X-Men Origins: Wolverine Never Got The Love It Deserved

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Incredibly Underrated Superhero Game From The Past!

Story Highlight
  • Despite the movie’s poor reception, X-Men Origins: Wolverine’s game adaptation is excellent.
  • It improves upon the movie’s storyline with creative twists, fresh levels, and missions.
  • The gameplay is also brutal, exhilarating, and full of gore.

There’s only a handful of superhero games that are actually worth playing and spending time on. While the likes of Batman Arkham City and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 bask in the spotlight, others quietly impress a dedicated fanbase.

One such example is X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Released in 2009 by Raven Software, this action-adventure title offered a surprisingly deep and satisfying experience that I still hold in high regard.

While the movie it’s based on didn’t shine so brightly, this game is a real hidden gem in the superhero genre.

Why it matters: X-Men Origins: Wolverine never got the recognition it deserved. Many probably dismissed it without giving it a fair chance.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men Origins: Wolverine explores Logan’s past and adds original characters that feel true to the comics.

The Context

In 2009, superheroes were all the rage. X-Men Origins: Wolverine came out alongside its movie counterpart. Even though the film didn’t amaze audiences, the game didn’t fare much better in terms of reception.

But those who did give it a shot discovered something special. Unlike most movie tie-ins, this one stood out. While the film fell short on story and character development, the game impressed with intense fights and a plot that went beyond what the movie offered.

Sadly, when Activision’s licensing deal with Marvel expired in 2014, this title, along with many others, was delisted from all digital platforms.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men Origins: Wolverine captured the essence of Wolverine’s world in a way no other game had before.

The Gameplay is a Gorefest

Recall those early trailers? They portrayed Wolverine tearing through foes, blood splattering everywhere. Well, they weren’t kidding. Raven Software nailed the intense combat Wolverine fans wanted. It was a bloody, epic showdown that felt like it came right out of the comics.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine stands out from other superhero games because it truly captures who Logan is. In this action-packed adventure, I got to slash through enemies using Wolverine’s famous claws.

The combat is intense and true to the character, with a mix of heavy and light attacks, grabs, and special moves like the Claw Spin, which unleashes a whirlwind of slashes. One interesting aspect of the game is its mature rating, which allowed Raven Software to match this comic book icon’s violent nature.

Unlike the PG-13 movie, this adaptation openly showcases Wolverine’s gritty world. I could see Wolverine taking damage in real-time, with wounds revealing muscle and bone, then slowly healing, which showcased his ability to regenerate.

Moreover, X-Men Origins: Wolverine isn’t merely about mindless button-mashing. The combat surprisingly has depth since I needed to effectively time blocks, parries, and dodges.

Image the original God of War trilogy, but you play as Logan. If that doesn’t sell the experience for you, I don’t know what will.

YouTube video

Great Level Design and Narrative

The game sticks to the movie’s main story but spices things up with creative twists. It reimagines important movie scenes and adds new levels and missions, making the story even more exciting.

For example, it explores Logan’s past missions in Africa and expands on his escape from the Weapon X facility. These extras turn the experience into more of a companion to the movie rather than just a carbon copy.

The game also isn’t afraid to take risks. There are some truly memorable moments, like the opening level where Wolverine fights his way through a helicopter crash or the epic boss battle against Deadpool.

The level layouts mix combat, platforming, and puzzles to enrich the experience and keep the gameplay fresh throughout the 10-12-hour campaign. Plus, comic fans get extra tidbits during loading screens and can unlock iconic costumes for the character.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Some of the boss fights are truly exceptional.

Technical Aspects Show Their Age

While X-Men Origins: Wolverine has its strengths, it’s not flawless. Its age is evident in its framerate issues and screen tearing, especially during intense moments.

Enemy AI can be basic at times, standing around rather than engaging in fights. The camera angles can also be a bit wonky at times. Moreover, repetitive textures in environments make some areas feel dull.

These technical hiccups likely stem from budget and time constraints faced by the developers. However, they seldom detract from the overall greatness that Raven Software offered here.

In a world where lots of licensed games fall short, X-Men Origins: Wolverine proves that a movie tie-in can surpass expectations. With Insomniac hoping to offer a similar experience, I hope the team takes heavy influence from Raven Software’s work. Early leaks show promise, but I’m not convinced just yet.

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