Before reading, please note if you haven't played the game this will contain spoilers, so look away now or just read it anyway to be polite.
“I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do isn’t very nice” the immortal words from Marvel Comic’s mutant with an attitude James Howlett a.k.a Logan but is better known as the admantium claw popping, cigar smoking, yellow and blue jumpsuit wearing bad ass Wolverine. Having been a fixture for Marvel Comics since making a cameo for The Incredible Hulk #180 back in October 1974 before making his fully pledged permant stay the following issue and he has left a trail of wisecracks, bad attitude and bodies behind him since then.
Getting close with nature side.
As to be expected with the rest of the Marvel Superheroes, when video gaming hit it’s popular boom in the mid 80’s thanks to the emergence of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Wolverine was no exception and made his video gaming debut in 1989 alongside Cyclops, Colossus, Storm, Iceman and Nightcrawler in The Uncanny X-Men for the NES however the game pretty much sucked with awkward controls, pointless melee attacks and hard navigation maps but then again LJN made it, so what do you expect from The Rainbow of Death? Needless to say LJN produced quite a few X-Men games included a Wolverine game which was released in 1991 for the NES and much like Uncanny X-Men, it may aswell of been a vacuum cleaner as it sucked and blowed at the same time with the main reason was to use your claws it would cost health which was pretty ludicrous plus the fact when he landed on a narrow platform it was like he had melted butter on his boots.
Uncanny isn't the word.
No wonder he looks pissed off.
Okay so let’s travel forward to May 1st 2009 when a few days or so prior X-Men Origins Wolverine was released in the cinema much to mixed reception, for me i enjoyed the film but only downsides was in certain places they fucked up his Origin in certain parts and they had Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool who was about as funny as a cheese grater wrapped in barbed wire scraping against some testicles, and the fact he is doing a Deadpool movie almost makes me want shove my head into a blender. But movie aside, as with nearly every movie nowadays their is guaranteed a video game unless your Max Payne then a piss poor movie gets released in your honor so it was inevitable that a game based loosely around X-Men Origns Wolverine and it did on the Playstation 2, Nintendo Wii, Playstation Portable, Nintendo DS, Playstation 3 and X-Box 360.
The reason for my video game review on a game that came out last year is pretty simple, this was the first game i got my first Platinum on and I am big marvel fanboy minus the thick black glasses and obsession for Magic: The Gathering and Wolverine is my favorite Marvel character of all time, but before I compare the PS2/Wii versions to the PS3/360 versions I will point out that I think Hugh Jackman was the wrong choice for Wolverine, as I know he is the actor of Wolverine in the movies but in terms of video games and cartoons no-one does a better voice for him than Steve Blum who has voiced the pint sized Canadian bad ass for the majority of cartoons and video games, so Mr. Blum should of been given the green light on this game instead of being given the voice of Wade Wilson which was for all of 20 seconds.
All pissed and ready to slice and dice.
I can’t really say alot about the PS2/Wii versions as i don’t own a Nintendo Wii and I no longer own a Playstation 2 but from what I have seen on youtube is the graphics look pretty blocky, don’t get me wrong I know the Wii isn’t like the PS3 and X-Box 360 in terms of stunning graphics and the Playstation 2 is the sixth generation of gaming but it is capable of playing a game with decent graphics, but what I saw from the youtube video was pretty bad graphics but maybe that’s because the Wii and PS2 ports were made by Amaze Entertainment. The combat from what I saw of a flannel shirt clad Wolverine beating his fellow lumberjacks was okay but at times i noticed it wasn’t as fluid as the PS3 and 360 ports, however one bit i saw that was quite impressive was the Bounce move where Wolverine decided to be Tarzan of the Canadian wilderness and bounce from tree to tree and I would of liked to see that incorporated in the PS3/360 port.
Now I know I said that I would of preferred Steve Blum as the voice as Wolverine but on the PS3/360 port Hugh Jackman did do a good job as the voice for Wolverine, however on the PS2/Wii port it sounds as wooden as Tekken’s Mokujin, for example when Kayla is presumed “dead” Wolverine is cradling her body he repeatedly shouts “Creed! Creed! Creed!” which I found hilarious and after a showing a friend of mine named Adrian he compared it to shouting your dog in for dinner, that’s how bad it was and made me glad I didn’t own the game for the Playstation 2.
You can smell the freshly cut down timber.
Now for the Playstation 3 and X-Box 360 port of the game entitled X-Men Origins Wolverine: Uncaged Edition which is called Uncaged Edition for the sheer amount of blood shown which would be a blood bank’s dream, the sheer volume of brutality and I guess a solider’s head shoved in a helicopter rotor blade is the reason it’s known as the Uncaged Edition. Now before the game starts, you get a couple minute intro of Wolverine in some post apocalyptic world killing guards in some pretty brutal ways, a couple of my favorite is when a guard is against a wall and then get’s some adamantium claws in his head for good measure, another bit is where Wolverine is shot by a shotgun and it show’s you the hole left in Wolverine’s body before his regeneration abilities kick in and show’s you his flesh and body muscle reconnecting it’s self before killing the guard.
