We rented X-Men Origins: Wolverine over a week ago, but since I work, and we had a busy weekend, it’s taken me the full week to finally complete the game. Now, on to the review!
I’ll start with the complaints. Primarily, the game was short. At least, shorter than I would have liked. However, when you really think about it, that seems to be the case for all games that I enjoy a great deal. Realistically, though, if I had one solid day to sit and play, it could easily have been completed in 6-10 hours, depending on how thorough I was. With the cost of video games for the current generation consoles being what it is (approx. $60), I think it’s fair to expect more length, content, and replay value. X-Men Origins: Wolverine has no multiplayer system, only the single player campaign. You can play through this in Normal, and upon completion of the game, you can replay it in Hard. There are also four bonus challenges that can be unlocked in the game, but I’ll go into those later. Most of the achievements can be accomplished in the first run through on Normal, and any that are missed can be grabbed on Hard, limiting the number of runthroughs for true game completion to two. I understand that most games, however, have this problem, and have, for the time being, accepted it as a necessary drawback of playing video games.
My second complaint focuses on the camera. There are times in the game when you are forced to travel in a certain direction while being attacked or being in some otherwise perilous situation, such as a narrow ledge, etc. During these times, more often than not, the camera forces itself into a forward position, directed towards Wolverine’s face, making it impossible to see where you are going. I died three times simply because I couldn’t see anything in front of me and wasn’t able to readjust the camera. Another example of bad camera direction is during one of the boss fights. As you run from this boss, the camera defaults to the face-Wolverine direction. It can be moved, but as soon as you let go of the camera control joystick, it reverts quickly to the face-Wolverine direction.
Thirdly, there are some minor bugs in the game that can make it necessary to restart from the previous save or checkpoint. When fighting near a low fence that constitues a level boundary for Wolverine, some combat bugs can occur. If Wolverine throws an enemy outside of this boundary, and they remain alive, they become untouchable. There are many stages where progress is impossible until every single enemy is killed. A simple solution would have been to make the boundaries not only apply to Wolverine, but to the NPCs as well.
My final complaint is the inconsistency of difficulty. The game is broken into 5 “Chapters”. Each chapter introduces progressively more difficult enemies while retaining the enemies of previous chapters. The problem is that the boss fights, while they get progressively more difficult through the fourth chapter, become ridiculously simple in the final chapter. A returning boss is easily defeated, while the final game boss provides little challenge other than to make you fall and die, which is easily avoided. The sudden drop in difficulty was disappointing. The entire level was easier than previous levels had been as well.
Now to the fun stuff. I may have given a lot of space to those complaints, but honestly, compared to the rest of this game, they are extremely minor. In terms of pure fun, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a 10. The game is visually stunning. The story unfolds smoothly (even if the story is bullshit (sorry, comic nerd in me is rebelling)) with great cut-scenes and FMVs. The combat system is amazing, with a simple structure allowing the player to focus more on the damage than on a combination of buttons. Wolverine’s healing factor is really showcased in this game. There were times when I had Wolverine down to mostly skeleton and he was still going strong(ish). Watching the regeneration was a lot of fun, too.
The game includes four bonus stages, three of which I have unlocked. By finding specific action figure statues of Wolverine in the game, you unlock challenges from the main menu. These challenges open up new costumes for Wolverine to wear instead of the white shirt and jeans. I managed to obtain the “Classic” Wolverine costume, which is his blue and yellow, the “Legendary” Wolverine costume, which is his brown and yellow (as soon as I unlocked this, I spent the rest of the game in this costume), and the “X-Force” Wolverine costume, which is mostly black. Great bonus content.
Oh shit! Wolverine just jumped towards a helicopter? Spoiler: Wolverine kicks its ass.
Holy crap! Wolverine is fighting a full size Sentinel! Spoiler: WOLVERINE KICKS ITS ASS.
This game is fantastic. Even though the game is far too short for my liking, the ridiculous amounts of AWESOME that the developers stuffed into this game makes it easily worth the $59.99+tax price tag.
-Because I said so