X-Men Origins: Wolverine Preview
Over time, hordes and hordes of polls have shown that Marvel's most famous superhero is X-Men's Wolverine. The character has amassed the popularity and fandom to become a brand for the comic house, much like how the Corvette has become a brand of sorts for GM, or the Mustang for Ford. There is no denying Wolverine's popularity, and so it made perfect sense for Marvel's next big X-Men release to be one centered on the story of Wolverine and his past. And of course, with a project like that also comes the status-quo videogame adaptation.
Normally, we hold videogame movies with low expectations and regard, some are better than others, but few are great. So to counter that preface, I will say that Raven's upcoming Wolverine game is really aiming high and even we have let our guards down and have brought our expectations up; this game looks promising so far. Running on the Unreal Engine III, Wolverine's first next-gen game is made up of slick in-game visuals, as well as highly detailed CG cut-scenes that mimic the details of the movie very accurately.
Needless to say, we're excited. So what's in store for this action brawler? Well, first off, Activision promises a game that delivers a true-to-character approach at the Wolverine name. What does this mean? Allow me to explain, at a demonstration held by Activision, the developers showed off Wolverine fighting hundreds of feet above ground, leaping from and destroying helicopters. But beyond just destroying the helis, Wolverine decided to shatter a windshield, grab the pilot by the collar, and raised him up to the chopper's blades, decapitating him. Yeah...gruesome, but badass. That should help explain the level of violence that the game is aiming for.
Other true-to-character abilities include his rage attacks, relentless combat, regeneration, and even his enhanced senses. To expand on the relentless combat attribute, Wolverine will boast over one hundred custom moves, all at your disposal, on top of reflex quick-kills and long-range lunge attacks. Furthermore, because you are Wolverine, you are free to fall 30,000 feet from the sky and walk away like nothing happened. Likewise, if you'd like to see Wolverine's real-time regeneration at work, when you're leaping from chopper to chopper, aim for the blades and see the effects of this really neat visual and gameplay touch.
As far as Wolverine's rage goes, you can build up a gauge that'll eventually allow you to unleash special-moves, combos, and other specific attacks. Wolverine's enhanced senses will allow you to expose weak points in your enemies, in addition to tactical advantages and even help puzzle solving and finding escape routes.
Because the game follows the movie, you will encounter a cast of Marvel heoes and villains, including the frigin' awesome Gambit, Sabretooth, The Blob, Emma Frost, and others. Obviously, you should know that some of those will fight against you, while others will fight with you. Epic boss battles will also populate the game's story, which will have you pitted against 200-foot tall Sentinels, Wendigos, and Leviathans. So from the sounds of it, this almost sounds more like God of War with a Marvel skin...and that's pretty much exactly what we've wanted out of a Wolverine game.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine will launch alongside the movie on May 1st.
2/27/2009 Arnold Katayev