stephen_von_cloud's X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition (PlayStation 3) review

Bloody, Violent, and Full of Promise

"God of War clone".  Every action adventure game that looks even remotely like the God of War franchise must receive this label from everyone and then try to overcome it.  The best thing I can say about Wolverine is that it does this.  While the game certainly has its share of rough edges, it has some great ideas and I can't wait to see if they expand upon them in a sequel.

Quick Time Events and interactive cutscenes are common place in this genre, and Wolverine has a fresh take on them.  The game does have some typical button mashing  moments.  These are fine, nothing too annoying, and sometimes are really badass and play off the Wolverine character very well (think pulling yourself off of a spike you've been impaled on). 

The most interesting parts are brief but interesting segments that break up the normal gameplay.  For example, sky diving moments where you can control Wolverine as he plummets through the air (this is sometimes basic but othertimes has you attacking and dodging projectiles).  There are other moments where you are say, on the side of a helicopter and can attack an area and also must dodge gunfire from enemies in the helicopter.

These provide some awesome moments to watch and the great thing is that the gameplay is simple and doesn't get in the way of the action.  It also lets you jump into these different moments on the fly and not worry too much about figuring out how to play them, which is a very smart move from Raven.  I really hope other games in the genre (including the might God of War series) takes note because this is how it should be done: make us feel like we're actually playing and not just hitting buttons, make it fast and simple, and let us enjoy the action.

The basic combat is also very satisfying.  The moves at your disposal really make you feel powerful and like Wolverine, which is exactly what you'd want of course.

The problem comes more in with content.  The locations are repetitive.   Some of the enemies are repetitive.  Some of them are a lot of fun to fight and would be great if you'd just fought them for a small amount of time, but when they keep coming over and over it gets a little dull.  There's one enemy in particular, a lava giant, that FAR overstays his welcome.  He should have been a single boss and instead feels like a desperate atttempt to drag the game out.

The great moments are also not frequent enough.  The few that are in the game are done so well you'd really wish Raven went all out.

All this being said, there is a great base here for a franchise.  Raven really gets Wolverine, can nail the basic combat, and even has fresh new ideas to bring to the genre.  Where do you go from here?  All out.  I'd love to see another game more comic booky (put Wolverine in his damn costume!) and go all out with the super villans and giant sentinels galore and crazy moment after crazy moment.

It's hard not to view this game as a good primer for even greater future games.  For the time being, this game makes for an enjoyable, if rough, game.  It's not as good as God of War by any means, but it has a lot of potential.

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