So there I am"a superhero. I always wanted to be one"ever since I was little. I wanted superpowers, an adolescent power fantasy, the works. Picture me in junior high thinking ‘Man, if I were the Hulk I’d just stomp that bully.’ But I never pictured that I’d have such a casual disregard for human life"and that I’d like it so.
Yes, folks, I’m playing Wolverine’s Revenge by Activision. And I’m really enjoying it. I’m usually a bluenose about gratuitous violence in games (to the point where the GiN editors were all ‘are you SURE you want this one"we can find you some happy daisy game if you’d rather’) but this is worth it"every single bit. Yes it’s violent"no way around that. But it’s violence that works well with the character, the action, and the storyline. In short, they turned me into Wolverine. And that’s cool.
The story holds up better than most of these silly games do. Wolverine was experimented by the evil Canadians in the past"we know that. And now he has 48 hours to figure things out or he’ll die. Bang, you’ve got a mistreated hero, dangerously violent, going back to the site of his torture to claim vengeance upon his tormentors and discern his long-buried past. It couldn’t be better if Hemingway had written it. Bravo.
The action sequences are good. The superpowers are handled easily and conveniently, unlike many other games where it’s a nine button sequence to use a power. The ‘healing factor’ that Wolverine is famous for just occurs. If it’s been affected by something in the game you’re notified and you move on. It’s simple as pie and twice as sweet.
Are you getting the impression that I like the game? No, really. I did.
Clearly the designers went to a lot of trouble to recreate the comic book experience. And it shows. Little things like the bonuses you can get are in there. Finding hidden comic books with classic Wolverine stories allowed me to change uniforms among the many that Wolverine has worn over the years. I stuck with the leather jacket and jeans but had a brief fling with the yellow and black outfit that he made famous in the early 80s. What can I say? That’s when I started reading comic books.
The combat system has many flashy special moves that aren’t too difficult to operate and use to throw people around, stun them and suchlike. But it really comes alive with the ‘Stealth Strike.’ Using your animal senses you can sneak around, largely unseen (but not always"be warned) and attack from surprise to do special attacks and cool moves. It’s worth the effort to learn to sneak around as it enhances the game greatly. And really, who doesn’t want to do a double back flip off a second story roof to land on a bad guy with your claws out?
Added to the fun is the fact that Patrick Stewart actually does the voiceovers for Professor X. At first I thought it might be an extension of the movie contract but Mark Hamill does the voiceovers for Wolverine. It’s no Hugh Jackman, but still very cool. I mean Mark Hamill will always be Luke Skywalker"so anything he does is cool, let’s just face that. And he has done good voiceover work before on games like Full Throttle. He does a great job here as well.
Needless to say anymore, I loved this game. It’s not overly filled with gore, yet remains true to the spirit of both the movie and the comic books, and is enjoyable to play. I’m not sure there’s more one can expect of a video game, short of actually giving me claws that is.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox