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Saturday | August 18, 2018
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X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PS3)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PS3)


Video courtesy of Gametrailers

Most experienced gamers dread the thought of a game based on a movie and with good reason because most of them are a suckfest of global proportions. You can imagine my amazement when I started playing our review copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Uncaged Edition and it was actually really good!

The star of the show is the combat system … there is blood and guts aplenty as you take control of superhero (antihero?) Wolverine (aka Logan), slicing and dicing your way through a variety of environments to reach your goal.

The game is set before the X-Men films and it details the time when Logan was teamed up with Stryker and Sabertooth – on some rather morally questionable missions. After battling with his conscience he broke from the group and went on a one man crusade for revenge. Rather than delving indepth into the story line and possibly ruining the game, or even parts of the movie I will leave it at that.

While the game delves into story elements it is clear that developer Raven Software have been determined to create a fast paced action game with the focus on combat and combo attacks. Wolverine is recreated in all his glory, resplendent in white t-shirt he slaughters a massive array of foes on his journeys, hell even the opening CGI sequence shows our hero butchering a troop of soldiers with a violent and impressively rendered cutscene. This is certainly one of the most graphically violent games I can remember playing so its not suitable for your pre-teen child.

You are going to tear people into pieces, impale them on a variety of environment objects and cut off their limbs while the blood splurts across the scenery. You can even shove enemies heads into the blades of a helicopter and watch as they change colour with the blood.

X-Men Origins uses a really simple control system which works very well. There is a weak attack, a strong attack, jump, block and then a variety of Rage attacks which are used as an additional sequence of combat attacks. There are various combos for the heavy and light attacks (if you feel like learning them) but if you have a less impressive attention span then rest assured you can run into a room of enemy soldiers, mash the primary attack buttons and watch as Wolverine turns everyone into blood laden pudding. The developers have created impressive audio backing to match the gore with every character having various screams and groans of pain. The lunge attack is my personal favourite as you can leap through the air and smash down on top of them, which in the case of the average joe soldier means instant, bloody death.

There are also a variety of special moves which deserve mention for their creativity and they are classed as quick kills. Doing this means you grab a foe and hit a specific button. Wolverine lifts the guy up into the air, uses his free hand and then rips him apart in various ways. There are a couple of these kills for every type of enemy and they are gloriously detailed. I am afraid if I detailed them all graphically that this review would end up a 18 certificate but believe me, if you see him ripping his claws from a guys neck to his family jewels then you will understand why it is maybe best I skim over this!

It is quite apparent that Activision have decided to ditch any attempt at making Wolverine a kid friendly game and have opted for the adult only version of the character, kudos to them for having the balls to be so direct in such a politically “correct’ climate.

As well as the plethora of insanely detailed attacks, Wolverine has an innate ability to heal himself, no matter what happens. This is handled by two health bars, the first being the exterior damage and the second being his vital organs. If you take damage and the first bar starts to drop then by simply taking cover it will repair over time and refill. If you take substantial damage and the vital organs are exposed then after this secondary bar is drained, he is dead.

This also opens up a wonderful damage mechanic which Raven Software deserve special credit for incorporating. When Wolverine takes hits or suffers bullet wounds they appear on his body and begin to bleed. When he suffers damage from an explosive object, such as a canister his shirt is torn and blown from his body. To further this damage model, if he starts taking severe damage hits, then his flesh is torn from his body and you can see his endoskelton (adamantium). So basically we are presented with a damage model on four layers – shirt, skin, muscle and skeleton which also repairs over time. Fantastic, and other developers should take note of how impressive this looks in real time, particulary zoomed in.

Unfortunately, the game has some weaknesses and they generally revolve around the repetitive nature of the gameplay after a while. While hacking and slashing with a powerful character such as Wolverine is massively fun I don’t think the variety will be there for everyone to fully enjoy this game all the way through. Most of the bigger bad guys for example such as the Leviathans and The Blob all are dealt with by a simple lunge onto the back while slashing their arteries. Its not that this is bad, per se, it is just repetitive and I know a lot of people reading this will feel it warrants a mention.

Another issue with the game is the constant jumping between time zones which just ends up a poor implementation of a mechanic we have seen many times in movies. You jump from Africa to the future so many times to recap over scripted story elements that it becomes a little frustrating to try and get a handle on what exactly is going on.

To be perfectly honest, I was having such a damn good time with the combat that I overlooked these issues. Perhaps I am one of the few reviewers who thinks this game is one of the few massively playable movie/comic book tie ins but I can’t lie, I enjoyed every level the developers threw at me, from start to finish.

There are also some nifty extras in the game, such as being able to unlock the classic costumes which Wolverine fans will appreciate. There are the X-Force costumes, the classic yellow and blue and yellow and brown … you get these by finding figurines hidden throughout the levels and then going into an arena to face off against Wolverine in whatever costume you are trying to acquire. This, I might say, is REALLY tough. I got my ass handed to me so many times that I think the neighbours were wondering why I was shouting obscenities into the early hours of the morning.

Another aspect of the game which will be a huge success with the character fanbase is the fact that Wolverine has a wide array of character improvements available via special menus which you can access by pausing the game. You can upgrade all his characteristics such as claws, damage and other moves. Also there are Mutagens which are interchangeable powerups available throughout the various levels and it is possible to have three of these active at any one time. You can heal faster, give more damage, get experience faster to level up, to name but a few.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Uncaged Edition is a total success to me, it breaks the stigma that every movie game is crap. I am a huge fan of the character from my youth collecting comics and this is the first time I really feel that his essence has been captured in a computer game. It is here in all its glory from the many bloody and brutal deaths to the regenerating body and power up attacks. Sure, the game isn’t a deep experience and in the grand scheme of things it won’t be remembered as a classic, but I really can’t remember having this much fun from a combat game in a very long time.


It gets repetitive, but with such an impressive combat mechanic I was still entertained.
Great frame-rate on the PS3 and visual flair, only ruined by some pop in from time to time.
Solid audio with Hugh Jackman delivering the dialogue.
Took me about 9 hours to beat and I replayed it again.

Highly recommended for combat fans. Gory, just the way we like it.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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