What Made X-Men Origins: Wolverine The Game Great?

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a great game upon release, much to the surprise of reviewers. But why? With the recent tease of Insomniac Games’ Marvel’s Wolverine game, now seems as good a time as any to go back and identify what made the 2009 game so good.

What Made X-Men Origins Wolverine The Game Great - Front Cover

Video game movie tie-ins tend to have a bad reputation; however, X-Men Origins: Wolverine stands as one of the better ones. So what made this game so great? In theory, this game should have been awful. Games based even on good films tend to be quite horrific in most cases. (I’m looking at you, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1.) Pair that with the fact that you have arguably the worst X-Men live action film at that time, and that makes for a road to catastrophe.

Nevertheless, the game was great and is a respected entry in a long list of hit or miss superhero games. For clarification, I am talking specifically about the Uncaged Edition for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. So why was the game great you ask? Well, here is a list of reasons to answer.

GREAT COMBAT

Combat is the bread and butter for most games, particularly ones that star badass superhero icons such as Wolverine.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine feels like it takes the hack and slash over-the-top action from God of War and combines it with Marvel to make one of the most fun and satisfying combat systems in superhero genre games.

Anyone who has played this game will know that it does not shy away from the graphic violence and gore. 90% of the game will have blood splattered across the screen, whether it be the enemies’ or your own.

It was at this moment he knew... he f****d up

It was at this moment he knew… he f****d up

And yes, whilst some of the fight moves could be considered generic now like Wolverine’s spin attack, at the time, there were fewer games that had used these to the effectiveness that Origins: Wolverine did. Every time that I would chain Wolverine’s aggressive attacks on an enemy before they had the chance to get back up and it would never cease to entertain me.

FANTASTIC HEALING FACTOR MECHANIC

This is personally one of my favourite features in the entire game, and for good reason. Anyone who has payed attention to the character’s biography will know that aside from having razor sharp claws, Wolverine has the ability to rapidly heal any wound he sustains.

For a game that came out in 2009, I really did not expect the game to be as rich in detail when it came to this element of the game. Players are able to see every bit of flesh torn away from Wolverine’s skeleton whenever he is attacked by an enemy.

I remember on my initial playthrough of the game, I would actually go out of my way to get injured just to see how much flesh and skin I could get shot off. Also, if you entered the invincibility cheat code, you could even get to the point where you could just see a metal skeleton for Wolvie’s torso.  

This game had some of the most graphic details for a 2009 Marvel game.

This game had some of the most graphic details for a 2009 Marvel game.

Most games that follow a character with a healing factor would probably not have gone the extra mile like Origins: Wolverine did. In my eyes, Marvel’s Wolverine absolutely needs to follow in the footsteps of Origins: Wolverine in order to make the player truly feel like they are an unstoppable rage machine.

DECENT VOICE ACTING

In any movie tie-in game, it’s always appreciated when the original voices of the characters return, and Hugh Jackman returning to voice his character in the game was another reason that made the game stand-out. Although Cal Dodd is an amazing voice for Wolverine, for me, Hugh Jackman will always be the voice I hear when I think of the character, and having him in the game really helped engross me in the story and cutscenes a lot more.

It was such a delight to play through the game listening to Jackman’s screams and grunts as I would tear enemies apart like a primal beast.

CHANGES TO THE ORIGINAL FILM STORY

Okay, yes, the story in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine film was pretty bad, and I understand that a game mostly based around that story isn’t exactly a good sign. However, one of the great things about being a video game is that it doesn’t need to be canon. There was a lot more room to experiment and include original ideas that the developer, Raven Software, based on major events from the X-Men comics.

Part of the game loosely follows the mainline events of the film (with a few changes) and the other part is presented through flashbacks and is based years prior in Africa before Logan disbanded from Team X.

Personally, I was welcome to the story changes in the game. I particularly enjoyed a section of the game in which you infiltrate the Project: Wideawake site and encounter Bolivar Trask, a character who would not appear in the X-Men films until X-Men: Days of Future Past. The changes felt truer to the comics and a better representation of Wolverine and his past.

This didn't quite make the cut in the film.

This didn’t quite make the cut in the film.

STUNNING LEVEL DESIGNS (ESPECIALLY BOSS FIGHTS)

One of the things that surprised me about Origins: Wolverine is that the level designs and locations were actually really well done. The film didn’t really have that many stand-out locations, at least in my opinion. However, the game was able to work in a lot more great areas like the previously mentioned Project: Wideawake site, the casino area, and all of Africa and the temples.

These locations worked hand in hand with the also impressive boss battles that are scattered throughout the game. I can still remember how badass I felt the first time I took down Trask’s prototype sentinel (very God of War like). Fighting Gambit on top of the casino roof as the neon sign lettering began to fall was also very memorable.

Why did 2000s games have so many jungles?

Why did 2000s games have so many jungles?

These are just a few reasons why, in my opinion, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a great game. Let me know if you agree in the comments!  

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