On a routine trip to the supermarket, a copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine for the PS3 caught my eye. With a few funds knocking around this month, I figured I buy it. Boy, I wasn’t disappointed.
Just played the first couple of levels (currently, I’m roaming the Weapon X facility without any of my powers and feeling vulnerable – eek!) and I’m loving it. To say it deviates from the movie a fair bit is something of an understatement, but then direct movie tie-in games that follow the plot religiously are seldom any good.
The entire first level in set in Africa (I think) and there’s more than a fair share of hacking, slashing and maiming to be done as Wolverine cuts his way through the jungle, ancient temples, across rope bridges and even down rivers (there’s a great little section when you get behind a boat-mounted machine gun and have at it – nice!). As well as mercs toting machine guns and machetes, there’s also weird lava-swordsmen types and a huge Leviathan lava monster to cap off the level with. Pretty sure that didn’t make it into the film.
I’ll say right now, this is mindless fun. There are some puzzles, but the gameplay mainly resorts to kicking the snot out of anything that comes at you. It’s a gore-fest from slash one with Wolverine cutting of arms, severing heads and generally bathing in his enemies’ blood. Not for the youngsters then – certainly not. There’s a nifty upgrade system whereby Wolverine earns experience for killing enemies, achieving objectives and retrieving dog tags that can be spent on new skills or upgrading existing ones. As well as claws attacks and lunging, Wolverine can also make use of his ‘Feral Senses’. This is just a dupey way of directing you if you get lost or highlighting items of interest in a particular location (such as those elusive dog tags). It also comes in handy if you’ve got invisible enemies to fight.
So far, I’ve had a total blast with this game. You don’t need to think that much, it’s button-mashing heaven (which is nice if you just want to unplug brain for a while) and satisfyingly brutal. As well as the Leviathan beast, I’ve also taken on Sabertooth (two pretty large fight sequences, inside and outside a Canadian bar) and a Wendigo beast (a big, Hulk-like monstrosity that took great joy in throwing me around the room before I started leaping on its back and stabbing the crap out of it with my claws – grr!).
I’ve always been a fan of the Wolverine character (what comic book fan isn’t?) and this game really helps bring him to life. It’s carnage personified and embraces a lot of X-Men lore not shown in the movie. I’m really looking forward to the next gaming session now, where I can unsheath my adamantium claws and start ripping through the bad guys again. Snikt!