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Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine - PC, PS3, Xbox 360 - 6.8

23 maja, 2009

A mostly competent action game that can appeal to God of War fans and lovers of the X-Men universe.

Unlike its cinematic counterpart, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a gore-filled trek through a variety of environments and multitude of enemies. Thanks to some decent gameplay and competent visual presentation, it manages to exist a notch above most other movie-based titles.

The game’s storyline closely mirrors that of the plot of the movie, taking Wolverine through a variety of environments, from Africa to the canonically-critical Weapon X facility. Wolverine’s gameplay boils down to taking on groups of increasingly challenging enemies as you solve the occasional environmental puzzle. The basic action is competent, with you utilizing Wolverine’s famous claws in strings of heavy and light attacks to tear apart enemies. The control system is quite intuitive and even works well on the mouse and keyboard. You build up experience throughout the game that lets you level up and unlock fury attacks, revealing a simple, rpg-like upgrade system. In addition, you can utilize the environment in some situations, throwing and impaling enemies on background objects.

The enemies are quite varied, ranging from standard soldiers to sword-wielding robots. They might be extremely powerful, but Wolverine’s healing abilities help offset any advantages that they might possess. This regen feature is quite generous, meaning that it’s extremely difficult to die on normal difficulty. Unfortunately, this makes it quite jarring when you are killed by artificial no-go zones like pools of water that would normally be less harmful than a chest full of bullets.

Unfortunately, the much-trumpeted boss fights are quite sloppy and anticlimactic, with some bosses freezing and disappearing during combat. There are two great fights (one involving the Blob), but they do little to counter the mediocrity of the rest.
In general, the game is quite easy due to its generous health system. The little replay value that can be found here is in costumes that are unlocked when your character finds hidden objects in the world. Otherwise, there’s not much else to come back to after you’ve finished the 6-7 hour long campaign.

Graphically, Wolverine is competent. The environments are varied but a little bland. Characters look decent, even if they suffer from some repetitive animation. Wolverine himself is the highlight here: as he takes damage, muscle and eventually skeleton become exposed, quickly healing up once you’ve dispatched you enemies. Fortunately, the game has no frame rate problems on any platform, although there is a curious lack of graphical settings for the PC version of the game.

As for sound, most of the environmental effects are inconsistent. Sometimes you hear the screech of Wolverine’s blades clashing with those of swordfighters, and sometimes you don’t. The highlight is Wolverine, with Hugh Jackman himself contributing his talents. In general, however, the sound presentation is disappointing.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is fortunately a competent effort. Its biggest faults are the inconsistent presentation and short campaign length. However, if you’re a Wolverine fan or like slashing through waves of enemies God of War-style, then you can go a lot worse than X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Score Breakdown:

Gameplay: 7.0 – Some decent hack-and-slash action combined with basic RPG character customization elements. Unfortunately, the boss fights aren\'t as epic as has been hyped.

Presentation: 6.5 – Inconsistent. But at least it tries to be as gruesome as a Wolverine game should be.

Graphics: 7.0 – Bland environments but decent character modeling. The damage system is particularly unsettling.

Sound: 6.5 Environmental and combat sounds are inconsistent, but Hugh Jackman provides some authenticity to the experience.

Value: 7.0 – Light replay value with unlockable costumes.

Final Score: 6.8 – A mostly competent action game that can appeal to God of War fans and lovers of the X-Men universe.

Marcin Skok
"The Gaming Corner