South African director Gavin Hood’s 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine film was okay at best. Thankfully the movie tie-in XBOX 360 game, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Uncaged) is a whole lot more satisfying! Well, if you enjoy nothing more than clobbering, disembowelling, hacking, dismembering, slashing and beating your entire way through a proper action title that is…

Developed by Raven Software and released by Activision in 2009, X-Men Origin: Wolverine (Uncaged Edition) is an action-adventure game that is heavy on the claw-wielding action and gore, and definitely not one for the kiddies.

The story for the game is a combination of the wolverine back story presented in the film and an all original script dreamt up by Raven Software(which is supposedly heavily influenced by major events in the X-men comic book universe). The main story thread follows much of the movie in that years after leaving the covert Team X military group, Wolverine and his girlfriend are attacked by Sabretooth, with Wolverine defeated and his bone claws broken – and his girlfriend left dead.

Colonel Stryker offers him a chance at revenge by suggesting the adamantium process, but as we all know, when Wolverine uncovers the double deception all hell breaks loose. This main thread is interwoven with a flashback thread which sees Logan tackling a mission deep in the African jungle years before, trying to locate Stryker’s possible meteorite deposits as part of the Team X military mission, and it is these two intertwined story threads that carry you through the acceptably long action game (though with too many flashback segments in my opinion).

Anyway, you basically have three attacks available to you as Wolverine, light attacks, heavy attacks and grabs, with these all being combined into various combo systems to provide for a very large set of attack options. You also have access to a spectacular lunge attack, a nasty beserk mode to tap into and of course your feral senses, which reveal otherwise hidden environmental attributes.

That mentioned, the environment also plays a big part in your attach arsenal, as you can impale or toss you enemy into just about any hazardous factor you can spot lying about.

And yes, you do have a healing factor.

For the Uncaged Edition of the game, Wolverine exhibits the damage he takes by losing chunks of his flesh with each bullet or knife hit, and these gory wounds then slowly heal themselves as your healing factor kicks in. Also, spectacular dispatch kills which dismember, disembowel, and generally do some pretty nasty stuff to his hapless enemies, are also always on hand.

The game is pretty simple in that respect, as it is pretty much kick, punch and jump all the way, with only a few pauses to do some environmental challenges like climbing up ropes or swinging around ledges. (There are also some pretty cool helicopter fight sequences thrown in as well, to be fair). In terms of enemies, the game literally throws them at you all the time without break, meaning that this really is one good and satisfying button masher – which is assured of releasing any work stress you might have come home with!

In terms of graphics, Wolverine looks pretty nice for the most part and features some highly detailed environments. Although not a staggering amount of different character models when it comes to the bad guys, the game always does its best to look and behave like a pretty beast throughout the varied stages, backed up by some fantastically rendered CG scenes. As for the voice artists, it is a nice touch to have Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber back on board to voice their respective characters from the movie, and of course the rest of the bunch do a pretty fine job as well.

And yup, the background music is suitably awesome as well.

In summary, I won’t say that this is the perfect game and that it is free from bugs. It does have some camera niggles and sometimes some logic failings, can become a little repetitive at times, and the flashbacks will undoubtedly begin to annoy you as they keep breaking the flow of the story, but for the most part it is simply one of the best butt-kicking, action-packed, button mashing, brawler action adventure games out there at the moment, one which doesn’t need too much cerebral energy to partake in, and one that won’t punish you hard by killing you too often – thus making a game that ends up being a thoroughly enjoyable romp in the process.

I loved it, and can highly recommend it to anyone looking to literally take apart wave after wave of enemies with a character as iconic, feral and brutal as Wolverine!

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