X-Men Origins: Wolverine Demo Review

By Mike on 9:57 pm

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Movie based games have traditionally been... well... just awful. So of course I was a little sceptical when X-Men Origins: Wolverine landed on the PSN Store a couple weeks ago. After all, the movie its based on got fairly bad reviews and sits with a dismal 36% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. I haven't seen the movie yet but the game can't be any better, can it? ... Holy crap, this game is good, damn good.

You play as Wolverine naturally, who is based on Hugh Jackman's character from the movie, who actually looks and sounds like the actor for a change. That's because Jackman actually voices him. That's a good start but it wasn't good enough to hold up Iron Man. The game itself is a God of War clone. The controls are pretty much identical complete with light and heavy melee attacks, being able to throw enemies, lunging at them, special combos, etc. If you want details, read my God of War: Chains of Olympus review. The gameplay is pretty much the same. One of the tings that really took me back though was just how incredibly violent Origins is. You can literally rip your enemies to shreds complete with satisfying squirts of blood and flying limbs going everywhere. Even Kratos must be a little jealous. (I bet that would be one heck of a battle but my money is still on Kratos) As you progress, you level up and gain new skills in a fashion similar to The Force Unleashed. Gameplay is a touch repetative though but overall satisfying.
Level design is good in the game with colourful and varied environments. The demo level is a cliched tropical rain forest setting. It offers a wide variety of features to show off the game from melee fights, boss battles, and even some platforming & wall climbing. Raven has done a good job at bringing the world of Wolverine to life.

The technical side of this game is overall average. The demo at least looks good but it's not on the same level as a lot of other PS3 games like Uncharted or God of War III. Textures can look a little washed at times. Audio is solid though and its nice to hear Jackman actually voice the character. It's little things like that turn a average game into a good one. Some comments in IGN's review have suggested that the game does have some technical flaws, namely freezing. I didn't see these in the demo though but then again, that's only a small slice of the game. Freezing seems to happen on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.

For a movie based game, Origins: Wolverine is a vary nice, well polished title. That's rare for a genre that has built an infamous reputation over the last twenty-five years. The game isn't exactly original but its solid and fun, even if it does get repetitive after a while. Then again, even God of War could be accused of the same thing. It's the best X-Men game I've played since the classic and highly regarded Genesis title.

What Works
-Solid gameplay
-Good level design
-Satisfyingly violent, definitely not for the feint of heart
-Hugh Jackman reprises his voice as Wolverine

What Doesn't Work
-Textures appear washed
-Freezing problems reported on both Xbox 360 and PS3
-Lack of originality in gameplay, almost a direct clone of God of War

Score: 8 out of 10

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