X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review
- Posted May 6th, 2009 at 05:35 EDT by Steven Williamson
- 32 Comments
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Push the platforming and puzzle solving to the side and you're in for an exciting and brutal ride.
- The brutal, entertaining combat
- The high quality production values
- Some of the brilliant boss battles
- The mundane puzzle solving
- The confusing plot-line
- The repetition in enemy type and behavior
With any big-budget movie inevitably comes its videogame counterpart, a great chance for publisher and developer to cash-in on the hype surrounding a film, or in the case of a popular superhero flick, take advantage of its legion of fans hoping to indulge in their role-playing fantasy. As we’ve depressingly discovered on many occasions, however, most movie tie-ins fail to provide quality entertainment other than to ardent fans of the film. Signs that many of these titles have been rushed to meet their strict release deadlines often seep out of every unimpressive pixel and poorly implemented feature, yet the masses still queue up to buy them year after year.
Though it took us a while to think of any exceptions to that rule, we did come up with three titles that we'd rate "above average" for movie to videogame conversions: Spiderman 2 presented us with the immaculate open-world Manhattan to explore, as well as a superb web-swinging mechanic; Stranglehold impressed with its John Woo-style cinematic flair; and Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Conspiracy, a largely overlooked game, boasted high production values and an exciting hand-to-hand fighting mechanic. We can now add one more to that list of above average -- but still not brilliant -- movie tie-ins: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which has surprised us somewhat with its provocative approach to violence and satisfying combat system.
Based on the Twentieth Century Fox feature film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine follows the story of Marvel’s mutant superhero as it transports you deep into his past to discover more about his origins. The tale starts off well, with some excellent voice acting and impressive cut-scenes as the game moves back and forth between different periods in James "Logan" Howlett's (a.k.a. Wolverine’s) life, but it soon disintegrates into a series of baffling and branching plot-lines that make little sense. It’s an interesting subject matter and a good base to build on, but about halfway through the game things become extremely confusing. Fanboys may be able to make sense of the interweaving plot, keeping track of the influx of new characters and how they relate to each other, but we were totally lost. Nevertheless, you can’t blame Raven Software for the material it’s been given to work with. Credit deserves to be given for the way the studio has taken this rather tenuous plot and crafted an exciting game around it.
With action taking place from the third person perspective, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is unashamedly violent. Early on, there’s a good taste of things to come as you watch in horror (and glee) as Wolverine leaps onto the windscreen of a helicopter, smashes the glass, grabs hold of the pilot and then thrusts his head into the spinning rotary blades. From this point forth it’s action and blood all the way. You move from point to point through jungles and compounds using Wolverine’s super-human strength and indestructible claws to impale and decapitate hordes of enemies. As you progress, expect to take on a series of new and familiar mini-bosses, including Gambit, Creed, Blob, and the gigantic robot Sentinel. The endless river of blood forms the sort of brutal stuff that Jack Straw's nightmares are made of. There's something intensely gratifying about ripping your opponents to shreds in such a graphic way.
There’s not a huge amount of variety to the gameplay. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is predominantly about close-quarters combat and smashing your way through enemies as they surround and attack you from all angles. There are occasions when different gameplay elements are introduced in an attempt to freshen things up, including boat and car chases, platforming, and even a little bit of puzzle solving here and there. Unfortunately, those elements are extremely average, with box-shifting conundrums and route-finding puzzles generally adding little to the gameplay. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is essentially a game that prides itself on its deeply satisfying combat scheme and unflinching violence. Indeed, it encourages you to be as brutal as you dare by offering Trophies as rewards for "unique" benchmarks like dismembering 100 enemies or setting 20 of foes on fire. X-Men Origins does this with great style by offering a range of enjoyable and visually impressive moves that make gameplay much more than an exercise in button-mashing.
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- 12:39am EDT - May 6th, 2009
I actually met Hugh Jackman the other day. NOYCE!
