Movies these days cannot sneak pass without having a game developed and have it released at the same time to accompany it. But most games are just there to go along with the hype of the movie. Most developers get lazy, and instead of creating a piece of gaming genius-ness they end up with a game that is fun for 10 minutes before getting boring and very repetitive. 90% of the time it is that case, but once in a while a gem will come along that grabs your attention for at least the majority of the game. But does that gem come in the form of X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Let’s find out.
There’s already been 3 X-Men movies released, and now they’ve moved onto releasing prequels of the X-Men, known as the Origin series. The first of the origins series being based on our sharp-clawed self-healing superhero – Wolverine. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine the story plays out as any fan who watch movies would expect. Good guy turns bad guy, then back to good guy, people die and then a happy ending. I actually feel sorry for the developers – in this case the team at Raven – of movie based games. This is the only genre of games where the developers have no say whatsoever in the final outcome of how the story progresses. Also, the chances are if you don’t like the movie, you won’t like the game, so before writing this review I made sure I had watched the movie itself, and let’s just say I enjoyed it.
The game follows the plot of the movie, along with adding new enemies like giant lava boulders (yes, there are Lava boulder baddies) and side storylines to help make the game more interesting, and to be honest, last a little bit longer than the movie. As expected you control Wolverine using a third person camera angle, in which you lunge, jump and slash your way through the countless enemies. He may not be armed with AK47’s or grenades but he does come loaded with some amazing moves, and it’s these moves that make really good use of his sharp claws, which pop out his hands. Within 15 minutes I was lunging, swiping and using the special powers as I engaged with what seamed like countless enemies. The buttons are simple which play a contributing factor into the easy learning curve. ‘X’ for a simple slash and ‘Y’ for the more powerful slash. When you become more advanced, for me it was within the hour, you can start to pull off more advanced moves and impressive kills. Throw enemies into forklift trucks, off the edges of cliffs and more. Being Wolverine your health will also recharge slowly, which is crucial before proceeding to the next stage of a level.
After adopting the above moves several times you will start to notice a distinctive pattern. Enter the level, kill the enemies as you desire, wait for your health to recharge, move onto the next level and repeat. Now you would think it would become repetitive, and you would be right to an extent. But for some reason it’s addictive. You want to continue and find new ways to kill the different enemies you encounter. It’s the same with each boss you encounter too. I found that although I died a lot of times, once you discovered how to beat them it was easy, especially the next time you encountered them. Take the lava boulder monster dude for example. You just repeatedly use the lunge and slash feature and jump back, then lunge and slash some more.
The general feel of the game is fluent, bar one thing, which really grinds my gears. It’s the return of the invisible wall. The path for the game is set in its way and there’s no way of changing it. There’s definitely no way of getting lost, especially due to Wolverine’s sense button, which tells you where to go. However, what would look like a simple task, like jumping over a small wall when you can see the other side, it becomes impossible due to the invisible wall. The game instead makes you take the long way round, and while this may not take more than a single minute to do, in this day and age you would expect to just be able to leap over small walls. This takes a little bit of shine off the finished game.
While on the topic of invisible walls, let’s turn to the positive and talk about the surroundings. Wolverine himself looks great, and when he pulls off a slow motion kill against an enemy it just makes you want more. Starting off in the jungle looks great and helps you enjoy the game even more. The cut-scenes, some of which you will recognise from the movie itself, are great, and again adds to the enjoyable storyline.
All in all, Raven do a good job at releasing a game that works well alongside the movie. Its hack and slash approach allows for some fun, lunging, button bashing slaying and stress relieving gameplay. Chances are that if you liked the movie you will love the game, and if not, by all means rent the game for a week as it’s definitely worth it. I will look forward to seeing who the next movie/game will be based on.