The game does suffer from a few pacing issues. The game starts as a flashback and then there are flashbacks within the flashbacks. This results in three levels of story going on at once. The main one (which is set in the future) only comes into play at the beginning and end of the game but the game switches back and forth a lot during the first two thirds of the game which got old after the third flashback. I see how the writers were trying to layer the story a bit but the problem is that the levels dragged on a bit. The second problem is that once you get past the flashback stuff the game immediately starts throwing boss levels at you which just feels odd. Essentially you grind through grunts and mini-bosses for the first half of the game before running into bosses in back to back levels. It just feels a bit off and it’s compounded by an ending that feels forced to match the movie (I’m guessing).
Graphically the game is very good looking. The main characters looks as they should but there are a few stunning levels scattered throughout the game. At the top of these is an ancient temple you have to climb. At the top of the temple the camera rotates down to show you the height of the temple and it’s a vertigo inducing collection of perfect polygons. There aren’t any real rough edges to the game and it’s nice to see someone use the Unreal Engine 3 to its potential. Of course the folks at Raven used some of the existing hooks in the game as Wolverine will touch his ear and slow down to talk much like Marcus and Dom did in the Gears of War games (the Army of Two guys do the same thing).
The sound is likewise solid as everything sounds good. They got the talent from the movie to contribute their voices to the game so if you ever wanted to know what Hugh Jackman sounded like grunting this is the game for you. Some of the sounds are a bit overused as the girlfriend started mocking the afore mentioned grunting after watching me play the game for 30 minutes.
Speaking of girlfriends this might be an easy sale if your significant other has a thing for Hugh Jackman. He’s well modeled in the game and shirtless for most of it so it’s a win-win if your SO has the hots for the guy.
After you play through the single player side of the game there are a few challenges to get new costumes (assuming you found the right items during your play through the game) and that’s it. There aren’t enough power up points to max everything out in one play through so a second playthrough may offer a few new items but for the most part it’s a once and done thing. That’s not a bad thing as I got about seven hours out of it but that’s one of the things that does push the game into a rent first category for me.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a solid game and while it’s not breaking a lot of new ground it’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of the character or are looking for a hack and slash with a hint of RPG. The folks at Raven did the best with what they had but I do wonder what they would have done if they weren’t tied to the movie. Maybe the end of the game would have made a little more sense but still kudos to them for turning out a solid game that does change the perception of movie tie in games.
While the game doesn’t break any new ground it is a lot of fun to play and worth your time if you’re a Wolvie fan or looking for a glimpse of what God of War could look like in HD
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