Activision and Gene Pool unleash the surly Canadian in his own game.
The X-Men have triumphed over just about every evil imaginable in their long-running comic series. There really hasn't been anything capable of stopping the diverse team of mutants in their 20-plus years of fighting evil. This hasn't been the case for the video games that have been made over the years starring the team. Game developers have been struggling to capture the mutant appeal in game form ever since the first crude sprites puttered their way across the television screen in LJN's X-Men game for the NES. Unfortunately, several generations of consoles and a wide range of games later, developers are still trying to build the perfect game using the franchise. The latest attempt, X2: Wolverine's Revenge, is being developed by UK-based Gene Pool. The game takes a more focused approach to bringing virtual life to the comic franchise by keeping the spotlight on Wolverine, arguably the most popular member of the team. We had the chance to check out a previewable version of the multiplatform adventure to see if the game is on its way toward doing the clawed one and his teammates some justice.
The game's story, written by Marvel scribe Larry Hama, who penned the Wolverine comic for several years, draws on the mutant's past for material and focuses on the government program, called Weapon X, that helped make him the deadly killing machine he is. For those unfamiliar with Wolverine's history, the Canadian hero has one of the more convoluted backgrounds in the hero profession. Born with the mutant abilities of enhanced senses and reflexes, superhuman recuperative powers, and retractable claws, the mutant known as Logan came to be involved in a military program called Weapon X, which trained him to be a lethal soldier. To enhance his already formidable natural abilities, scientists in the program bonded an unbreakable metal alloy, called adamantium, to his skeleton. While the program left him with a handy set of skills and an unbreakable skeleton, the military training didn't do Logan's head very right. The end result was a slightly unstable and feral, and undeniably deadly, killing machine who parted ways with the program and set out to get his head in order. Eventually he came to find a home with the X-Men and has found some measure of peace as a member of the team. Unfortunately, as often happens in the comics, Logan's past comes back to haunt him as an annoying legacy of the Weapon X program rears its nasty head. Apparently a dormant virus, called Shiva, created to destroy Weapon X subjects who went rogue, has fired up in Logan's body. Despite the healing powers of his recuperative abilities and the brilliant mind of fellow teammate Beast, Logan is still 48 hours away from pushing up the daisies. With the clock ticking, Logan heads out to the original Weapon X facility where he was trained, in the hopes of finding an antidote before it's too late. As you'd expect, this is just the tip of the iceberg, because once Logan starts snooping around, a lot more trouble comes to light.
The game is broken up into several acts set around the world, each consisting of several levels. The action in the game sticks close to your standard 3D action game: You'll explore areas, collect items that will let you use different classic costumes and view different pieces of art in a gallery, solve puzzles, and brawl with low-level grunts as well as an assortment of bosses. The game also throws in a healthy dose of stealth-oriented gameplay that nicely complements the mechanics of Logan's enhanced senses. While the collection and exploration aspects are fairly standard, the game's combat system features some unique touches, thanks to the implementation of stealth elements and Logan's mutant abilities. You'll be able to perform punches and kicks that can be chained together in a variety of simple combos, and your attacks can be greatly enhanced by popping Logan's claws, which will offer a different combo to use in battles. However, one of the greatest assets in Logan's arsenal is his "strike" attacks, which you'll be able to use at specific points during a battle. The attacks are automatic combos that do a hefty amount of damage to your foes. You'll be able to trigger strikes during a fight when your foes are properly positioned around you. Once you've maneuvered your enemies into the right positions, green arrows will appear to let you know which ones you'll hit with the attack. While you'll start out with a very small number of potential strikes, by collecting dog tags you'll be able to earn more strikes that will hit more enemies. You'll earn the tags by performing stealth kills, which are a variant of standard strikes that quietly take out an enemy without attracting unwanted and deadly attention from reinforcements.
- Release Date: Apr 17, 2003 (EU)
- PEGI: 12+
- Release Date: Apr 17, 2003 (EU)