X-Men Origins: Wolverine
No matter how you turn things, only one movie game has managed to fulfil expectations and that’s The Chronicles of Riddick. The problem with such games as the damn deadlines that demand the game gets released alongside the movie. This usually results in a ton of bugs, an unstable framerate and a complete overhaul of the game in question wouldn’t therefore hurt. But don’t panic as X-Men Origins: Wolverine takes all these prejudices and pulverises them with extreme ease. Even better, Wolverine goes 18+ and we like!
Alongside the movie this game that goes even deeper into the storyline got released. The story is of course centered around badass Wolverine and covers the period before he became member of the X-Men. The game has two “time zones” that regularly get switched by the use of flashbacks. One story is situated three years ago while Logan is working on a mission in the African jungle while the second part mostly plays after his Adamantium process.
With his sharp claws and inflammable character, Wolverine is a natural born killer and the ideal character for a hack&slash game. You tear apart enemy after enemy at a shredding pace and make combos with some simple button combinations. The images you get to see when killing hostiles are very violent and equally satisfying.
Body parts get split in two, limbs are used as bats and rotorblades of a helicopter are apparantly very useful to separate a head from its torso. This all gets put on the screen very beautifully with accompanying and suiting fountain of blood and great slow-motion for having the best view possible of your fierce behaviour.
Enemies deliver experience points that can be exchanged for new combos, more powerful attacks, more health or more rage. Rage is necessary to activate one of the four skills: Claw Spin, Claw Drill, Claw Cyclone or Berserker. Rage can best be compared with the mana in RPGs. The upgrade/leveling system is quite deep and well worked out and makes for a nice variation next to the fighting as well as giving the possibility to adapt your character to your preferred playing style.
Next to XP you can find mutagens throughout the game and these are used to manipulate Wolverine’s skill, power, health and more. In total three can be connected and depending your style they’ll again come in handy.
What makes Wolverine more than a typical hack&slash is Wolverine’s Lunge Attack. Here he’ll make a huge cat jump and penetrates the enemy with his claws stretched out. This isn’t only handy to quickly reach hostiles from a distance while they’re shooting at you, you’ll also need this attack to reach certain places. Next to the Lunge Attack Logan also has a sixth sense called Feral Senses that accentuates important objects or hostiles.
Wolverine won’t only be fighting in the game as now and then a nice puzzle needs solving before you can progress. These go from moving rocks to get a door to open, to crossing a certain trajectory within a specific time limit. If you ask me, the entire puzzle part doesn’t really fit with Wolverine and it drastically brings down the tempo. Next to that the platform part also isn’t quite optimal and after you’ve fallen for the x-th time frustration will rear its ugly head.
The game looks relatively good except for some glitches and bugs. The characters and Wolverine are very detailed and the surroundings vary from jungle and laboratory to snowy mountains and dry deserts. Also Wolverine’s regeneration possibilities are nicely brought to the screen, you see gunshot wounds slowly heal after a while. Next to that you get about four CGI cut-scenes while playing and these are truly sublime. The soundtrack is very suiting and the voice-overs are totally not bad at all.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine doesn’t deserve the name movie-game in any aspect and that’s a compliment. The game is filled with action, looks great and is just plain fun to play. While waiting hack&slash king God of War 3, Wolvering is the perfect snack!