Review – X-Men Origins:Wolverine [Wii]


Most video game and film enthusiasts have learned that a good movie does not always make a good game – in fact, as a rule almost all movies make bad games.  Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, X-Men Origins Wolverine on the Nintendo Wii is no exception.  It’s a prime example of the boring, uninspired, cookie-cutter and mediocre excuses for entertainment the vast majority of movie franchise games tend to be.  Let’s find out why this waste of great source material should never come anywhere near your Wii.

The problems start as soon is you create a new game, let me set the scene and then I’ll explain: As the first level loads a small amount of text informs the player that Logan, aka Wolverine, has settled down with the love of his life somewhere in Canada, and everything is perfect.  The scene opens with our hero working as a lumberjack, when he suddenly hears a scream.  After a knee-jerk reaction from Logan, a text overlay informs you that you must rescue “Kayla,” as lumberjacks close in for an attack.

Here we see the game’s first problem: poor storytelling.  Having not seen the movie, I have no idea what’s going on as the game opens: the player is thrust into a storyline without any back-story.  Who is Kayla? Why is she in danger? If this is the happiest time of Logan’s life, why are lumberjacks suddenly trying to kill him? For the most part, these questions are never answered.  Completing the first level will tell you that some person named “Creed” started the trouble but it’s not clear who he is or what he has against our hero.  The game goes on like this as you jump from location to location, tearing through enemies without any well defined goal, villain, or plot to drive it forward.


At least tearing through enemies is fun right? Well… not really.  Wolverine claws his way through the opposition with “light” and “heavy” attacks, and although he can perform combos, the effect is generally tedious and unsatisfying.  Enemies feel like they have little weight and special moves are difficult to pull off and often not worth the effort. Wolverine can target and “lunge” onto enemies with a flick of the Wii remote, but it can be unresponsive and the slow animation of the attack halts gameplay by a number of seconds.

Lunges are also used to progress through stages, which often seem to come to dead ends until the player can find a predetermined target point at which to lunge in order to proceed.  These sections come up often, and disturbs the flow of play, forcing the player to wander around the area pressing the “lunge target” button in hopes to find an anchor point.  Combined with a bad, uncontrollable camera, this makes for a frustrating level environment.  In addition to lunging, motion controls are occasional used to open a door, flick a switch, or activate a special attack – similar to the lunge controls these can be somewhat unresponsive and tedious.
It’s painful to describe the specifics that make this game a poor experience, so let’s just speak in generalizations for a moment – X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a mind numbingly generic action platformer.  With uninteresting and frustrating level design, tedious and boring combat, incomprehensible storytelling, and a stiff and often unresponsive controls, this game finds itself on par with every other mediocre movie tie in that was ever rushed to market. Like so many games before it, it’s a cliche skinned with a popular movie franchise – bad game-play, bad levels, bad voice acting, and not fun.

Even the game’s box seems aware of how bland and generic it is, describing it as “A unique Wolverine adventure,” with “relentless combat,” offering generic descriptions desperate to paint the game as palatable without lying.  Long story short, pass this one up – you won’t regret it.