Movie-licensed games have a horrible reputation, tricking uneducated buyers into purchasing them using the influence of a popular movie title. X-Men Origins: Wolverine breaks this trend.
A majority of the game’s storyline follows the recent movie the game is based off, with the addition of extra story elements. Many of the actors in the movie reprise their roles in the game, such as Hugh Jackman in his role of Wolverine and Liev Schreiber as Sabertooth. All concerned do an excellent job. The best way to describe this game is to call it the “Girl Talk” of video games, taking elements from other game series’ and combining them.
The fighting system is heavily based off the God of War games, using a variety of combos. Wolverine’s claws, combo moves, and health bar can be upgraded by use of skill points. These skill points are gained by leveling up Wolverine with experience gained from defeating enemies. Wolverine can be even more customized by the player by use of “Mutagens” found throughout the game, very similar to Final Fantasy VII’s materia system. The Mutagens give Wolverine bonuses throughout the game, such as extra experience, health, and damage. Extra experience of gained by using a variety of different combos on enemies, instead of just spamming with the same move over and over again. The game takes BioShock’s camera element, where the more the player defeats an enemy-type, the more damage is done to that enemy.
The visuals are very impressive, with most character models looking eerily similar to their real-life counterparts. However, some enemy models have the “pop-in” problem that a lot of Unreal III engine games have, where the outside details sometimes load in after the game has started running. One of the most impressive parts of the visuals is the physical damage done to the Wolverine model. Not only does the model get splattered with blood based off the impressive amount of gore in the game, which rivals God of War, but chunks of Wolverine’s flesh come off when he is damaged; the more damage that is done, the more visual Wolverine’s internal organs, skeleton, and internal muscles become. Flesh is seen growing back when Wolverine’s health regenerates.
Overall, the game is extremely fun to play, it is incredibly fun to use a devastating combo to rip an enemy soldier in half or use Wolverine’s “lunge” ability to pin an enemy down from across the room and brutally slash his face. The boss fights are as huge as one would expect them to be, with Wolverine often taking on enemies eight times his size. The game is full of achievements based off pop-culture, such as one for finding a hidden hatch in the jungle, an obvious reference to the American television show Lost, and one called “Shotgun Epic Fail.” For anyone looking for a new hardcore action game, this is the perfect choice, especially with the slim chance of God of War III being released this year.