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X-Men Origins: Wolverine Preview

| 10 Feb 2009 19:10
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Wolverine's his name and disemboweling, decapitating and goring is his game. While I had an inkling this might be the case, it wasn't until I saw Activision's trailer for the forthcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine game that I truly understood this. I would've thought this game was a natural fit for a Teen rating, to hit the broadest market possible, but currently there is no way this game is getting slapped with anything other than a Mature rating. This game is gory. Sure it's an uncanny valley kind of gory, but I think everyone in the screening room was fairly surprised at how much blood and violence this game contained. Regardless of the game's final level of violence, it's clear Activision has put some effort into making this game an exemplary exercise in movie licensing.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a brawler with some light platforming elements. The gameplay looks amusing enough, with plenty of illustrative death animations and over the top action moves. The platforming sections we were shown also looked very competent and seemed typical for what you might expect from the more recent Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider games. Easily the highlight of the preview were the set pieces the game featured, including a physical assault on multiple helicopters that utilized some platforming and a race to escape a wall of water barreling down a corridor. Fans will also be pleased to see Wolverine outfitted in a number of different costumes from the wife-beater and mutton chops look of the movies to the original yellow, black and blue costume of the comic books. The game's graphics are technically good with the modeling of damage on Wolverine being a particular stand out. However, in the face of more recent games that are either more stylized or utilize more powerful graphics engines, the game does come across as a little bland.

If the preview is any indication, this X-Men Origins: Wolverine is trying to be a strong tie-in to the movie. It strikes me, in terms quality, as being similar to EA's well regarded Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers game. Will it be a classic? Probably not. But my guess is that everyone will feel fine about recommending this game to serious fans when the movie eventually comes out.

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