X-Men Origins Wolverine (PS3 Review) (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Friday, May 15, 2009
A week or so ago I tackled the old Nintendo version of Wolverine. It was, to say the least, a frustrating experience (see my review). The good people at Activision have now sent me the latest Wolverine game based on the new movie. Now, before you say it, I know movie games have a tendency to suck. I am not being harsh by saying that. I believe that all “gamers” or even occasional gamers have accepted that fact. Last summer we pounced New York City as the Incredible Hulk, which was better than the movie. We also got the chance to fly as Iron Man and though the movie ruled, the game was just far too short. This summer we get to be Weapon X himself: Wolverine. We’ll live out his origin, from the third person perspective, and despite the fact that you become addicted to the game you won’t miss it when it’s over.
The game opens to a decadent wasteland where Wolverine is being hunted. There is no game play involved but we witness some brutal dismemberments and the screen fades to black. We then start living out Wolverine’s African adventure from the beginning film. This hack and slash treatment of heavily armed natives, is brutal fun and your moves are learned through this basic getting to know Wolverine level. The graphics are incredible as the camera moves around Wolverine in every direction. One cannot help but notice the Lara Croft and James Bond similarities. Each and every gorilla solider puts up a short resistance but to watch each of them loose an arm, head or leg becomes a guilty pleasure. There in lies the addiction to the game. Though each level is packed with mutagens to find, dog tags to collect, action figure statues that unlock bonus content you really want to become the best at what you do.
With any movie game there are plenty of additional scenes and bosses to fight. You don’t immediately tackle Sabertooth, though you do in the second level. Wolverine has to face off against a gigantic rock monster, W.E.N.D.I.G.O. prototypes, a Sentinel and some heavily armed soldiers. Unfortunately your battles with the no name bosses become repetitive and the same attack moves are all that you really need. Patience becomes your greatest ally. You need it to know when to strike and when to take the time to heal. Enabling you to truly fight as Wolverine is your lunge attack feature. You’ll have the ability to leap great distances and latch on to some of your bigger opponents but this is by far the one technique you have to master. You won’t even miss Colossus at all.
What becomes incredibly frustrating with X-Men Origins Wolverine isthat there islittle or no help in defeating the most simplistic of villains. At least an hour was spent trying to defeat the Grenadier. He was almost close enough to claw to death but whereas most levels had platforms to jump on or climb up on this level had none. Turning to suicide to let the level start over even became a challenge as my healing factor kept me in the game. What became apparent was that I needed outside help and the Internet came into play. Why or how Wolverine would deflect a rocket, with his claws, back to someone is beyond me. A laser beam like in the movie? Sure, but a rocket? It was levels like this that really brought out the rage. That rage becomes your fuel and you won’t let this game beat you with crap solutions like that.
The game is stacked with laptop journals as well that had little or no meaning except to provide some sort of back story for the game. If the creators really wanted to add to the story they could have had enhanced the game play by allowing you to live out Wolverine’s time during the Civil War, World War 1 and 2. Instead they take you back to the jungles of Africa but that feels like a sequel after having played it already.
As powers and abilities go Wolverine is packed with all of his great character traits. You’ll start off with bone claws but before you know it the adamantium ones will be there. Probably the best video game realization of one of his abilities is his feral sense. This ability allows to you detect the right way to go which is extremely helpful as you pounce on numerous bad guys in similar looking tunnels. It will also enable you to detect soldiers who are using personal cloaking devices.
Frank Miller’s line for Wolverine, “I’m the best at what I do and what I do isn’t very nice” will become your mantra. Gaining new attacks and getting faster healing abilities makes you feel as if you are Wolverine. The rub is by the time you are finished living out the movie/ game and a few additional moments, you don’t want to go back and play it all over again. It was just too frustrating. Any great game should make you want to pick it up and beat it all over again. This is a once and done Wolverine adventure.
X-Men Origins Wolverine also availablefor the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and Games for Windows (Raven Software).PLAYSTATION 2 computer entertainment system and Wii (Amaze); PSP (Playstation Portable) Entertainment System and Nintendo DS (Griptonite).
Mania Grade: B-
Game: X-Men Origins Wolverine Uncaged Edition
Genre: Third Person
ESRB: M (Mature)
Online: Downloaded Content
Developer: Raven Software
Suggested Retail: $59.99
Fun Factor: B-
Series: X-Men Origins: Wolverine