X-Men Origins: Wolverine
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After reading mixed reviews of X-Men
Origins: Wolverine at the theatres, I must admit that I was quite
apprehensive regarding "another" movie game. Although Activision have
had a string of movie based games over the years, some of these have
been a hit and others a miss. With that said, X-Men Origins:
Wolverine arrives on PS3, XBox 360 and PC and the number one
question, you're probably thinking is whether Activision have broken the
Although I did play part of the game before
seeing the movie, I decided to put it down before I would spoil any
parts of the film. My initial thoughts to the game was a combination of
Conan the Barbarian meets God of War meets the world of superheroes and
needless to say, I was quite pleasantly surprised at how well the game
played and how impressive the graphics were on the PlayStation 3. Fast
forward a few days and I've finally had the chance to see the latest
blockbuster movie starring a buff Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Although an
entertaining movie, the story was a tad contrived, clichéd and is the
classic stuff of superhero movies.
*** movie spoilers ***
For those unaware of Wolverine, the
character actually started in the world of Marvel Comics and had strong
allegiances to the X-Men, a team of mutant superheroes. The movie is
loosely based on the comic origin of Wolverine that involves two
brothers during the late 19th century who discover that they have
strange abilities. For Wolverine, this includes super strength and speed
plus the ability of growing three deadly bone daggers from his hands.
As they mature, they discover that they are
"almost" indestructible and they become involved in various wars to
appease their bloodlust. Unfortunately something occurs between the two
brothers and Wolverine played by Hugh Jackman is forced to go his
separate way. As the years pass, Wolverine has made a new life for
himself and has even "settled" down. Unfortunately fate has other ideas
and his partner Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins) is seemingly murdered by
his brother Victor, aka Sabretooth and vows revenge.
Through happenstance, his old military
commander, William Stryker offers Wolverine the chance of being injected
by adamantite into his bones that will make him totally indestructible.
Although the operation is successful, Wolverine has been setup by
Stryker and from their, the animalistic nature of Wolverine is
unleashed. Although the movie is quite clichéd, it's actually an
entertaining journey that will ultimately prove forgettable, however for
the moment, it's a fun ride.
*** end of movie spoilers ***
In relation to the PS3 title, Raven, the
developers behind X-Men Origins: Wolverine have taken a slight detour
from the movie and through some artistic liberty have slightly deviated
from the film. Best of all, the characters in the game look like their
movie counterparts and I must admit that some of the prerendered
cutscenes were extremely realistic at times.
At the basics, Wolverine is an action
fighting game that allows the player to control Wolverine as he performs
a variety of "Wolverine" based maneuvers that is actually quite violent.
Even though Wolverine can perform some standard moves, the key to the
game is the varied and entertaining combinations that truly pay homage
to his Marvel comic book character.
With the ridiculous maneuvers and
combinations of God of War and the blood thirsty nature of games such as
Conan the Barbarian, Wolverine is its own master thanks to the
storyline, puzzle solving and missions that go hand in hand with the
comic book and the movie. As you progress through the game, you are
awarded experience points which assists in leveling your character and
once leveled, additional maneuvers will be unlocked. Best of all, their
are quite a few "Secrets" hidden away in the game such as Wolverine
action figure that will unlock additional items in the game.
The control system on the PS3 has been perfectly mapped by Raven as you
perform a variety of battle hardy maneuvers such as the Wolverine jump
where you land on a prey and then pummel him to death with your razor
sharp claws. Even the interaction with the environment is a flawless
experience and initially in the game, the first stage is quite
reminiscent of Drake's Fortune to the jungle atmosphere of the level.
As you progress, you must embark on linear
based missions but thankfully the star is the violent and bloody
combinations that you can perform which awards the player for how well
they have achieved these combinations, whether it's decapitations or
throwing your foes into the wall... it's quite satisfying.
As you progress and should you become
stuck, you can change to "Wolverine" vision or feral vision that makes a
faint blue line, think of the bread crumb trail in Fable II. It's
definitely a handy thing to have which can be turned on or off via the
d-pad and may show you ledges where you need to reach or stones to push.
Apart from your standard soldiers with
guns, the game boasts quite a few boss levels that assists in breaking
up the monotony of this standard fighting and makes the player think a
little as strategy is needed. The first battle involves a giant mutated
Orc-like creature that requires quite a large amount of ducking and
running which is frustrating, however assists with the gameplay.
If you do become injured, you can keep out
of sight or attempt to dodge your enemies as your health will slowly
regenerate. Battles includes a wide range of Marvel characters that
include interesting fights such as The Sentinel and even Gambit. The
fight against your brother Victor or Sabretooth at the start is quite
frustrating because when you beat him down, his health eventually
returns. Certain fights like this are created in order to keep the
storyline matched with the movie and unfortunately linear gameplay.
Graphically, the title is pure eye candy on the PS3 with beautiful
gaming environments, realistic real-world physics and some of the nicest
attention to detail in a fighting action game for a long time. Best of
all, the game is not just limited to one area as it contains everything
from Jungles to cities and more. The characters are extremely well
animated and move with a fluidity that only assists in the superhero
genre and have also been modeled after their real-world "actor"
counterparts. When you see Wolverine, you definitely see Hugh Jackman in
the character. The cinematics in the game is the cherry on the cake due
to the realism of these cutscenes that I could sit and watch all day.
Add in a variety of lighting and special effects and you have one decent
The soundtrack of the game suits the action
and ambience of the game and for purists, Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Live
Schreiber (Victor/Sabretooth) and Will I. Am (John Wraith) have all lent
their voices to the game and thankfully all of them really get into the
characters so nothing is forced or cheap. Even though only three stars
from the film lent their forces to the characters, the other actors are
just as professional. The sound effects in the game are simply
phenomenal, especially the battles such as Wolverine performing his
spinning attack through the air that needs to be heard on a surround
sound system to truly enjoy. There's also plenty of corny Wolverine-esq
one liners too!
At the end of the day, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a very good game that
features action, adventure and fighting all under the auspice of
Wolverine. With decent graphics, cinemas to die for, Wolverine truly
breaks the "movie curse" and Raven should be commended on creating such
as engaging and entertaining title. The gameplay is quite sturdy that
translates to some exciting and well thought out boss battles. My only
gripe is that most gamers will be able to complete this title in around
15 hours, depending on your experience, however it's definitely worth
Let's hope Raven creates a sequel to this
very impressive game!