Review: X-Men 2: >br>Wolverine's Revenge

An X-Men game devoted to Wolverine, that should bring a smile to the faces of a lot of comic fanatics out there. The long-nailed wolfman has a lot of fans worldwide, and has potential for a good beat-em-up game. The idea of beating up and impaling bad guys as a guy with beasty claws and sideburns sounds pretty good to me.

This game's story was written by Larry Hama, who has written a good deal of Wolverine comics. The story doesn't follow the X2 movie; instead it tells us more about how Wolverine became Wolverine. As Wolverine you escape from the Canadian military facility that turned you into a living weapon. Later you find out that the same scientist also implanted a fail-safe device in you in the shape of a deadly virus. Needless to say you go on a quest to find the antivirus. The story is pretty nice for a movie or comic licensed game. So far so good…


The graphics are not what you'd want to see in an X-Men game. Wolverine looks all right from behind, but the other models look bad, especially in the cut-scenes. Professor Xavier may sound like Xavier, but he certainly doesn't look like him. The levels all have their own theme, but inside a level there's not much variation, which makes the rooms rather boring to look at.

All this doesn't mean that Wolverine's Revenge is an ugly game, its decent looking. The animations are done well, its fun to see Wolverine slaughter his opponents with his Strike Moves (I'll get to them later). One thing that's done very well visually is the Heightened Senses Mode, which allows you to see traps, enemy footsteps and hidden stuff. In this mode the screen turns orange and a little fuzzy, the controller rumbles a bit and you can see footsteps (your own too) and scent trails.


The game's sound is better than the graphics. The effects sound fine, chopping up bad guys sounds like it should sound. It would've been nice though to hear a bit more variation in the sound Wolverine's claws make against different materials. The music sets the mood nicely most of the time, but sometimes it's a bit too exciting when you are just looking around in a room that's positively enemy-free. One place where the sound shines is the dialogue. Wolverine is voiced by Mark Ham ill, who has done a lot of game voices (he did the villain Rip burger in Full Throttle for example). Ham ill manages to give Wolverine a good low gritty voice, pretty impressive if you remember his Luke Skywalker voice. Professor Xavier is done perfectly by Patrick Stewart, just like in the movies.


Wolverine's Revenge is a fighting game with some stealth thrown in. Most of the time you have the choice between running in and slashing everyone to pieces, or sneaking in and killing everyone with Stealth Strikes. There are Strike Moves to bring variation to the button bashing. When the word "Strike" appears, press X to do a Strike Move. Wolverine will finish off anyone unlucky enough to be near with his claws. You can upgrade your Strike Moves by collecting dog tags, which you earn by doing Stealth Strikes. Higher level Strike Moves do more damage and require more button pressing (X-Y-X-Y for the highest level). Since Stealth Strikes and Strike Moves are the easiest way to kill people, you'll quickly find yourself doing these most of the time, and after seeing the moves a few times they get rather boring.

If that was the only gameplay problem, it would still be a decent X-Men game, but there are worse problems. The enemy AI is bad, really bad. Enemies run into fire without thinking, they have trouble walking around objects and other enemies; they shoot at each other if you're behind them and their eyesight is very selective, sometimes they see you from a great distance and sometimes they don't notice you when you walk right by them. Also, using stealth isn't as much a choice as the game makes it look like, you pretty much need the dog tags so you can use higher level Strike Moves on stronger enemies and a lot of levels demand you to stay out of sight. Then there's the dodgy camera. The camera automatically follow Wolverine, but can't go through solid objects, it will go around them. This means that when you walk through a door the camera will violently swing to the side so it can go through the door, which changes the direction you're walking in, possibly causing you to be seen by a surveillance camera. There are a lot of 3d games with excellent camera systems, so if you make a game, make is as original as you like, but please steal a good camera system!


The combat system is really simple, one button for kicking and one for punching. With your claws out you dash out more damage, but you hit slower and you don't have the nifty regeneration that's on automatically when your claws are sheated. This causes you to keep you claws sheated most of the time, not really what I had in mind when I picked up a Wolverine game.

In Stealth Mode you can crawl alongside walls and look around corners to see if there's someone waiting for you to Stealth Strike them (just push X when the screen says "Strike"). The only problem with this is that you can't attack and you stick to the wall to make the crawling easier, this results in annoying situations involving people shooting at you while you try to push your control stick in the exact opposite direction of the wall you're hugging (which is not always as easy as it sounds like thanks to the camera).


Wolverine's Revenge is not a very long game, there are just six parts, usually divided in three acts, and most of them don't take too long to get through, if you don't screw up too much. If you do happen to screw up though, you have to play the entire act in which you died over again. This gets pretty frustrating in the stealth levels. If you don't know what to do in the end of a stealth level you'll have to sneak through the whole level again every time you tried something that went wrong.

The ending really surprised me, In the cutscenes I'd seen a lot of classic comic villains which I hoped to fight against (I won't spoil who they were), but I'm afraid I'll have to wait for the sequel for those fights.

There also are a few bonus items to find around the levels, comic book covers and Cerebro files. The comics covers give you alternative costumes for Wolverine to wear and the Cerebro files give you info about a few characters and places in the game. These are nice additions to the game but I don't think they will make you want to play the game again.

Final Say:

The idea of an action/stealth game featuring Wolverine sounds very attractive, but unfortunately a good idea is not enough to make a good game. This game suffers a lot from little mistakes, bad camera, sloppy AI, dated graphics, things like that. Not mistakes that make a game really bad, but they make it pretty hard to really enjoy this game. I think it's best to rent this game. If you hate it, you can be happy you have to bring it back. If you like it, you can be happy you've played it. If you love it you can always buy it afterwards! I'll just wait for the X-Men: Legends action/rpg that Raven is making right now.

N-Europe Final Verdict

The fun moments in this game are too far apart.

  • Gameplay4
  • Playability3
  • Visuals4
  • Audio4
  • Lifespan2
Final Score



Nice story
Heightened Senses Mode


Bad camera
Unresponsive controls
Bad AI

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