by Marko Susimetsä
previewed on PC
Action and superpowers (cntd.)
The level-up system also involves sort of mutagens that you will find hidden away along the levels as you play the game. There are about 2 dozen different mutagens with different powers available and Wolverine has to choose which three to keep active at any given moment, forcing the player to make decisions on what sort of abilities will best serve Wolvie as he tracks down his enemies.
All the fighting in the game is promised to be brutal and fast-paced. Blood and gore will splatter around satisfyingly as you take advantage of the various finishing moves that Wolvie has on his menu. And his regular fighting moves leave nothing to be desired: normal and strong attacks with grabs, slicing and dicing. As you progress, you will get additional combos that you can use to take down your ever-more-dangerous enemies.
All the damage that Wolverine himself receives is procedurally modelled. Wolverine's body consists of three layers - skin, flesh and bone – and as he takes damage for example from a shotgun blast, his skin and flesh will be blown away and his adamantium-layered skeleton will be revealed. Then, as Wolvie heals up, his flesh grows back first, followed by the skin until even the bruises will have healed away, leaving only unwounded skin (and hair – Wolverine is hairy and his hair seems to regenerate the same way as his flesh).
There's a limit to Wolverine's ability to heal, however, which also serves as a sort of balancing factor for the game. As Wolverine takes damage, an on-screen bar will show you how much healing factor you have remaining (sounds more or less like shield or armor in some other games like Crysis). Once that bar is gone, all further damage will go directly to the actual health bar and can lead to Wolvie's death.
Will it satisfy the fans?
That's the question on every comic reader's mind at the moment. The developers have stated that they are also fans of the character and have wanted to include stuff into the game that doesn't appear in the movies – their favourite moments from the comics – but that can be both good and bad. At worst, the game will be just a haphazard collection of fast-action levels and continuous fighting with little sense. At best, we'll see the dark brooding side of Wolverine, the effect of his painful childhood and the torture that he's suffered in the testbeds of the military.
Only time will tell if X-Men Origins: Wolverine can overcome the curse that seems to afflict all movie tie-in games. We'll try to be there to see if this one is an exception.