great lighting, texture, and effects. Character models are well-done; Wolverine leading the pack with an eerie photorealism. I found it amazing that Hugh Jackman looks exactly like his in-game character, complete with facial and body animations. Wolverine’s healing factor is is great too, seeing Wolverine’s body heal itself after a literal mauling never gets old.

Final Thoughts

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one of the few really good superhero games. While the game has a number of issues (repetitive gameplay, uninspired audio presentation, and a boring/muddled plot) that keep it from being near perfect, it provides players the definitive Wolverine universe and experience. The uncaged violence and gore really fits the character and the game world. It’s also one of the rare examples of the tie-in game being better than the movie it’s based off of. Recommended for all X-Men and Wolverine fans.

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming. http://jtmgames.com/

Posted on July 12, 2011, in Game Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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