X-men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition

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Thread: X-men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition

  1. #1
    Senor Sausage
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    X-men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition

    TLDR; Decent game, worth a rental at the very least, that's stretching it a bit too.

    There's some sort of joke going around the gaming industry, I'm sure of it. Every other developer believes their hack and slash has to be filled with mind boggling combos requiring ridiculous timing, need patience reaching far beyond the years of the average player and a character that is simply a borderline psychopath. Or at least monstrous eyecandy for the fairer gender. No one appreciates simplicity anymore.

    Clearly this game has a lot to live up to, it is an A)movie game, B)comic book game, C)sequel to a terrible first installment. The hype and expecations are stacked strongly against it.

    Speaking about Wolverine's revenge, the difficulty was downright frustrating and the forced stealth sections were stupid. End of story. While it is scored decently by critics, its actual score is a plummeting value in my book. Its the game the critics like, but everyone openly hates. Like Doom 3, though I actually enjoyed the latter.

    This game is a simple hack and slash, that's it. Combos are simply light attacks followed up with heavy attacks. Heavy attack by itself is context sensitive, performing a finisher, combo finisher or uppercut depending on the state of the target. Light attack is simply the opener to every other combo out there. However, the timing required for the combos is lenient.

    Basically you tap light until your satisfied the enemy is weakened enough, then finish it off with a heavy attack. Suprisingly, for something so basic, the different combos are well animated and are visceral enough to provide some feeling of achievement for the player. That's a plus in my book, simplicity and satisfaction in the bag. Before we go further, air combos are basically the same as the ones on the ground. It's extremely simple, hard to believe from watching actual gameplay.

    The game however helps the flow along by introducing secondary combos. The lunges, quick kills, environmental kills and dodge disarm.

    Lunge is simply Wolverine leaping at the enemy, once contact is made a finisher can be performed. This usually outright kills weaker enemies and immobilises the stronger ones.

    Quick Kills are performed by grabbing an enemy successfully using heavy attack, and then a successive heavy attack when Wolverine unsheathes his claws and the light plays off them. He is basically invulnerable while performing it. It always kills weaker or weakened enemies. Otherwise he basically punts them, the animations are extremely interesting for this one.

    Environmental kills always kill the enemy. They however require a successful grab and an environmental object nearby. These insta-kill objects are recognisable in feral sense, clearly shaded in green. So for the most part, you'll be opportunistic in using them rather than actually using them very actively. The objects are in good supply and are extremely useful, throwing an opponent at them is easy to pull off.

    Dodge disarm is simply dodging towards an enemy and using heavy or light attack. Wolverine punts them across the room, either killing them from fall damage or allowing you to lunge towards them and finish them.

    Last but not least, fury attacks. Fury attacks are simply unblockable attacks, there are four. Whirlwind, Screwdriver, Berserk and Cyclone. Whirlwind is a radial slash that can be mantained for an extremely long time, little damage, less than auto attack for the most part. Screwdriver is a "charge-like" attack with extremely heavy damage but a very high rage cost. Berserk increases damage, extremely high health regeneration in spite of taking damage and induces fear in your enemies. It's not an unblockable attack, but is possibly the most cost effective out of all the fury attacks. Cyclone is a strange one, Wolverine simply bounces around doing good amounts of damage while slashing up the ground. It's actually pretty fun and useful.

    Counter attacks are useful, but they are lenient with the timing. You block just an enemy hits you, then light or heavy attack to initiate an extremely powerful counter attack. Combat reflexes increase the window for the timing somewhat.

    Overall, a simple hack and slash game. You'll play it for the animations which are all beautifully choreographed and rendered.

    The biggest problem, in their quest to make simplicity enjoyable, which they acheived admirably, they made the game easy. They combat this deficiency somewhat by introducing a levelling system. The opponents you meet at first in a new stage only become easier to defeat by spending experience on upgrades to your physique and fury attacks. They also become tougher and tougher as the game progresses.

    Combat reflexes are another measure, a stat for each class of enemy. You kill enemies to gain experience for each category. For example, kill enough robots and your grabs will have a higher chance to be successfull as the enemy weakens, you will deal more damage towards them and find it easier to initiate a counter attack. Combat reflexes make a subtle but huge difference. Most of the stronger enemies are distinguished by their ability to easily counter most of your stronger attacks unless you weaken them up a bit and hit them quickly enough with one. For example, I at first could not always lunge at an enemy successfully, now I always can. Otherwise he would counter me and punt me. A pretty well executed mechanic, speaks of good design.

