X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Key events

WGA announces game writing nominees

WGA announces game writing nominees

Assassin's! Uncharted! Wolverine! etc.

The Writers Guild of America has announced the nominees for the 2009 Videogame Writing awards.

As reported by Kotaku, those in the running include Assassin's Creed II (written by Corey May, Joshua Rubin and Jeffrey Yohalem) and Uncharted 2 (Amy Hennig).

Then there's Wet (Duppy Demetrius) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Marc Guggenheim). There may not be room for all the writers on the stage if Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 wins (written by Jesse Stern; additional Writing by Steve Fukuda; story by Todd Alderman, Steve Fukuda, Mackey McCandlish, Zied Rieke, Jesse Stern, Jason West; battlechatter dialogue by Sean Slayback).

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Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 20

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 20

Ghostbusters, Prototype, Bionic Commando, FUEL, Wolverine, Red Faction.

We've reached a new Face-Off milestone as the series reaches its 20th compilation-based instalment and with it, Eurogamer is happy to reveal that its coverage has evolved once more. Our comparison features have traditionally been rich with video and screenshot-based assets that are the best they can be possibly be, but with the arrival of this landmark, the brand new Eurogamer HD video player comes into play, giving you the choice of watching either the cropped 1:1 pixel-mapped embedded video streams, or else a higher-quality 720p presentation.

Just click the HD button where appropriate to get the full picture. It's worth pointing out that the default setting for the HD player is 960x540, with the 720p encoding scaled down to fit the window. To bypass this resizing, hit the full-screen button at the bottom of the screen. CPU-rending h264 encoding techniques, combined with running the full 60Hz output of each console at 50 per cent speed, allows us to retain enough quality to make the comparison videos actually work, and now you get to see the full picture. Every frame, every pixel. Nice.

Onto the games then - a six-strong line-up of the most recent high-profile releases. All killer, no filler!

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Wolverine, Killzone head PSN update

Wolverine, Killzone head PSN update

Healthy pile of content to sift through.

Scratchy Marvel superhero Wolverine is the growl of the town this week; the film launched on Wednesday and the game arrives tomorrow. There's a demo here to try out, and our review is poised, ready to strike. Hint: brutal but banal.

The other eye-catcher is the Steel & Titanium map pack for Killzone 2, adding an extra pair of multiplayer maps. The Cops and Robbers mode - does what it says on the tin - for Burnout Paradise might be worth a look, too. Expensive, though.

The rest is fairly run-of-the-mill. Incidentally, the Brain Challenge Bundle is a brain-teaser game plus add-on packs.

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Should we call you rubbish, Weapon X?

These days, games based on films can go a lot of ways, but if there is one constant - one inviolable law of adaptation - it's that they agree on age ratings. You can't send the kids to see a film and then miss out on selling them the merchandise. Not so X-Men Origins: Wolverine. If you're 12 years old, you can go and see the film in the UK. And then you'll have to wait six more years to go home and play the game.

That's because Raven's Wolverine isn't just a bit violent; it's relentlessly, unapologetically, 18-rated vicious. From the very first cut-scene onwards, Hugh Jackman's Logan rips people apart. He cuts off legs and arms, and when he's not cutting off heads, he's rending them to slush. When one of his captors thinks he's dead a third of the way through and mocks him, lifting up his hanging head by the hair to pose for a picture, he gets a claw through his neck and face. This is Wolverine at his most bone-splittingly, limb-severingly diabolical.

It's not just the cut-scenes, either. The combat system isn't so much geared towards ultraviolence as avoiding restraint. Your basic light and heavy attacks are a merciless whirlwind; the charged Rage attacks, which unlock at intervals when you level up, are spinning adamantium tops and flying Sideous drill assaults; ground strikes are repeated stab attacks to the face and chest. By comparison, the counters, throws and dodge-based reversals are relatively benign: all you do is break arms at the elbow and impale enemies on standing spikes, eagerly identified by the game's kill-them-with-this! feral sniffovision filter. When it comes to the last guy in the room, the game goes into slow motion so you can savour the carnage. It rarely warrants anything less.

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As the old saying goes, nobody sets out to make a bad game. (Though that's hard to believe while playing Golden Balls.) Developers always set out to make a great game, as they'll always tell you, using words like "raise the bar" and "push the envelope" and "heavily influenced by God of War".