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3Aug/090

Games that are new to me - X-Men Origins : Wolverine game review

Systems : Xbox 360 (reviewed), PC and Playstation 3 (rated M) and a different version of the game for the Wii/PS2/NDS (rated T)

This game, by all rights, should suck. It should be TERRIBLE. It’s a licensed game, and there are very few licensed games that are worth playing. The only one that I can think of off the top of my head is Kung Fu Panda (and that game didn’t even have the original voice actors, it has sound alikes. You at least get Hugh Jackman in Wolverine, though I don’t know about the rest of the cast). Why doesn’t this game suck? Because Raven was working on making a Wolverine game before they ever got the license, and this is clearly a show of love for the character from them. That’s why. This is the first Wolverine game that REALLY gives you that “Yeah. I’m a badass.” feeling.

The version I played was on the Xbox 360, and this same version of the game also came out on the PC and the Playstation 3. I’m pointing this out because the Wii and PS2 versions of the game are, from what I’ve read, completely different games that are rated T. I’m going to pretend those don’t exist for this since I haven’t played them.

This is a VIOLENT game. This is the Wolverine game that I’ve always wanted to see happen. None of this kid friendly bullshit here, this is the real deal. The game plays almost identical to God of War. So for people who are familiar with that game, you know what to expect here. Fast paced button mashing kill everything in site 3rd person gameplay. Except Wolverine has a spectacular lunge attack that never seems to get old. Flying across the screen a an enemy that is just freaking the hell out at the site of this. It’s great. It’s got some light RPG elements to it, whenever you level up you can add points here and there to make various attacks and whatnot stronger. As of this writing I’m on level 36 or 37 with almost everything completely leveled up. There are also mutegens that do various things like give you a little more health, speed up your healing process, things of that nature. Which requires a little bit of though to use effectively because you have a whole bunch of them to choose from and only 3 slots to put them in once you unlock all the slots. And as you progress through the game, you can unlock different Wolverine outfits to wear.

Wolverine himself is done and animated very well, and is very impressive when you take damage because you see the result of said damage on him. If you get slammed by a rocket, if you look at him you can see the skeleton underneath with frayed skin and muscle. And after a little while it heals back to normal. The enemies are also very well done, even though it has the typical video game thing of simply sending copies of the exact same enemy after you that’s been around since the beginning in beat ‘em ups (a group of soldiers come after you and they all look pretty much the same with the exception of the occasional different face) But the supporting characters weren’t so lucky in the process and just look weird sometimes. The stages vary from undustrial looks to the jungles of Africa, and are very well detailed. Especially when you standing in front of the Sentinel in a certain part of the game. The levels are very linear, no open world bullshit here. But they also give a great sense of depth. But, on occasion I saw some just butt ugly low resolution textures that really detracted from the overall experience. And there are the occasional weird clipping problems with characters going through the floor and the stages, along with the ragdoll physics just going apeshit.

The sound is appropriate for the type of game. The music that you’ll remember the most is the battle music that plays whenever an enemy shows him/herself. The sound of those claws ripping their way through flesh and bone is something else though, and personally made me wanna do the Quick Kills over and over just to hear it. It’s a very unsettling thing to hear claws start at a guy’s neck and cut their way through his body down to his nuts.

One thing that really annoyed me about this game were the puzzles though. It has some environmental puzzles where you have to move this block on top of that button on the floor to make this door open and whatnot, and it seems like they were just kinda thrown in without much thought to them. And platforming in 3D does not, and NEVER has worked right. It’s hard to gauge your distance in some of the jumps which leads to a very cheap death. And most of the boss fights boil down to waiting for them to do something, dodging out of the way and lunging or attacking. Not really “epic cinematic battles” as the back of the DVD case says. Though they are still kinda fun, especially at the higher levels when Wolverine is more powerful.

In regards to the story, it follows the same story line as the movie of the same name, with additions to it to make scenes longer and delve more into the back story. There are things that happen differently in the game than the movie just because the game has an M rating. And I won’t say anything beyong that just in case someone wants to whine about spoilers or something. Suffice to say, it’s not a GREAT story … but it works.

And the game is almost criminally easy on normal difficulty. I think I died 8 or 9 times in the entire game on my playthrough, and most of those deaths were from fucking up a jump or something and falling to my death off the side of a building. You unlock the hard difficulty when you beat the game on normal (which takes about 8 to 10 hours) … and that is definitely hard. The challenge ramps up on that one, and you’re gonna need to be proficient at every little trick the game sends you to survive it.

7.0 – It’s far from being the best game ever made. By a long shot. But it definitely IS a very fun game, and a must buy for fans of the character. I’ve always wanted a game that shows just how brutal he can get with those claws. And this is it. If you don’t want a Wolverine game where you tear through the enemies. Literally. This isn’t for you. And this definitely isn’t for your 13 year old kid who likes the character.

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