|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|
by Leon Hendrix III
There's really no right way to make a comic movie or video game. The fact is, no matter what you do right, there's always going to be some wise guy who has a few suggestions about how things could be better. Here's the problem; if you make a mainstream Wolverine game for general audiences, you alienate purists who want to see Logan on a rage-fueled berserker rampage. If you make a game to sate the X-Men fanboys you may have a hard time selling it to parents and casual fans.
Thankfully, especially for us fanboys (though I prefer to be called a fanperson or fanman), Raven chose the former. That being said, if you're a fan of Wolverine, an action gamer, brawler enthusiast, or you just feel like slicing a guy from neck to nads with a trio of metal claws, this one is for you.
Watching the X-Men animated show in the early 90's one would have to assume Logan was the wimpiest of the super team. Most of his time on screen was spent brandishing his claws, threatening with his claws, slashing things that weren't affected by his claws, fighting robots and hiding his claws again. To my great surprise, Activision and Raven have given him his blades back-and Wolverine has never looked better. Over the course of 'Origins' you will dismember, disembowel, decapitate, and generally ruin the days of hundreds of foes.
Let me be clear: this is the Wolverine we've all wanted to see outside of the comics since the Canadian first came South, but this is by no means the best game ever. A lot of 'mini-boss' fights are repetitive, the story has been called confusing (though I don't blame Raven for that), and this is essentially a hack and slash Streets of Rage, but it is a heck of a lot of fun. Let's get the 'story' out of the way first.
Origins follows the titular mutant through an adapted version of his onscreen story debut. At the very beginning of the game you and the other members of the Weapon X team are on a mission when your chopper is shot down. This, of course, leaves Wolverine free-falling from 40 miles up, but what are G-Forces to the man with unbreakable bones? Logan crash lands (on a hapless soldier I should point out) and from there you are thrust into the action. Before the game is through, you will visit many of the locales from the film and face off against a thousand soldiers, robots, lava guys and other freaks and G-men. You'd think there might be a declining interest to work as a guard in the Weapon X facility, but I guess a job's a job. The story skips back and forth as the present day Wolverine recalls his adventures in the jungle and the origin of his legendary resilience. The story is there and functional, but if you came for a story, you came to the wrong place.
Logan is a killer - plain and simple - and this game has that and more. This is likely the most bloodthirsty interpretation of a comic character we've seen since the days of Carnage and Venom in the 80's. Raven and Activision (the same team that brought the X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance games) deserves a lot of credit for taking a risk to stay faithful to the character's brutal roots. The payoff is amazing.
In Origins, nearly everything you've seen Wolverine do in the comics is an attack you can control, including his trademark feral lunge. Unlike other Wolverine games (specifically, the abysmal X2-Wolverine's Revenge), Logan is as dangerous as he appears. Players can impale enemies on environmental hazards, slice off arms, legs, and everything else, break bones with jaw dropping throws, and most satisfyingly lunge from yards away to tear into foes. There are the obligatory rage and berserker attacks/mode, which essentially make Logan a whirlwind of entrails and Adamantium, but with quick-kills and the oh-so-gratifying lunge, many gamers will probably like to saver the individual kills.