Wolverine Is Back
February 3, 2009 – When I found out X-Men Origins: Wolverine was announced I became very excited because I am a big comic book fan as well as a huge Wolverine fan. He is easily my favorite X-men character, but any film-to-game adaptation almost all ways turns out badly due to budget issues and developers rushing the game to release at the same time as the movie. It seems Raven Software is looking to change all that, because this game looks very promising. Everything from the cinematic, to the in-game visuals, gameplay, and voice over work look great.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the latest film-to-video game adaptation from Activision, and is being developed by Raven Software and Amaze Entertainment. It is an action-adventure game that is coming out on all the major platforms. The game’s storyline is based on the upcoming movie of the same name. The story will focus on Wolverine’s violent past, his encounters with William Stryker, the Weapon X program, and his interactions with Sabertooth. These events take place earlier in Wolverine’s life than the story depicted in the previous film-to-movie game. The story will span several years, from the seventies and into the present. As many of you already know, his memory was erased by William Stryker, so he must investigate his past to remember who he is. Wolverine’s abilities are all present; players will make use of his regenerative mutant abilities, strength, and indestructible adamantium claws and skeleton. There is also a feral sense ability, which will allow Wolverine to spot secret paths and enemy weak points.
The visuals look very impressive so far. Using the powerful Unreal 3 engine, Raven Software created a realistic damage system. Players will witness Wolverine’s body regenerate after brutal battles. Every bit of his body can be damaged starting with his skin and all the way down to his adamantium skeleton. Though Wolverine can take a lot of damage, he is not immortal. Once he dies, players will have to restart at a checkpoint. Gore is not limited to Wolverine, the developer made full use of Wolverine’s claws. He has the ability to decapitate his enemies as well as impale them with his claws, and blood and gore will be in full display.
The gore is not the only impressive aspect of the visuals. The textures, lighting, and draw distance all look great. The environments seem pretty large as well, and they are set in a variety of real-world locales. The character models are very nice too. Logan looks exactly like he does in the movie, and you can expect the animations to be very fluid as well. Raven Software seems to be taking the cinematics very seriously, I watched a pre-rendered video with some of the best CGI I have ever seen. It shows Wolverine at the Weapon-X facility escaping from an underwater tank. There is a lot of detail in the cinematic. Raven Software really captured what Wolverine is all about, it is a great depiction of him, much better than any of the previous games.
The gameplay consists of quick combat, evasive maneuvers, combo attacks, and brutal finishing moves. The attacks are categorized by light attacks, heavy attacks, and grabs. Each attack is mapped to one face button. Players will be able to chain attacks to perform devastating combos. Landing one of these combos will activate a cinematic of one of Wolverine’s finishing moves; the cinematics are very violent and gory. One of the finishers has Wolverine holding an enemy’s head and stabbing him in the neck. Another cinematic shows Wolverine slash an enemy through the stomach and ripping out his guts. Battle is not the only aspect of the game, however. Players will have the ability to interact with the environment as well as throw enemies into objects and even toss them off cliffs. You will not get through the game just by button-mashing; there will be timing to the combos. While doing a combo, Wolverine will flash, giving players the option to do a quick kill by pressing one of the face buttons. The entire game will be played through a third-person view. The main characters are voiced by their movie counterparts; both Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber are lending their voices for the characters of Wolverine and Sabertooth. Other cast members are donating their voices as well.
I have a lot of hope for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. With a great storyline that follows the movie, other unique content, great voice over work from Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber, great graphics, and violent gameplay, I think Raven Software will finally bring the truest depiction of Wolverine to date. I have no doubt they will deliver a great game. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is scheduled to release in May to coincide with the movie.