A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a review of the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC version of the video game adaptation of the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is much more violent than the PG-13 movie and has earned an "M" rating from the ESRB. Using his metal claws, Wolverine brutally kills enemies in a variety of ways, from chopping their heads off to decapitating them at the waist. During one scene, Wolverine takes a helicopter pilot and pushes his head up into a moving propeller. Blood splatters across the screen, and limbs are often seen flying. Players will hear some cursing. Families looking for less violence in a Wolverine video game should consider the versions of X-Men Origins: Wolverine created for the Wii, PS2, and PSP which are "T"-rated. There is also a X-Men Origins: Wolverine for the DS which is rated E+10.
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What's it about?
While the movie can be enjoyed by audiences age 13 and over, don't assume the same for the video game release of X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, an extremely violent action game. Similar to the film, the game focuses on how Wolverine turned into the ultimate human weapon, including where he inherited his metal skeleton. It also delves a bit into the relationship between the X-Men member and rival Victor Creed, better known as Sabretooth.
Of course, Wolverine's signature feature are his razor-sharp metal claws, which he uses to brutally kill enemies. Players can string together attacks using a series of button presses, or deliver special moves such as a Claw Spin or Claw Drill. Wolverine also uses feral senses, during which the screen blurs and a blue line points players to the right path. Harmful and helpful items in the environments are also highlighted with reds and greens respectively. Wolverine's health is represented by a life gauge -- a heart inside a red circle -- and a red regeneration meter. When the meter empties, Wolverine's regeneration is ineffective, and foes can chip away at his life gauge. Damage dealt to Wolverine involves some gore. Flesh burns off his body when set on fire, often showing parts of his skeleton. When he heals, players can see the wounds close up.
Is it any good?
For mature players, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a simple yet satisfying action game. While the game focuses heavily on combat, there is a solid mix of platforming and some light puzzle-solving. Wolverine can use a variety of attacks and combos to defeat opponents, and his Lunge strike is perhaps one of the best. Enemies are not only diverse, but require a unique strategy of attack, from sword-wielding assassins to the larger, beastly Wendigo prototypes. Combat is quite vicious as well. Wolverine routinely cuts off limbs and decapitates foes with very bloody results.
Unfortunately, the overall presentation is pretty drab. Graphics don't look polished, particularly cut scenes in between the action. The story is incredibly confusing, as it jumps to battles Wolverine encountered in Africa and how that ties to current events within the game. Also, because Wolverine is so powerful, storming through enemies can feel easy. Even the strongest bosses can be conquered on the first attempt. Even with these weaknesses, mature players may discover this game featuring the ultimate weapon makes for the ultimate weekend rental.
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