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X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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Game Reviewed: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Raven Software
Reviewer: Swartzn
Platform: Xbox 360 (also on PS3)
Category: Action
ESRB Rating: M
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Game Description:

“I’m the best at what I do and what I do isn’t very nice.” -Wolverine

Pretty much sums up the nature of the main character of this video game. Wolverine has been a favorite of comic book fans for decades and the release of a movie has spurred on the release of this game. The player will discover the origins of Wolverine and those closest to him by working their way through his history seeking to understand the mystery that once shrouded this beloved character. That being said, though he is beloved, he is not cuddly and neither is the story line. Friends become enemies, enemies become friends and all the while Wolverine is trying to decide which ones will stay friends or foes.

The gameplay centers on Wolverine’s mutant abilities to heal and kill. His main weapons are his claws which he uses to lay serious waste to all who stand in his way or simply those he wants something from. Sometimes the claws are bones and sometimes they are an indestructible Adamantium metal depending on which part of the story is currently being told. These claws are used in a variety of ways to dismember, destroy and decapitate all enemies.

Wolverine does have upgradeable features; as the player gets more and more kills he gets more and more deadly. The attacks get more fierce and visual with blood. Another key component to the game is using the environment to eliminate enemies. Most anything from pipes, electrical stations and vehicles can be used to kill the enemy. Wolverine is also known for his sarcastic off color comments. Language in this game is definitely vulgar and inappropriate.

What Parents Need to Know

Violence

Blood, Gore and Intense Violence are what this game’s very realistic cut-scenes and gameplay is all about. Wolverine has objectives to accomplish in each level and there is no shortage of enemies trying to stop him. Some have mutant superpowers; others are just regular soldiers out to defend their location. This game is played in a third person point of view where you mash buttons like crazy to perform blood spraying dismemberment on the enemy. Wolverine can perform certain “moves” that cause blood to even appear to splat on the TV screen. There is a crunching sound that accompanies the three foot blood spray after a kill is made.

Bodies do not disappear and remain on the ground in their grossly disfigured state. Sometimes Wolverine will rip people in half, cut off their heads, impale them on trees, light them on fire, use helicopter blades to decapitate enemies, throw them off cliffs, cut off parts of their bodies and beat them with it along with all kinds of other such actions. This game is clearly designed to allow the player to slash their way to victory. It is worth mentioning as well that enemies about to be killed can be quite vocal about not wanting to die just before Wolverine goes to work on them.

Language

I encountered:
God D**N used 5 times
S**T used 4 times
Son of a B***H used 2 times

Sexual Content

There is tight fitting clothing and cleavage in this game. It is not a main part of the game, but it does show up more than a handful of times. Two characters are seen greeting each other with a kiss. There are also sexual innuendos and jokes made between characters in the cut-scenes.

Spiritual Content

Part of the game takes place in some old tribal ruins that have some imagery in the form of statues that may or may not have been used for worship. However there is no direct mention of idol worship of any kind.

God’s name is mentioned in the form of cursing and/or in random reference to meeting your maker just before enemies are killed.

Reviewer's Thoughts

Personally I did not feel this game needed to have so much blood and gore, especially for a comic book hero adaptation. It does get a bit over the top at times and even slowed down the progression of the story to show it. I did, however, like the storyline and learning more about the Origins of Wolverine. I would say the “M” rating is right on the mark. I would not recommend this game for kids due to the fact it has so much blood, gore and intense violence. There is no way around it all because it is necessary to advance through the game. (Note: There is a "T" rated version of this game for the Wii, PS2 and PSP where the language and violence are supposed to be toned down some.) After completing the game I found it had little replay value and once you have played the game for about an hour or so you have pretty much experienced what the game has to offer.



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