X-Men Origins: Wolverine Impressions

We see the damage razor-sharp adamantium claws can do to a human body in this bloody first look at the upcoming movie tie-in.

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X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
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Marvel character Wolverine's previous appearances in games have been mainly kid-friendly and gore-lite, which is somewhat odd considering that the mutant's indestructible claws should result in plenty of decapitations, severed limbs, and exposed intestines with every attack. Raven Software's latest take on the feral superhero--the movie tie-in X-Men Origins: Wolverine--looks like it's taking those claws pretty seriously. Our first look at this game proved to be a blood-splattered affair with plenty of brutal attacks on display.

Wolverine isn't playing nice in this game.
Wolverine isn't playing nice in this game.

And when we say brutal, we mean it. Our hands-off look at some of the levels in Wolverine showed the character dishing out some gruesome and visceral punishment. The game looks like it might reach levels of blood-spewing mayhem not seen in a comic-book-based game since 2005's The Punisher. The third-person action game will use the storyline from the upcoming big-screen film (as well as adding its own levels), with stars Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber lending their voices for the characters of Wolverine and Sabertooth, respectively. Our demo began with the title character free-falling through the skies over Africa (apparently his helicopter had just been blown up), with his high-impact landing making a small crater in the ground. A 1,000-foot drop means nothing to the regenerative mutant, however. In a matter of seconds, Wolverine had bounded out of the crater, ready to take on the small band of enemy soldiers that had surrounded him.

Wolverine will sport both quick and power attacks, which can be threaded together to perform increasingly powerful combos. Landing one of these combos will result in a quick cinematic view of one of Wolvie's various finishing moves, which is where the ultra-violence comes in. One of the finishers we saw included Wolverine holding back a soldier's head and stabbing him through the neck. Another had Wolverine impaling an enemy, lifting him up in the air, and repeatedly stabbing him in the chest with his other set of claws. One of our favorites (in a sick way) was the finisher that saw Wolverine slash an enemy across the stomach, pulling out his intestines along the way. Wolverine will also have a lunge maneuver, which will allow him to leap large distances to target enemies, as well as a feral sense ability, which will allow him to spot special paths across levels and see enemy weak points.

As well as upping the gore quotient, Raven seems to be going for a cinematic feel, with several set-piece action sequences planned. As an example, we were shown a level set in the Weapon X facility underneath Alkali Lake, where Wolverine had to escape a wall of water rapidly rushing down a tunnel. Wolvie used his lunge ability to quickly leap onto an enemy's truck, which was also trying to escape, and proceeded to jump from vehicle to vehicle, attacking soldiers as he went. In another sequence, Wolverine was being pursued by an attack helicopter and had to quickly run across a bridge while the chopper was destroying it behind him. The final sequence we were shown should please longtime X-Men fans: Wolverine taking on a 100-foot-tall sentinel. Wolverine's feral senses kicked in, highlighting fuel cables running along the sentinel's feet that had to be attacked to hobble the giant robot.

Guess who's about to get some claw-in-face action?.
Guess who's about to get some claw-in-face action?.

If the violence we saw in our quick demo is any indication, X-Men Origins: Wolverine looks to be a decidedly more adult take on the popular superhero. Check back with GameSpot soon for a full hands-on preview of the game.

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