Epic opening, full of blood and testosterone.
Following this we get a flash back to Wolverine, Victor Creed, Wade Wilson, Wraith and Nord on an airplane above Africa before being shot down which is the same place where in the movie Wolverine see’s that killing innocent people for not giving William Stryker answers is wrong, but for one half of the story in which is a flashblack by Wolverine this is where the game is set, donning Wolverine in a blood stained and slightly dirty tank top and a military combat pants and one thing you will notice that since this is before he was bonded with admantium his claws are made out of bone. But don’t let that deter you as the bone claws are as lethal as his admantium ones, only less shiny, so during your flashback in Africa which broken up in parts as the other half of the game is placed in the modern day (before Wolverine took an admantium bullet to the head) which I will cover. Okay so back to Africa, you will encounter miltary guards with guns and machetes, giant rock like monsters known as Leviathans, machete guards who are pretty much like The Human Torch but with machetes, blue females with teleporting abilities, and guards who can respawn other guards which if you don’t kill the guy respawning the guards it will seem very God of War like with the respawning enemies.
Also as you play through the Africa you will eventually encounter a CIA agent by the name of Raven Darkholme, sound familiar? Yup you Marvel nerds are right, that is none other than the shape shifting mutant Mystique. One of my favorite parts in the whole of the Africa flashback is in the first part of the flashback when you are the end of a cliff where a bridge used to be and all of sudden a chopper appears and starts firing rounds into you, so because Wolverine isn’t going to run away and cry into his beer, you simply use your Lunge move onto the chopper, repeatedly punch the glass and once it breaks, grab the guard and shove his head into the chopper rotor blade and see the blood fly across the screen.
Superman wishes he was that bad ass.
In the modern day parts of the game which i mentioned briefly, this part of the game follows the movie plot fairly closely barring one which i will mention shortly as in the modern day flash forwards (I don’t know the correct term but it sounds pretty cool) it covers when you beat up Creed in the bar, get your adamantium claws, escape from the Alkali Lake facility in which you encounter a young mutant with teleporting abilities which is thought to be Kitty Pryde, if you listen to the audio logs you will the scientists mention a certain Dr. Nathaniel Essex better known as Mr. Sinister. You will also battle a W.E.N.D.I.G.O which is another mention to the Marvel Universe and unlike it’s counterpart, they are basically regular soldiers but injected with something that when adrenaline increases it transforms them into huge monsters which resembles a titan monster from Batman: Arkham Asylum (note: Arkham Asylum came out later that year in August). After an epic scene in a sewage tunnel in which you deflect a rocket with you claws you find yourself in Alkali Lake, in which after another Africa flashback you find your next part of the game.
Wolverine lunging onto a poor guard.
During the course of this section which is pretty damn long, which involves a lot of guards which one drops a Magneto reference, plenty W.E.N.D.I.G.O’s, running across a bridge while avoiding being blown up, and finally after beating four W.E.N.D.I.G.O’s which i did and beat all four at the same time and got the trophy “Ultimate Wolverine” you face Nord a.k.a Agent Zero which involves jumping from chopper to chopper and destroying them before using your claws to destroy the rotor blade and then proceed to kill Agent Zero. Following this Wolverine visits Wraith but he’s not home, so he listens to a voicemail from Mystique which triggers that Africa flashback so Wolverine is seen climbing a mountain which turns out is a laboratory is inside, very clever eh? The enemies of this consist guards with guns and robots, a lot of robots but as you listen to various audio logs of Senator Robert Kelly and Dr.Bolivar Trask you find out this lab is for the eradication of mutants.
As you progress you see what is being built is a giant Sentinel and after jumping on various platforms, etc you meet up with Mystique and stay in contact via a ear piece, then later on you encounter Dr. Bolivar Trask and you battle his Sentinel Mark I prototype, once you have beat that, it triggers a cut scene where Wolverine slashes off his hand, once that’s all done you have to use that hand to get to a room where you have to free Wraith and after a brief cut scene where it shows Mystique is pregnant and the father is Wraith and he mentions the name “Kurt”. Following this is my favorite boss fight where you face Sentinel Mark I, once you have worked out what to do the giant robot tries escaping but Wolverine decides to finish him off and get a lift to The Blob’s location at the same time. After dodging falling bits of metals a few times and slashing the Sentinel it crashes and it powers off and then following that you meet The Blob to ask him where Stryker is, but surprise , surprise it’s another boss fight which I found rather boring and repetitive however after beating The Blob it’s revealed that a certain Remy LeBeau knows the location of Stryker so it’s off to New Orleans we go.
