X-Men Origins: Wolverine video game review
Available for
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Publisher
Activision
X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Reviewed by Rich DeWester

S

o you may not have heard, but they’ve got a movie out about Wolverine. (I know it's a bit under the wire, but even these small budget movies can be sleeper hits.) Anyway, this game is not, I repeat not based on the movie (even though it appears to be), but rather features an original story written by Raven Software. At times, the differences between the movie and the game are subtle, and at others, they vary greatly, so don't expect to be bored out of your mind playing through the same story you just watched in the theater. There will be times, though, that you’ll wish they stayed closer to the movie. Leading up to the Logan vs. Creed bar fight, for instance, they give you almost no backstory on Kayla Silverfox, which may leave you curious as to why Logan is filled with this endless rage over her death. (Sorry if that totally ruined the whole game, movie and comic for you.)

The story jumps back and forth between the events of the Weapon X Project and a military mission that takes place in the jungle many years before. The game plays a bit hack and slash, but as it progresses, you will see more and more moves that you can perform to help keep yourself entertained. I will admit that when I first saw the trailer for this game I thought it looked terrible, but after playing it, the graphics are far less stiff and the lighting effects are smooth and pretty impressive at times. It’s all too common to read descriptions of one game that compare it to another, so I won't do that here. Instead, I'll tell you this game goes from tedious puzzles to all-out fast-paced brawls rather quickly.

The AI is a bit lacking; you’ll face many of the same types of enemies and find yourself using the same strategies repeatedly. The biggest offenders are the larger enemies, which all use the same dodge, lunge, attack and repeat method. The game does give you plenty of tools to maul and dismember the smaller enemies – with all the blood and gore that would be reasonable if three razor-sharp metal claws were to tear though bodies – and there is also a decent number of environmental dangers, from wooden spikes to statues that conveniently hold daggers pointing outward for you to impale enemies with.

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is far from perfect, and probably has more than its fair share of glitches – none of which will ruin the game for you, but may frustrate you a bit or leave you curious as to just what the hell is going on. The story is a bit muddled at times due to the lack of backstory, but who picks up an action game for story anyway? Even with the subpar AI and bizarre glitches, though, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is still a pretty fun game to pick up and play.

As a side note, if you're one of the people who got the special Weapon X Arena, you’ll get to enjoy one of the dumbest things ever put into a video game. While three of the four rooms were entertaining to play, the "Dismemberment Room" allows you to select a limb and hit a button, triggering the instant appearance of three men who have that limb cut off as you watch them roll around in pain and die. If anyone you know finds this entertaining, get them help. As for the other three rooms? Not bad at all for free.

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