Game: "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"
System: Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Published by: Acclaim

Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Posted: 6/25/2009

Review: I wasn’t expecting much from a game based on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Don’t let anyone tell you that all games based on movies are always bad. Most, yes, but not all.

In the past, games centered on everyone’s favorite “best at what he does”-type guy have been a little... underwhelming. Wolverine: Adamantium Rage portrayed the titular character as slow and exceedingly easy to kill, and the less said about the NES game, the better. This time around, the developers have decided to stay closer to the spirit of the character.

And if you know one thing about Wolverine as a character, you know that a big part of his raison d’etre is violence. In the past, the most you could expect from Wolverine sheathing his claws in some meaty stooge is a punching sound, and maybe a colorful little explosion. This time, however, every slice and stab is rendered in all its gory glory. Blood will gush from every wound! Heads will be shoved into spinning helicopter blades! Bodies will be impaled on trees and left to rot! Grown men will be beaten to death with their own arms! Even Wolverine himself will lose pound after pound of flesh until you’d swear you were controlling a roaring, blood-soaked skeleton.

With just a few seconds rest, you’ll be surprised to see muscles growing back and skin reappearing. Yes, finally, Wolverine’s legendary healing factor has been rendered into a game in such a way that it actually seems like a worthwhile power to have. It’s about time, too. Everyone from Marcus Fenix to Master Chief has the ability to magically heal themselves.

Combat runs in a similar vein as God of War, albeit with much smaller combo trees. You have a standard button-mash combo, but the emphasis is more on stringing together single moves in order to take down your opponents. To wit, you have categories of moves derived from jumping, grappling, dodging, and lunging (a simple two-button command that lets you leap across long distances almost instantly). I would like to have seen a little more expansion of the different combat trees, but as you’ll find in the game, it’s not all that necessary.

The good news is that Wolverine’s healing factor lets him do some creative, and downright suicidal, maneuvers in the course of the game. The bad news is that being able to recover so readily means that the game cruises along at a middling difficulty and never really gets all that challenging. Sure, you’ll fight big groups of enemies who won’t wait and attack you one at a time, but a combination of button-mashing and a handful of moves that render Wolverine temporarily invulnerable mean that you’ll never have to wait too long for a break in the action.

The game’s strongest point is its presentation. The sheer amount of violence and gore is just plain incredible, especially considering that movie tie-in games tend to be more directed towards children. Combat is visceral, and even if you aren’t being pushed to your very limit, it’s still rewarding when you pull off the right combination of moves to leave your enemies dismembered and screaming. By itself, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a decent third person brawler. It’s when you put it up against all the lackluster movie tie-in games that it really starts to shine.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Suicidal Chipmunk
Jun 25th, 2009, 05:58 PM
so would you recommend buying or renting?
Funky Dynamite
Jun 25th, 2009, 09:14 PM
Renting would probably be better. It's decently long, but I think most people will get their fill with a single playthrough.
Jun 26th, 2009, 02:29 AM
Alas, lacking a 360, I'm without my favorite mighty mutant, but I did get a chance to see this game in action a few days ago and you're right, it is damn impressive. And bloody. And the part I saw as actually a little amusing.

*mutters quietly* Never did beat that damn NES version. WTF did you have to do, anyway? Drop Sabes off the cliff? I hit the bastard 500 times (yes I counted) and he didn't drop.
Jun 26th, 2009, 12:46 PM
If wolverine has a healing factor, can he die in the game? We have seen him take fatal blow that make him appear dead only to jump back into action after a few seconds.
Baron Von Snugglemittens
Jun 26th, 2009, 04:43 PM
after your health bar emptys the game says something along the lines of "your vital organs are exposed" and any more hits will kill you, but it's really REALLY hard to die in the game....although some levels if you fall in the wrong spot it's an instint death.
Funky Dynamite
Jun 27th, 2009, 03:31 AM
When you take enough damage or fall off a cliff or something, a little game over screen pops up, but it says something like "you were captured" or "mission failed". So I guess you don't technically "die", but it's not the same not dying that you would find in a game like Prey.
Jun 27th, 2009, 12:55 PM
I would agree about renting vs. buying. I played this game at a friend's place for a few hours, and it was surprisingly fun, but like above mentioned, replay value would be limited for me.
Jun 28th, 2009, 01:58 AM
This game is pretty good, considering Wolverines batting average. I can't recommend buying it, though.
Jun 28th, 2009, 12:48 PM
I was thinking about trying this, but I'm afraid Barakapool might be in it.
Jun 30th, 2009, 09:27 PM
Yo, Doc. I have been wanting to ask you this from quite some time. Isn't Funky Dynamite the name of the third boss of Ninja Gaiden II (that flying bastard who throws bombs that go downwards and lands when you hit him)?
Jul 1st, 2009, 03:08 PM
sorry sandwichoftruth barakapool is in the game but i enjoyed kicking his ass
Jul 6th, 2009, 03:14 AM
Ya know, Julio, I think you're right. I never made the connection.