X-Men Origins: Wolverine (video game)

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Menoriginsvideo game.jpg
Cover art used for PlayStation 3, Windows and Xbox 360 versions
Developer(s) Raven Software
Publisher(s) Activision
Writer(s) Marc Guggenheim
Composer(s) Paul Haslinger
Engine Unreal Engine 3
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Nintendo DS
PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3
PlayStation Portable
Wii
Xbox 360
Release May 1, 2009
Genre(s) Hack and slash, Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a 2009 hack and slash action-adventure game loosely based on the film of the same name. The game release coincided with the release of the film on May 1, 2009 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and PlayStation Portable. The game was developed primarily by Raven Software through the use of Unreal Engine technology. Amaze Entertainment developed the Wii and PS2 ports and Griptonite Games developed the PSP and DS ports. The Entertainment Software Rating Board rated Mature the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, and Teen the content of the Nintendo DS, PS2, PSP, and Wii versions.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine, along with most other games published by Activision that had used the Marvel licence, was de-listed and removed from all digital storefronts on January 1, 2014.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

Wolverine lunges toward an enemy helicopter.

Origins takes influences from games such as God of War and Devil May Cry.[2] The Uncaged Edition also features a large amount of blood and gore. Enemies can be dismembered in several ways in addition to the graphic display of Wolverine's healing factor.[3]

Combat relies on three options - light attacks, heavy attacks, and grabs. Another form of attack is the lunge, which allows Wolverine to quickly close the distance to an enemy. Wolverine can also use the environment to his advantage, such as by impaling foes on spikes. During combat, Wolverine's rage meter builds up, and when full allows him to use more devastating attacks, like the claw spin and a berserker mode, which increases Wolverine's claw strength until his Rage Meter empties.[4] Experience (XP) is collected from defeating enemies, destroying elements and accumulating collectibles.[5] The XP is used to level up, and each new level results in gaining skill points, which are used to purchase upgrades.

The PlayStation 2 and Wii versions are less graphic, with less language and slightly different combat.[6][7] Feral senses are still obtained, which can detect doors, traps, enemies and sentinel observers, and lunges must be performed at closer distances.[7]

Synopsis[edit]

The story is a combination of the Wolverine backstory explored in the film and an original plot created by Raven Software,[8] which was influenced by major events in the X-Men comic series.

Plot[edit]

In the prologue, set in a bleak urban environment, Wolverine dismembers a group of soldiers sent to kill him. His thoughts drift to a forgotten past.

The game begins in Angola, Africa, chronicling the mission of Team X, led by Col. Stryker and his soldiers: Wolverine/Logan, Logan's brother Victor Creed, Wade Wilson, John Wraith, and Nord, to locate a village that holds the secret to a valuable mineral deposit (implied to be adamantium). When Raven, their CIA liaison, objects to Stryker harming innocent civilians, Stryker orders her terminated and Wraith seemingly kills her. Team X locates the village but the villagers refuse to cooperate and Stryker threatens their lives. Logan turns on his teammates but he is subdued and knocked out before he can prevent the massacre of the villagers.

Three years later, Team X has mostly disbanded. Logan has settled in Canada with his girlfriend, Kayla Silverfox, when Creed surprises Logan at a bar and engages him in battle. Creed emerges victorious, breaks Logan's bone claws and knocks him unconscious. Logan awakens to find Kayla dead. Stryker arrives, telling Logan that Creed is killing his former comrades in revenge for Stryker firing him. He offers Logan a chance at revenge, via a procedure to bond the indestructible metal adamantium to his skeleton. Logan accepts, but when the procedure ends, he overhears Stryker order him to be terminated. He breaks out of the Alkali Lake facility in a rage, killing many of Stryker's men, including Nord, and vowing to kill Stryker and Creed.

Searching for Wraith, Logan travels to Project: Wideawake, a secret government facility producing mutant hunting Sentinel robots. Also searching for Wraith is Raven, revealed to be a mutant shapeshifter and Wraith's girlfriend after he faked her death. Raven leads Logan through the facility, where he encounters the Sentinels' mutant-hating inventor, Bolivar Trask. After cutting off Trask's hand to access Wraith's prison with his handprint, Logan rescues Wraith and destroys the large prototype Sentinel.

Wraith leads Logan to Fred Dukes, a former team member, who tells Logan of "The Island", a prison for mutants Creed captures on Stryker's behalf, and the location of Remy Lebeau, the island's sole mutant escapee. Remy flees when Logan questions him, thinking he is one of Stryker's agents, while Sabretooth surprises and kills Wraith. After battling Logan, Remy is convinced he is not with Stryker and takes him to the Stryker's island base.

