Re(?)Considered: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Logan's >RUN

Hi, sorry, this game doesn't feel very retro, does it? But it is, you know. It came out in 2009, which based on the recent COVID-induced new way of measuring the passage of time, was roughly ELEVEN MILLION YEARS ago.

Based on the absolutely excellent movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a hack and (checks notes) slash title starring the eponymous and ominous James "Logan" Howlett Q. Wolverine, as he makes his way through a series of extrapolations of events in the film. The major difference is that while said extrapolations were presented in that cinematic masterpiece as "scenes", here they are offered in the form of "levels". 

The main thing that you do in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is dive towards enemies with Wolverine's claws pre-snikted, resulting in their violent death. There's a button you can press that causes a reticule to appear on the nearest enemy, then another button makes you lunge at them. This is both amazingly cool and ceaselessly funny. It's not even just a combat move, you have to lunge at things as a sort of platforming challenge, sometimes. Death is the path you walk.

Other than lunging, it's a really rather well-made and genuinely good action game with your expected unlockable moves and combos. It's very much like God of War, to the point of being, quite frankly, a massive rip-off. But that's to be expected from Raven Software, whose stock and trade seems to have been massive rip-offs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not slagging them or their games off - but from Heretic to Take No Prisoners to Singularity, they made a lot of games that were really a bit similar to other, more popular efforts. Still, despite Wolverine's familiarity, it's a damn good bit of gory fun.

And gory it is, shockingly so - it took until the much later movie Logan for ol' Sniktbubjean to really cut loose with his claws, pun obviously intended. But in this game it's quite rare that ten seconds pass without something getting something important sliced off their body. I hate to say it, but all this violence is just really, really cool. I know how ghoulish that sounds, but there's only so much suspension of disbelief that you can tolerate when it comes to adamantium claws not causing any kind of meaningful damage. Not here though. Heads flying all over the shop. Who's going to clean up this mess, that's what I want to know. They'll probably make Forge do it.

The long and short of it is, this is the first (and, to date, only) X-Men game that actually makes you feel somewhat like an X-Men. It's just you in there, as Wolverine, going stark staring bonkers with the shiny claws. It is quite sincerely brilliant fun and one of the better movie-licensed games I've ever played. It's no five-star classic but the level design is solid, it runs very nicely (full 60fps on PC, if you can find a copy) and there's plenty of murdering fun to be had. Yes, it's a little bit repetitive, but who cares? Wolverine's got a full healing factor which means you can watch the flesh grow back over his bones after you intentionally blow him up to watch it happen. You sadistic son of a bitch.