X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine follows the plot of the movie, but avoids the usual pitfalls of movie tie-ins

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine Aerial attack!
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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  July 6, 2009

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Key Specs

Number of players: 1
Online play: N
Price: $73

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The Marvel Universe and its various heroes and villains have featured in many game titles and this time around, it’s the slice-and-dice loving Wolverine that’s the centre of attention. X-Men Origins: Wolverine follows the recently released movie and while you might think this is another game that’s simply attempting to cash in on the movie’s popularity (if any), I can safely say this isn’t the case.

Developed by Raven Software (who also produced the X-Men Legends series and X-Men: Ultimate Alliance) gamers take on the role of Wolverine - a mutant possessing enhanced strength, retracting claws, healing and animal senses. The title features action-adventure style gameplay and in playing the game, gamers will get to uncover Wolverine’s origins from birth, through to his military service, his involvement with the Weapon X program and his final confrontation with Weapon XI.

X-Men Origins features environments that are set in Africa, Alkali Lake and New Orleans and as far as level setup is concerned, the game is quite varied. During the game you’ll shift between playing in the present and the past and this helps to establish Logan’s origins as well as carry the present plot forward at the same time. It works really well and carries the game through without giving you a chance to lose interest. That said, there’s little chance you’ll find this game dull to play because it is absolutely packed with action. The game doesn’t ease you in either as the moment you start playing, you’ll have to deal with hordes of baddies that just want to see you dead.

Luckily, Wolverine is no teddy bear and packs an arsenal of devastating moves that evens up the odds nicely. As you play, you’ll find you’ll be able to upgrade Wolverine, and his moves, and this makes you even more lethal.

Combat is wholly based around three different attacks – light, heavy and grab. Thankfully this game doesn’t force you to memorize complicated key combinations so there’s almost no learning curve. Considering the main character’s weapons are his retractable claws, you’d expect X-Men Origins: Wolverine to be a fairly blood heavy game and you’d be right. Because you have to fight through so many enemies, there’s little chance you’ll be able to go two minutes without seeing blood splashing on screen or spurting out of a newly created vent in a baddies’ body. (The last time we saw this much blood and violence was when we played God of War and God of War 2.) If you look closely, you’ll also see scars and chunks of flesh missing on Wolverine’s body as he takes damage from enemies. The cool thing here is watching as his skin reforms after he’s dealt with all the enemies.

The game uses the Unreal Engine 3 and it works a treat as far as both visual appeal and animation are concerned. The levels not only look different from each other but are also complex though never so much that you’re completely lost with nothing to do. Should you lose your way however, you can rely on Wolverine’s ‘feral senses’ and these will show you where you need to go.

As you might have guessed from its four out of five rating, X-Men Origins: Wolverine isn’t flawless. One issue is that the game is somewhat repetitive when it comes to boss battles. So, although you’ll face three of four different types of bosses, the way you take each down is nearly identical to each other (this mostly involves you dodging his attacks and then grabbing on and pounding your controller’s buttons, and him, into the new year). This, as you can imagine, makes the game feel somewhat dull and, like we said before, repetitive.

This title also lacks replay-ability in that there’s no multiplayer whatsoever. As a result, the only reason you’ll want to play it again is to try a different difficulty level and once you’re done with that, there’s not much else that’s going to pull you back to Wolverine. This is quite a shame as the game would have been infinitely more appealing if the developers included a co-operative campaign allowing Wolverine and Sabretooth to play side-by-side.

Verdict: Although there's little replay value due to the lack of multiplayer, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a fun and action-packed ride that's worth doing at least twice. Give the harder difficulty a try for a real challenge and even more carnage.

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