|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Raven Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 1, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Blood sprays liberally from horrified enemies and there is just the right amount of slow motion to make things really cool. I can't describe how marvelous it is to Wolverine and Sabertooth collide mid-air as Wolverine sinks his claws into his shoulders. Cinematic moments like these are very common and the game seems to know just when to milk the slow-mo for one of those 'Oh My God! Did You See That?!' moments. I have to say, it never gets old to watch Wolverine pounce on a soldier and bounce high into the air for the killing strike as the soldier crawls away pleading.
It's all handled beautifully in terms of graphics and animations. Each of Wolverine's strikes is wide and vicious, though there is a precision that makes him as efficient as he is deadly. Environments are nice, particularly the Weapon X Facility and the Jungle. There isn't much pop-in from textures or slowdown (though a lot of enemies plus running water sometimes drops the frame rate), which is more impressive when you consider the graphical flourishes like slow motion and blood that sprays the screen. There are some muddier facades later in the game, but most people will be too distracted to notice.
There are some exciting boss battles in this game, but other than those meetings (most of which should be expected-but don't expect spoilers from me) there's nothing but a man, his claws, and some screams. Speaking of which, sound in this game is pretty killer. Voice acting is cool-the major players from the movie offer their two pennies-but when you crank the sound FX and chatter, there's a lot going on. Listening to the characters scream as Wolverine closes in claws blazing is a nice touch. In one level, soldiers brag about what they would do if they caught Weapon X as an injured Wolverine crawls through the vents. One of my personal favorite moments in the initial fight between Wolverine and Sabertooth came as Logan chided him ("You're getting soft Victor"), when I buried my claws in his chest.
Presentation is key, especially in a one note symphony like this one, and this is where Activision and Raven shine. Years of dealing with the Marvel-verse have given them some incredible insights into the characters and story here and it's evident. Every remark, battle cry and slash looks, sounds, and feels authentic to these characters, especially Wolverine and Sabertooth. This game will definitely put you in the spandex of your favorite spandex slasher, which by the way is not the manliest of looks.
Leon Hendrix III
CCC Freelance Writer