Logan confronts Stryker and discovers Kayla is not only alive but a mutant who seduced Logan with her persuasion ability. Her "death" was an elaborate ruse to trick Logan into volunteering for Weapon X to acquire his DNA. Stryker's true plan is to complete the transformation of Wade into Weapon XI: grafting onto him the powers of various mutants (including Wraith and Logan) to create the ultimate mutant-killing supersoldier. Devastated by the truth, Logan accepts Stryker's offer to erase his memory, but changes his mind after Creed takes Kayla hostage. Logan bests Creed this time but Kayla convinces him not to kill Creed. While Kayla leaves to rescue her sister whom Stryker kidnapped to force her cooperation, Weapon XI is sent to kill Logan. Despite Weapon XI's capabilities, he dies by Logan's hand in the ensuing battle. Creed recovers and amicably parts ways with Logan but intends to remind his brother that they are both killers at heart.

Logan finds Kayla wounded and near death; Stryker takes the opportunity to shoot him in the head with an adamantium bullet, erasing his memories of the preceding events. Kayla persuades Stryker to walk "until [his] feet bleed", says a tearful goodbye to the unconscious Logan, and drowns herself in a lake. Logan heals from the gunshot but awakens aimless and alone.

The epilogue takes place in the same time period as the prologue: Trask has taken Logan hostage and replaced his severed hand with a lifelike robotic prosthesis. Logan breaks free of his chains and Trask flees. As an army of Sentinels ravages a ruined city in the distance, Logan quips "This world may be broken, but I've got the tools to fix it".

Characters[edit]

  • Hugh Jackman as James Howlett / Logan / Wolverine:[9] A mutant and soldier with powers of regeneration, animalistic instincts, enhanced strength, unbreakable bones and six retractable adamantium claws (bone claws before the adamantium transfusion).
  • Liev Schreiber as Victor Creed:[9] Wolverine's half-brother and fellow soldier who has a healing factor, animalistic instincts, and retractable claws.
  • Dave Florek as William Stryker:[9] A Colonel of the military who formed Team X, and is a major part of the Weapon X Program.
  • April Stewart as Kayla Silverfox:[9] Logan's lover; she has the ability of tactile hypnosis: the ability to control someone as long as she is touching them.
  • will.i.am as John Wraith:[9] A member of the Weapon X Program. Wraith has the mutant power of Teleportation.
  • Robert Wu as Agent Zero:[9] A member of the Weapon X Program, Stryker's second-in-command. Zero possesses expert tracking skills and is a lethal marksman.
  • Gregg Berger as Fred J. Dukes / The Blob:[9] A mutant and former member of Stryker's mutant strike team. Fred has an indestructible layer of skin. After leaving Stryker and the team, he developed an eating disorder and became obese.
  • Chris Edgerly as Remy LeBeau / Gambit:[9] A former prisoner of Stryker who can manipulate kinetic energy.
  • Steven Blum as Wade Wilson:[9] The "merc with a mouth" Wade is a highly trained mercenary who was the annoyance of the team.
    • Weapon XI / Deadpool: The altered Wade Wilson is the mutant killer. He was given a healing factor, teleportation, and optic blast powers and had his mouth forced shut. Stryker also had adamantium blades surgically implanted into his arms.
  • Anna Graves as Raven Darkholme:[9] A female mutant with shapeshifting abilities and a CIA operative who was working in conjunction with Stryker's team in Africa. She later encounters Wolverine when they both are searching for Wraith. She is Wraith's lover and the mother of his child.
  • Bumper Robinson as Dr. Bolivar Trask:[9] Creator of the Sentinels. He kidnaps Wraith to use him in his study of the mutant gene for sentinel programming. His hand is cut off by Wolverine, he later replaces it with a prosthetic hand. In the future as shown in the game, he appears to be the one directing the soldiers attacking Wolverine in an attempt to capture him.

