Wolverine Demo Analysis: Unreal Engine Returns

Probably one of the most impressive demos released on PS3 and Xbox 360 recently, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, is to put it in very basic terms, excellent fun. The concept of melding Marvel Comics' most beloved berserker with God of War-style gameplay is simply inspired, and I'm looking forward to taking a look at the full game in more depth for the next Face-Off feature.

Initial analysis of the demo code reveals a number of curiosities. The game is powered by Unreal Engine 3, and its performance cross-platform (while generally sound) seems to vary according to the skill of the developer. In the case of Wolverine, the general conclusion appears to be that the PS3 code offers a higher frame rate in the cut-scenes, while the Xbox 360 version offers tangible performance advantages in-game.

Screen tear appears to be the main difference between the two sets of code. A vertical green line on the graph notes the presence of a torn frame on 360, while a light blue line serves the same purpose on PS3. As you can see, there are a hell of a lot more blue lines than green ones, most especially prevalent during gameplay. Frame rate read-outs for both versions pretty much speak for themselves. Overall, Wolverine's a decent game (and the best movie tie-in for ages) but what the video does prove is that regardless of platform, it is prone to plenty of dropped frames, and that is reflected in a sometimes dulled response from the controls, something you do notice more in the PS3 build. Not a major issue in the greater scheme of things, but notable regardless.

Look out for more Wolverine in the upcoming Face-Off 20, currently in the works. There's a strong selection of games in the roster, including Red Faction Guerilla, FUEL, the native 1080p Sacred 2 and more...

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About the author

Richard Leadbetter

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.

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