- 12:46am EDT - May 6th, 2009
Completely agree. Pleasant surprise this one.
- 1:15am EDT - May 6th, 2009
looks like a fun rental, but nothing more.
- 1:23am EDT - May 6th, 2009
So this game was good afterall? hmmm.... gotta check it out.
- 1:33am EDT - May 6th, 2009
I agree with this review.It is a fun but facing the same "boss" battles over and over gets rather boring.
It also seems to me that even the basic enemies are overpowered.Some take a proper beating even though i'm pretty sure his blades to the guts would kill most straight away.
- 1:53am EDT - May 6th, 2009
I wish people would stop calling this game a "rental".
Is God of War a rental? NO.
This game is like God of War on steroids. It's actually better in my honest opinion.
Just because it's a movie game doesn't mean it's a "rental". Stop stereotyping games.
- 2:08am EDT - May 6th, 2009
are you serious? you cant compare this game to god of war. for a ton of reasons
1. god of war still has a story that not everyone know about where as seeing as this is a game adaptation of the movie, most of the story is already known just with game elements.
2.if you go by the whole mythos, wolverine should be able to kill everyone in the game with ease and just in a few slices, where as in god of war, kratos is not immortal, nor does he have the strongest metal at his disposal.
3.god of war is a trilogy, this game will not be,
4. god of war does not have repetitive bosses. mini bosses maybe, but you will not see the same elemental again 4 times in a row and in different colors in god of war.
5. your retarded for at all comparing the two.
this game is a rental on the basis that the story will not continue , the replay value is slim and that its just a game adaptation not worth spending 60 bucks for a quick runthrough
Sylar | Spikey456
- 2:14am EDT - May 6th, 2009
@Spike: the game is a lot like god of war, but not in the obvious cases you were saying. This game has a similar combo scheme, the same sequences where you watch the character do the work, the red orbs you collect for powerups, the scale of the levels and wolverine even roars like kratos at times.
also you didnt have to call Drak a retard just because you disagree with him.
- 2:17am EDT - May 6th, 2009
hmm i may get this when it drops in price
- 3:41am EDT - May 6th, 2009
I agree with the review, I'm enjoying this.
- 4:09am EDT - May 6th, 2009
Might buy or rent depending on my account balance.
- 5:43am EDT - May 6th, 2009
I rented it and it was a great rental but definitely not purchase worthy.
- 9:02am EDT - May 6th, 2009
Fair, but unnessesary reveiw.
- 10:33am EDT - May 6th, 2009
I only played the deom and really good
- 12:28pm EDT - May 6th, 2009
I agree with post 8
I believe that the creators of this game looked at God of War and said to themselves, "This game is awesome, what can we learn from it"? The red orbs and brutal hack and slash game play is very similar. This game is not just pressing two buttons for combos like Dynasty Warriors. They did a good job on this one.
- 12:45pm EDT - May 6th, 2009
I think they did a good job. And agree with 8 as well.
I played GOW 1 and wasn't all that impressed either, in fact I didn't finish it because of that, but that doesn't mean it's a bad game. Same here, some might enjoy GOW over this game, but that doesn't make this a bad game.
And considering it's a movie turned game I would say they did a very good job unlike other movie based games.
- 4:14pm EDT - May 6th, 2009
Good job, movie game!
- 4:35pm EDT - May 6th, 2009
yo how can psu give this game such a low rating? i love this game and i own it. i played thru this game at least 4 times and i almost have all the trophies, its ain easy but its fun. i like a game that i can play over and over again. imo this game is a 9/10.
yea it does seem like the same old thing over and over again but maybe its just the trophies that have keep me playing it idk. all i know is i was kinda shocked to see this game actually turn out good, well better than good its amazing. and to all yall rental ppl out there this game is for sure a must buy!
- 5:04pm EDT - May 6th, 2009
Its a fun game that really deserves atention.
I recomend buying it when it comes cheapier.
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