    Mutagens also tailor Wolverine immensely to your style of play. You simply pick them up through normal play, not earn them. You can equip three at a time. If you like to unleash lots of fury attacks, it'll affect your loadout. Problem is, you'll never learn to regret using any particular combination. You don't make any real choice, the game is still easy enough to finish without them. They simply all feel like a crutch to offset your lack of ability.

    Even bigger problem ? Normal mode is simply too easy the second time round. Remember opponents get tougher as the game progresses ? The result is easy cannon fodder for the first stage and three-shot or five-shot kills for the last one. Making it a chore to play through the game again, as no challenge is offered for the first few stages. Thankfully there is a hard mode.

    This game is gorgeous to say the least. I'm playing on the rig below at 1440x900 and 4xAA 8xAF. PC users have to muck about with the .ini files to achieve AA, AF and any 16:10 resolutions however. The support is definitely there, just go looking for resources on how to acheive it. I'm using the Microsoft Wireless node to connect my 360 controller to my PC for this one. I heavily recommend this route, it's pure gold not having to pause the game to figure out the controls since it's read to you using 360 visual cues.

    The framerate is very smooth, only slowdown is when there is volumetric smoke, which you'll be using your feral senses to see through anyway.

    Animations are easily the best thing about this game, the most entertaining of any game I've ever played. I dare say Mortal Combat fans will be astounded. I might upload some pictures later. The biggest graphical feature touted however, is real-time deformation of Wolverine's physique as he takes damage. Simply put, it's impressive to see his skeletal structure as he recovers from a plasma rifle hit.

    Environments are fantastic and well detailed. Textures are well done and models are crisp and clearly defined.

    Lighting is actually pretty basic, shadows aren't all over the bloody place like Wolverine's revenge though.

    If this game wins an award, it's for the graphics. No surprise there though, this is from Raven Software. The team has an intimate working relationship with iD.

    Wolverine sounds respectable, good job. I was concerned he would sound like an idiot or a cartoon, he's actually neither exaggerated or stupid. Hit the sweet spot they have.The soundtrack is forgettable, the sound design team concentrates on ambient sounds. But even then, it's mostly non-existent. Pretty much confined to hearing your heartbeat. I'm using onboard sound though, so I won't pass judgement. Combat has sufficiently satisfying sound effects, good enough. The game seems to rely more on visual overload for immersiveness. Enemies sound downright comical at times though, but for the most part sound great.

    Level Design
    For the most part linear, but sufficiently detailed and the environments speak of good concept art and realisation. My only complaint is the travesty of a final boss, we all know who he is. It's almost comical since Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is by Raven Software too and helped catapult him to fame among gamers. Environments include, African Jungle Temple, Weapon X Facility, Sentinel Facility, Alkali Lake Winter Forest, Las Vegas construction site and the "facility".

    You'll find yourself enthralled at some moments and ho-hum at others. The art design is extremely impressive for the most part, but the levels feel linear and constricted.

    There is some minor backtracking, but hardly enough to warrant a sentence. The token puzzle sequences in such hack and slashers are simple and satisfying. I won't complain, Mass Effect only had you doing a tower of hanoi puzzle, the other was a joke. Loved that game to death anyhow.

    Biggest complaint. Length, sure I know it's based on a movie. But the length leaves you filling unfulfilled.

    Simplistic. Undeveloped. Uncut gem rolled in pig lard. I dunno, it's hardly interesting.

    Very little, I daresay you've seen it all in one playthrough. This quality alone makes it a prime rental candidate. It's extremely fun while it lasts though

    Final score: 7.5/10

    It's a decent game, but it has no lasting qualities. At the very least worth a playthrough. I'll grab a few screenies of Logan doing quick kills.
    Last edited by Transfurzz; 05-20-2009 at 01:23 AM.

    Xbox Live Gamertag: Weistber

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  2. #2
    Senor Sausage
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Last edited by Transfurzz; 05-20-2009 at 01:22 AM.

    Xbox Live Gamertag: Weistber

    Gaming Rig Status: Up
    | i5-2500 | MSI GTX560 | 2x2GB Corsair ValueRam

    Games I'm playing: Witcher 2 (PC), RAGE(PC), Fallout: New Vegas (PC), Gears Of War 3 (X360)

  3. #3
    Mako Shark PriMaTe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    I only played the demo on xbox, it was mindless fun while it lasted. nice work on the review

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  4. #4
    "Watches You Sleep" Shark taggart6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Great review. Tried the demo which I found boring. All these new action games are trying there hardest to be the next God of War though very few even come close.
    If we hit that bull's eye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

  5. #5
    Sleeps with the Fishes
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    but everyone openly hates. Like Doom 3, though I actually enjoyed the latter.

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