X-Men Origins: Wolverine fails to deliver

I am a comic book fan. Say what you want about comics and how they are for kids. But that’s a topic for another column.

Wolverine was one of the comic book characters I always dug. He was the “best at what he did” and what he did was not pretty.An issue of X-Men didn’t go by without long-time X-Men writer Chris Claremont having Wolverine say so. Long-time readers saw him gut people with adamantium claws.But as the years passed, Wolverine became nicer, gentler and boring.

I wanted to see him slash through people like a hot knife through butter.Thanks to the X-Men movies, the Wolverine known for his “berzerker rage” is slowly returning … just not in video games.

I should have been in second heaven when X-Men Origins: Wolverine hit the shelves.The game is based on a character that I like and it was getting high marks.One publication gave it 8 out of 10. Eight is pretty good.80 percent of the game is good, right? And the game is based on the movie? Sure. So I dropped my hard-earned coin on the counter and claimed such a treasure.

The game tells another story.Perhaps as gaming and comic book dorks*, the other reviewers wanted to like the game a little too much.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a typical hack-and-slash game. I know it’s Wolverine and hacking and slashing is what he does. But the combo, streaming attack is very God of War. The controls boil down to smashing buttons and seeing what happens.

The puzzles and challenges are better in other games like the Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider series. As gamers, we have done everything Wolverine has and we have seen it done better.

The majority of movie video games are worthless. However, this is no excuse to make a bad video game. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and Dark Athena prove that it is possible to make a great, playable video game based on a movie.

The Wolverine character is wide open for any number of video game interpretations. He has been everything from a samurai to a spy. Could you see a Wolverine game with a mix of Sam Fisher stealth or with RPG elements along the lines of Fallout 3 or Mass Effect?

How about a first person game? It may seem awkward, but it would pretty neat to see claws pop up and we claw our way through a boss battle.

The story line could be anything. Maybe Wolverine could be hunting down clues from his past or developers could use the “Days of Future Past” storyline or an RPG game could be based on the future Wolverine helping a mutant from the past stop Mutant Armageddon.

What I want to see and what I challenge the developers to do is take Wolverine and make a game that all comic book and video game dorks would love to play. Not make the same games that we have been subjected to repeatedly over the years.

A great Wolverine game is possible to make, but developers need try something new.

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