X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Everyone's favourite cigar-chomping, catch-phrase slinging, animalistic mutant makes his next-gen solo debut with X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Everyone's favourite cigar-chomping, catch-phrase slinging, animalistic mutant makes his next-gen solo debut with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but when the shiny adamantium coating begins to tarnish, gamers are left with a simplistic hack-and-slash movie tie-in that can't quite match the titular antihero's badass attitude and image.
- Fun and simple hack-and-slash combat, visually impressive for the most part
- Slowdown, texture popping, clipping, repetitive gameplay
It will even make the most jaded comic fan smirk every once in a while. However, if you're not a huge fan of Wolverine, I'd suggest you sink your claws into something else.
To tie in with Fox's latest action-packed extravaganza, X-Men Origins: Wolverine follows the story of Logan, the enigmatic mutant that everyone and their mother knows and loves. From his days running with Colonel Stryker to the infamous Weapon X incident, Origins covers quite a bit of the mutant's backstory; unfortunately, much of it is ground we've covered time and time again in past X-Men games like X2: Wolverine's Revenge and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Thankfully, the folks at Raven tried to pull something new with our feral friend but after an incredibly strong opening set in the ancient ruins of Africa, Origins falls victim to repetitive gameplay that basically boils down to the following formula: hack, slash, lunge, repeat.
Don't get me wrong: Origins isn't a bad game by any means. You're going to be wowed the first time you lunge fifty feet through the air and slash a baddie halfway across the screen. The first time I fought a gargantuan golem made of molten rock called a Leviathan, I was grinning from ear to ear. However, the thrills lessened each subsequent time I faced the same exact creature. This is Origins' biggest fault: it has a habit of introducing an interesting game concept only to run it straight into the ground.
Graphically, Origins is a mixed bag. The pre-rendered cut-scenes are simply astonishing, and Raven did a marvelous job with many of the main character models (Hugh Jackman's Wolverine is simply astonishing, right down to the stubble) but as the game progresses, it becomes increasingly obvious that the game's luster wasn't distributed equally. For each bump-mapped to perfection shot of Logan, you're going to face a blocky, lackluster Mystique or Wraith. For each jaw-droppingly detailed shot of untamed Africa, you're going to be met with test tube after identical test tube in the Weapon X facilities. Incredible amounts of slowdown when too many enemies fill the screen, not to mention a terrible case of clipping and invisible walls, also ruins the flow of the fast-paced, breakneck gameplay.
Okay, I know I've been pretty rough on Origins so far, but the game definitely has its redeeming qualities. From the ability to customize Logan's strengths and Mutagens as you level up to the amount of material laid out for fans of both the comics and the X-Men films, there's definitely aspects that any geek will drool over. For the most part, the game's animations flow fantastically and you can't help but feel like a badass when you unleash a Claw Drill on Gambit's smug Cajun ass. But the trade-off is always there: for every awesome moment like slashing your way through a room full of pissed off robots there is an equally tedious moment spent pushing boxes around and turning cranks.
The best at what he does?
Its repetitive gameplay, mundane puzzle design and eye-twitching platforming segments really cuts into Origins' fun and yet, for fans of the franchise, it's a solid title that's worth playing through.
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