Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Uncaged Edition)

Graeme Virtue | 6 May 2009 21:00
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So, you're a total badass. But where do you commit your badassery? In a loose, looping adaptation of the film, the game crosscuts between the standard procession of underground bunkers, antiseptic science labs and anonymous warehouses that you've seen a million times before, with the only breath of fresh air provided by an extended flashback in a vibrant African jungle. There's the odd environmental puzzle to negotiate - which mostly involves toggling your "feral sense" to detect moveable objects - but the emphasis is rarely on anything other than combat.

When scything through yet another platoon of grunts threatens to get repetitive, the game drops a cheesy action set-piece in your path. Did you like that bit in the trailer where Wolverine launches himself at a helicopter? Don't worry - you get to do that, like, three times in the course of this game. You also tangle with some rather incongruous lava-based golems that behave exactly like the Rancor creatures from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. And in a well choreographed boss battle with a giant Sentinel robot, you even do some gnarly, Point Break-esque skydiving: 100-percent pure adrenaline!

Admittedly, there's the odd bit of clunky pacing - the penultimate level where you pursue aggravating pretty boy Gambit up a New Orleans casino seems to take forever - but for the majority of the 10 hours or so it takes to hurtle through it, Wolverine is riotously fun. Will you want to do it all again once you've unlocked the harder difficulty setting, hunting down the alternate costumes and collectible mutagens you missed first time round? Possibly not. And while I don't have a problem with the lack of any online element, it does seriously irk me that there is apparently a Weapon X arena mode trapped in my copy of the game somewhere - which would be perfect for short, concentrated bursts of customizable carnage ¬- but for now, at least, it requires a pre-order code from a major U.S. retailer to unlock it. Boo, Hugh! Sort it out, man!

The Bottom Line: Compared to other movie tie-ins, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is definitely homo superior. To paraphrase the wee man himself, it's the best at what it does, even if what it does isn't groundbreaking.

Recommendation: If you get juiced at the thought of piloting a blood-spattered Hugh Jackman through a God of War splatterhouse, sniff this bad boy out.

This review is based on the PlayStation 3 version of the game.

Graeme Virtue is a freelance writer based in Scotland. You can attempt to follow his spicy eating habits at Trampy And The Tramp's Glasgow Of Curry.

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