Development[edit]

On May 2009, Raven Software set up a developers blog[10] Blur Studio, who also worked with Raven on X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, provided all of the CGI cutscenes for the game.[11] From January to March 2009, the developers published a large number of 3D screenshots.[12][13][14][15][16] The music for the game was composed by Paul Haslinger, who composed the score for the Underworld film series and such games as Need For Speed: Undercover, Rainbow Six: Vegas and its sequel, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2.[17] Raven worked with publisher Activision to provide easter eggs from other games to be found, such as the Lich King's sword from World of Warcraft[18] and the cake mentioned in the game Portal.[19]

Downloadable content[edit]

In June 2009, Activision released a DLC for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 system, featuring Custom Combat Arena, Ladder Challenge, and Environmental Simulator.[20]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 54.83% (DS)[21]
76.45% (X360)[22]
78.50% (PC)[23]
48% (PS2)[24]
75.17% (PS3)[25]
62.20% (PSP)[26]
51.83% (Wii)[27]
Metacritic 55/100 (DS)[28]
75/100 (X360)[29]
77/100 (PC)[30]
56/100 (PS2)[31]
73/100 (PS3)[32]
60/100 (PSP)[33]
53/100 (Wii)[34]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 7.5/10 (X360)[35]
Eurogamer 5/10 (PS3, X360)[36]
Game Informer 8/10 (PS3)[37]
GamePro 3/5 stars (X360)[8]
Game Revolution B+[38]
GameSpot 7/10 (PC)[39]
7/10 (PS3)[40]
GameSpy 3/5 stars (PS3)[41]
GameTrailers 7.2/10[42]
GameZone 8.3/10 (PC)[43]
7.4/10 (PS3)[44]
Giant Bomb 3/5 stars (X360)[45]
IGN 7.8/10[46]
6.9/10 (AU)[47]
5/10 (DS)[48]
4.5/10 (PS2)[6]
5.1/10 (PSP)[49]
4.8/10 (Wii)[50]
Nintendo Power 5/10 (Wii)[51]
OXM (US) 8/10 (X360)[52]

The Uncaged Edition version received generally positive reviews, whereas other versions of the game attained mostly mixed to negative reviews. In general, strong points has been identified in the violence consistent with the comic version of the character and the aesthetic value, whereas the shortness of the campaign, the lack of replay value and the repetitiveness of action have been criticized.

IGN's Greg Miller stated the Uncaged Edition version of the game is an "awesome guilty pleasure", despite criticisms of fights repetitiveness.[46] Miller appreciated the cinematic of the game, as well its bloody sights. Overall, the visuals received a mixed review from IGN, stating "the game looks great sometimes and shoddy other times".[46] Miller further criticized that the only noteworthy sounds are Hugh Jackman's voice and the claws sound.[46] Whilst the game was marked with an overall 7.8/10 ('good'), the PS2 and Wii were marked respectively 4.5[6] ('bad') and 4.8 ('poor').[50] The shortcomings of the two ports lay, among others, in the general lack of music during fights, poor controls and bad textures.[6][50]

The different reception based on the game port was confirmed by the review aggregators GameRankings and Metacritic. While the ranking for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on both aggregators was around 75/100, the Nintendo DS', PlayStation 2's, and Wii's rankings stood significantly behind, with the PSP port ranked around the middle.

GameSpot gave the game a 7/10, praising the variety of enemies, the brutal action and the representation of Wolverine's power, yet criticising the poor replay value and the disappointing boss fights.[40] Overall, the game was defined "one of the better movie tie-ins released recently".[40] Destructoid's review, which gave the game a 7.5/10, focused on similar points, by finding fault with boss fights, poor replay value and sloppy plot and identifying as strong points the quality of the aesthetic and the brutal action.[35]

Eurogamer gave the game a 5/10, by stating: "X-Men Origins: Wolverine may be unapologetically violent, but it's also unapologetically repetitive, and it's the one apology that needs to be made".[36] Game Informer, even though disapproved the repetitiveness, stated that the "game is nearly impossible to put down".[37] GamePro stated that "Its repetitive gameplay, mundane puzzle design and eye-twitching platforming segments really cuts into Origins' fun and yet, for fans of the franchise, it's a solid title that's worth playing through".[8]

Accolades[edit]

In the ScrewAttack 'Top 10 Movie-Based Games', the Uncaged Edition of this game came in sixth.[53] At the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards, the game was awarded the 'Best Cast' award as well as Hugh Jackman receiving the 'Best Performance By A Human Male' award as Wolverine.[54] In IGN's 'Top 5 Favorite Wolverine Games', the Uncaged Edition of the game came in first.[55] In GameSpy's 'Top 10 Best Superhero PC Games', the Uncaged Edition of the game came in tenth.[56]

References[edit]

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  7. ^ a b Brown, Adam. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review". Cheat Code Central. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
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  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009 Video Game) Full Cast & Crew". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
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External links[edit]