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X-Men Origins Wolverine Review

Developer: Raven Software
Publisher: Activision Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: May 2009
Platforms:and MSRP:
$59.99 (PLAYSTATION 3, Xbox 360)
$49.99 (Wii)
$39.99 (Games for Windows PC, PSP, PLAYSTATION 2)
$29.99 (NDS)

ESRB Ratings: “M” for Mature for intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

I have to admit that most of the time I feel that as a rule movie games are uninspired. Face it, the emphasis is more on generating a supporting upsell for a successful movie. But every once in a while, someone actually tries to make a good movie game. X-Men Origins Wolverine is one of those games.

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It is downright fun to play. The battles are lightning fast and more than frenetic. I found myself lunging, diving, blocking, countering with ease once I got the hang of the controls. You fall into a rhythm of targeting, evading, and attacking in a natural pattern. So it feels good to slice foes heads off, throw them off bridges or cliffs where they plummet to their deaths, or my personal favorite which was to dive towards an enemy, grab him, and throw him onto some sharp part of the environment. It is very cool that your kill stats are saved in your profile. I always love seeing a chronicle of my killing.

The game is inspired by the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine that came out in May 2009. The story is written by the same Marvel Wolverine comic book writer, Mark Guggenheim, who has told the tale of Wolverine for years. The games is the story of Logan's transformation from human to Wolverine. There are almost two intertwining stories, like a flash forward and a flash backward, that you play through.

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The game delivers the larger than life Wolverine experience. There are over 100 moves that you can pull off and you can make many of them more powerful when you use experience points to upgrade your character. Everyone will probably develop an affinity for a handful of moves. At times I favored the all powerful counter attack, but I mainly enjoyed the long range lunge attack follow by clawing the guy to pieces as he struggled to get away from me. There are some truly cinematic scenes - most of which involve helicopters. You only have one way to take a copter out if your weapons are claws. Jump on it, punch through the windshield to kill the pilot and snap the blades off with your claws.

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I think the best way to describe the fun is like this. It's based on the Unreal 3 Engine and you've got claws. So it's a bit like taking away your guns in Unreal 3 and giving you some very powerful handheld weapons. Plus the ability to lunge at targets from 100 feet away. And rapid regeneration. That's another cool thing. Wolverine regenerates after he takes real time damage to his skin and muscle. So you see yourself get scraped up and then heal.

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The only thing I didn't like, which I really tried not to let it ruin the game for me, was the parts of the game that involved some sort of tedious platformer like puzzle sequence. You know what I mean, jump on this, climb on that, drag the stone over to this lever, run through here. I guess that they felt it would be boring to be killing all the time. I personally didn't enjoy breaking up the killing.

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