The game is directed via a series of flash-backs, which can get confusing, but the majority of the time works pretty well from a narrative perspective. Players will encounter the "origins" of the likes of Gambit and Sabretooth — which, again, will delight or depress depending on your elitist status.
You'll get about 10 hours of gameplay from X-Men Origins: Wolverine; but plenty of collectables and statistic-based trophies will encourage a second play-through.
Much of the action in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is based upon Sony's God Of War franchise. There are light and heavy attacks, as well as throw moves and specials. The framerate can get a bit choppy, but on the whole the action remains fast and furious. The key is linking combos and performing counters. There's also an excellent lunge attack which allows you to lock onto an enemy and leap towards them from a distance. Combat is rewarded by experience points which allow you to power up Wolverine in a way that suits your playing style.
The other major gameplay mechanic in X-Men Origins involves some solid platforming. Wolverine can use his "feral" senses to open up paths, allowing the player to explore several different environments for hidden "dog tags" and "costumes". Exploration may warrant a second play-through - and both the combat and platforming are fun enough to not make this a chore.
At times, X-Men Origins: Wolverine really kicks up the production values. That's not to say that it's not hit-and-miss graphically (it is), but there are undoubtedly some moments that will make you feel extremely cool. Be it a boat-chase, car-chase, the action taking place through an enemies sniper rifle or, well, one boss in particular; we're certain you'll find something that makes you go "wow" at some point in X-Men Origins' campaign.
We're not the type of people that think a video game has to be ultra-violent to be good (we love flower - Ed). We do however think that the violent nature of Wolverine's character portrayed in X-Men Origins suits both the game and the person himself. Surely no one was naive enough to think that having enormous metal claws for hands wouldn't do damage.
We don't want to spoil anything for you but, blimey, there is one boss in X-Men Origins that nearly made us drop the controller. We're not kidding, he's not even the last boss, but he's enormous. In fact, we'd go as far as to say that God Of War III will have a hard time rivalling the sheer size of this boss. Other fights with Gambit and Sabretooth become the major hook of the game. They are excellently designed, challenging and cinematic. A credit to the developers.
We guess the biggest problem with X-Men Origins is that its presentation can be so hit-and-miss. One second you're battling a boss that's so amazing we don't want to spoil it, the next you're standing in front of a grainy texture, with a dead enemy floating 10-feet above the ground. It's the kind of spit and polish that is always lacking in a game forced to release by a movie company — thankfully X-Men Origins has enough enjoyable combat and "wow" moments to make up for the oversights.
Throughout X-Men Origins, you'll be able to collect power-ups and experience that improve Wolverine's abilities. It's a neat - if somewhat shallow - when it works but, powering up special attacks aside, we didn't find that the other power-ups made much difference. Perhaps it's just us?
We said it when we reviewed Wanted: Weapons Of Fate, and we'll say it again here: X-Men Origins is put on a blu-ray disc which can store up to 50GB of data — compressing cut-scenes should never be neccessary. Sort it out please.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine aspires little more than to be a fun movie tie-in; something it achieves quite easily, with room for a few thrills along the way.