Lots of superhero games can be enjoyed by kids and their families. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not one of them.
As the blood sprays and limbs get liberated in this brutal interpretation of the new Hugh Jackman movie, you find that while Wolverine may not be the best superhero game out there, it’s certainly among the angriest.
See, it’s not enough for Wolverine to simply kill his enemies while questing in places like Alkali Lake or Africa — he slaughters them, splattering their body parts and innards all over the battlefield like Jackson Pollock did with paint.
It’s all done with feral, flesh-tearing power that veteran gamers have already seen in the “God of War” series as well as Conan, a 2007 Raven Software product that featured tons of gory sights, like guys with freshly severed arms running around before collapsing.
The main vision of the game is that of an “uncensored” Wolverine — that this is what would happen if you really did have a guy with invincible metal claws given the green light to maul everyone in front of him.
In a way, it’s a blunt, honest and refreshing way to pay homage to the character’s abilities. Wolverine’s famed self-healing powers in particular were handled with style, as players can see any holes that get put into him (via gunfire, missiles, explosives, etc.) close up over time.
The game’s got plenty of visual punch and bombastic combos to give fans the satisfying rush of obliterating everyone from trained commandos to robots. Storywise, the game alternates between Wolverine’s past missions in Africa to his current search to find Sabretooth, his nemesis.
However, the “uncaged” approach doesn’t account much for brainpower. A lot of the puzzles I encountered were extremely simple, functioning more like annoying action-stoppers than mental challenges. Also, the frequency of the African flashback missions sometimes gave the game a bit of a “Groundhog Day” feel. The action’s cool, but I’m tired of dodging booby traps in ruined temples all the time. If I want Tomb Raider, I’ll play Tomb Raider.
Overall, X-Men Origins: Wolverine isn’t anything more than disarmingly nasty, bloody fun. Good times, especially for fans looking to let off a little steam in the meanest way possible.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Uncaged Edition)
Xbox 360, PS3
Rated M for Mature
Note: There are not-so-gory editions available for the PS2 and Wii