by Marko Susimetsä
previewed on PC
Wolverine is amongst the most popular comic book characters in the world, but we are yet to see a decent game carrying his name. Now, Activision and Raven Software are trying to satisfy the fans by bringing in an M-rated movie tie-in game that will be released in May concurrently with the movie hitting the theatres. Every gamer knows to be wary of movie tie-in games, but all the fans of Wolverine are certainly hoping for the best from this one. Let's see what we know thus far!
Who is Wolverine?
According to Wikipedia the “wolverine (Gulo gulo) is the largest land-dwelling species of the Mustelidae or weasel family”. In fact, the original concept of Wolverine was that he was a regular happy little weasel minding his own business until High Evolutionary (certain very powerful being) got it in his mind to turn this poor creature into a man-like being. Later iterations of the character luckily forgot all about this origin, and the origin story that the upcoming movie and the game tell us will be a bit more credible (aside for being about a superhero, that is).
Wolverine's catch phrase “I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do isn't very nice” tells us a lot about the character. Basically, Wolverine's character was devised after the Vietnam war when anti-heroes – meaning mainly heroes who didn't have an ever-lasting shine for any government – were very popular. You will not find Wolverine making funny remarks to his enemies while he punches them out cold and delivers them to the authorities (like good old Spidey would likely do), but rather he will skewer them with his retracting adamantium-layered bone claws, holding a half-burned cigar-stub between his teeth.
Action and superpowers
Wolverine's abilities have always focussed on the feral, including superhuman agility, strength and senses in addition to the retractable claws and fantastic ability to heal from any possible wound. These powers make him more or less an invincible opponent in a brawl – even if you manage to defeat him once, he'll likely just come back later for a rematch.
In a game, this sort of a hero needs special sort of enemies in order to make the game at least a bit challenging, or a way to limit some of the hero's abilities until you get to the biggest baddies. X-Men Origins: Wolverine makes use of both approaches. First, Wolverine will gain experience as he progresses in the game, which lets him “level up” and develop his abilities (for example combo attacks) to keep up with the enemies. Second, the enemies will get smarter and more dangerous as the game progresses as you will face off a flight of helicopters in mid-flight, taking them out one by one, a 200-foot Sentinel, or one of Wolverine's old super-villain nemeses.