Trends are a part of every industry and the gaming industry is not without its own unique trends. One of these trends is the fact that with almost every big summer blockbuster movie comes a video game adaptation, usually a poor one at that. The time for these big blockbusters is upon us and along side the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine comes the video game counterpart X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Does this X-Men game finally solve the riddle of past video game flops or does Wolverine prove to be no match for the Xbox 360.
To start this review, let us sit and stew on something for a moment. Take arguably the most popular character from one of the most popular comic books of all time. Throw this said character in a relatively new piece of hardware (Xbox 360) and place with it an extremely high grossing movie plot line to go along with it. Put this all together and you would think you would have a sure fire winner. Well actually most gamers would probably argue the opposite having been brutalized with horrible movie games over and over again, but luckily X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not one of those games.
I should mention right off the top that I have not yet seen the movie, so I cannot say how closely related the movie is to the game. What I can say as a novice fan of the X-Men comic that the game does follow the basic premise of the creation of Wolverine and some of his rather crazy roots. The story is told through a variety of cut scenes which give small bits of information at a time. The story progresses but doesn’t make itself the focal point of the game.
In fact the focal point is obviously surrounding this game is in fact Wolverine, and all the different moves you can do. If you thought you had seen all the different ways Wolverine could use his claws, think again because this game is jammed packed full of different ways to take out enemies. As you progress in the game you will unlock more and more moves to take out enemies which in turn gives the game more and more variety throughout the game, or at least you would think. A lot of the stumbling blocks that Wolverine comes across are the same as you see in the opening portions of the game. Some of the “epic” boss battles are continuous rehashes of the same boss over and over again. I was getting to the point where I was wondering where the developers creativity went.
The game is about 95% full throttle third person action and about 5% puzzle solving. And when I say puzzle solving I mean it in the most basic of terms. Puzzles usually consist of you moving an object so you can reach a ledge or hit a trigger to open a door so you can continue on. These are rather simplistic and somewhat ineffective attempts to help keep this from being a straight 100% action game.
When it is all said and done what separates this Wolverine game from those in the past is the Mature ESRB rating. Yes it is the rating that allows Wolverine to be the extremely violent person that he is. Although you will continue to use the same attacks over and over again it really never looses that cool factor. The game really does encourage you just to try out the new moves not necessarily to incorporate it into your continuous arsenal but at least check out what they developed.
Being that Wolverine is a completely linear game, gamers may find themselves growing tired of killing enemy after enemy, and to that I can say there a few small portions of that. However what saves this game from being a disaster is that handling Wolverine is fantastic and really gives a very authentic feel of how you might imagine it working. Even with its short comings the game still does a good job of having a great overall feel.
Visually Raven has done a rather good job with the scope of the game, it is when you start getting to the finer details where things become not as nice. As I am sure everyone is aware of, Wolverine has regenerative powers meaning that he can heal himself. There is some visual representation of this throughout the game and each time it really does show some of the shortcomings of the games graphics. The look of the game does manage to capture the gritty feel of the game quite well and the frame rate manages to do a middle of the road sort of job.
Do you enjoy mindless action? I know I sure do at times. Wolverine is one of those rare games that I really don’t mind the mindless action for just an enjoyable experience. What I think I enjoyed the most was the way the game continued to give you new and unique ways to take out enemies. Lunging from far distances just to throw your opponent straight through a fork lift doesn’t ever start to loose its flavor. Although not the most complete action game on the market, Wolverine does get enough right to be quite a fun game to play.
There are a lot of holes that X-Men Origins: Wolverine would need to clean up in order to make this the top tier game it had the potential to be. With that being said fans of X-Men or of the movie should still check it out, this is a very competent action game that has enough variety that I think does warrant a sincere look.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.