Up close and personal with the Sentinel.
OM NOM NOM NOM
In the movie meeting Remy LeBeau a.k.a Gambit was roughly 10 minutes included the fight, in the game however it’s a whole level of having a fight with Gambit then chasing after him, dealing with guards and Gambit’s assassins which are mutants with four arms and a staff which resemble Sheeva from Mortal Kombat 3, destroying another chopper and yet another showdown with Gambit, following him running away and you chasing after him through a building site before fighting him yet again and after beating him for the 10 millionth time he agrees to take you to the island where Stryker is.
A game of cards gone wrong.
Once your on the Island, you battle through a few guards then there is a cut scene where it reveals Kayla is not dead which was as much a surprise as Dr.Eggman attempting to get the Chaos Emeralds, so Wolverine agrees to have his memories erased but after Victor Creed starts to man handle Kayla so our ticked off Canadian decides to battle Creed. Upon beating him for the second time, its time to face the final boss Weapon XI aka The Dead Pool aka Its not Deadpool but someone like him with every mutant power and his mouth sewn shut.
Following a basic battle which involves slashing him, dodging laser beams and counter attacking him, you face Weapon XI again this time ontop of a nuclear power plant, which is pretty much the same as before only this time avoiding laser blasts that could knock you off thus re-starting the second fight yet again and believe me that happens quite a few times. Once you have disposed of him, you slide down the nuclear power plant and find Kayla mortally wounded and pretty much the same events that happened in the movie with the only difference is that Kayla didn’t walk into the water to die, she just lay there and died leaving a nasty mess on the floor.
Following that, there is an outro where Wolverine is captured by Dr.Bolivar Trask complete with robot hand and because he has since taken an adamantium bullet to the head he has no idea who this bald black guy with a robot hand is, and much like the intro the ending is pretty damn epic which screams for a spin off sequel for the game which I would very much like to see.
I have pretty much covered everything plot wise in the game in this video game review except some of the fun stuff. In the game you can level up by killing people and collecting Dog Tags from dead soliders who just happen to be lying everywhere and makes you wonder if they are all related as they all look the same, however by levelling up you can upgrade your health, rage, etc as well as skills in beating various enemies which are known as Mutagens and upgrading them to the fullest makes enemies very easy to beat, more so the robots if you upgrade that mutagen. Another nice feature is the special moves, Cyclone Claw, Spinning Claw, Hand Drill, Bersesker and Claw Job...okay I made the last one up, but upgrading the moves makes you near enough unbeatable, my favourite move is the Hand Drill which if your enemy is weaker enough shows a nice animation of the enemy being torn into shreds.
Another nice bit is when your under pressure by being shot at by guards, you can activate your rage mode which if levelled up high enough the guards piss their pants and cower as you slice them in half and no that’s not an exaggeration as quite a few times I have sliced guards in half.
Now while I found the combat very fluid where you can slash some guard, lunge to the next guard and then slash the next guard, it did get very repetitive and boring even more so when there was 20+ guards but while it’s fun slashing off arms and legs and punching through a stomach and have blood splattered up to your elbow i enjoyed the Quick kills which varied from ripping a guard in two to quick brutal claw swipes to body, but even that got repetitive but it was fun none the less to brutally butcher guards into human shish kebabs.
Wolverine getting up close and personal.
Aside from collecting dog tags if your trophy hunting, you can collect figures to unlock three bonus costumes, the legendary orange costume which he wore when he first appeared, the next being the yellow costume which he currently wears and the blue costume he wore when he was in the X-Force which you can wear while playing through the game if seeing Wolverine clad in a tank top doesn’t do it for you. Another feature is, you can play as Wolverine and face another Wolverine to test out your moves which is quite fun, it’s like the dream match if Wolverine was cloned...WOLVERINE VS. WOLVERINE!
Lastly as good as the game is despite the combat at times being repetitive, it was quite a buggy game more so when your facing Gambit for the 10 millionth time and on the giant neon sign your fighting on, a letter get’s blown away and you find yourself stuck on the floor with no way to get back up which means you have to reset the whole level and pray it doesn’t do it again.
Another bug in the game is when you face Weapon XI for the second time, as your dodging his laser blasts to avoid getting knocked of the nuclear power plant even if you dodge, sometimes your blown off the nuclear power plant and left hovering in the air before dropping to your death which is quit annoying as that happened to me on my hard play through in order to get the platinum.
For those don’t own the game but are tempted by this review, here is a list of the trophies please check out this link: http://www.ps3trophies.org/game/wolverine/trophies/
All in all, I did enjoy this game and played through it a few times not just because of the trophies but because as a Wolverine fan I did enjoy the game and was left quite satisfied, so on closing I hope you enjoyed my very detailed video game review and if you didn’t well as Wolverine says “I’ll gut you like a fish”. read