Wolverine's the best he is at what he does and he'll be back in movie theaters on Friday, May 1 in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"!
Here on Marvel.com, we're celebrating the Canucklehead's return to the silver screen all month long with COMPLETE Wolverine stories in Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, ever-present updates on the upcoming movie with all the latest photos, videos and more!
So sharpen your claws and dig in,
By Rob Bricken
Jeff Poffenbarger knows Wolverine is the best at what he does, and although what he does isn't very nice, it makes for a heck of a video game. The Raven Software senior producer is certain that both fans of the movie and hardcore Wolverine comic fans alike will equally love the "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" video game, due out on May 1. In this 5-part interview series, the developers at Raven discuss making the ultimate Wolverine video game; in this third installment, Poffenbarger discusses the Wolverine game that almost was, what he knew he had to get right and more!
Marvel.com: How long have you been working on the game?
Jeff Poffenbarger: The game was in production for about two and a half years. The most challenging aspect was always making sure the combat was fun. It was our key focus and took a lot of iteration to get right. At the end of the day we feel it's the strongest part of the game—the development time allowed us to make sure of that.
Marvel.com: How much access did you have to the movie?
Jeff Poffenbarger: We got some early versions of the script before they started production. We'd fly a guy or two out to read it. Overall, the production group at Activision, led by Brian Pass, handled most of that relationship with Fox. I know that Marvel saw a lot of builds and gave feedback. We'd see a lot of it and put it in the game. We were always on the same page.
Marvel.com: Do you consider this more of a movie game or a Wolverine game?
Jeff Poffenbarger: It's a Wolverine game first and foremost. That is, it could stand alone without the movie. Now, don't get me wrong, it is a movie game. It has the likeness of the actors, including Hugh Jackman, and it touches on a lot of the plot points. But our goal was always to create a Wolverine game.
Marvel.com: What was the most important aspect of Wolverine that you wanted to get in the game?
Jeff Poffenbarger: Well, there are a few aspects we felt were important from the get-go. Combat—we wanted this to be our bread and butter. The second thing would be regeneration. We wanted to get that right, have Wolverine taking damage in the game, then healing in real time. At the end of the day, I would say these two features were our biggest focus.
Marvel.com: What aspect of the game are you most excited about?
Jeff Poffenbarger: I'm like a broken record here, but I'd say the combat. Specifically I'd go with "the lunge." We needed a way to have Wolverine close on enemies quickly, especially ranged enemies. A couple of the gameplay programmers here worked out this move/feature called the lunge. Basically, at any time in the game, I can press a button to highlight an enemy and press another to pounce on them, sometimes at considerable distances. It really comes straight from the comics. You always see a panel with Wolverine, claws out, leaping towards an enemy.
Marvel.com: In other interviews, you mentioned that you were making a Wolverine game before the move was announced. Can you talk about what that game might have been?
Jeff Poffenbarger: Surprisingly, what we were designing was close to what we ended up with. The level we were working on just so happened to be in the movie as well. Those that weren't, we kept anyway. The core of this game is Wolverine, so the combat, the regeneration and the attitude would have been the same, movie or no movie. We feel like the final product is true to the Wolverine character and that's what is important.
Come back tomorrow for another behind-the-scenes Q&A.
Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now!
For more Wolverine, check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited and our "Wolverine: Required Reading" list. Like gaming? The official "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" video game hits stores May 1! And remember: "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" comes to a theater near you on May 1—visit the official "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" movie site!
Check out the official Marvel Shop for everything X-Men!
Download episodes of X-Men: Evolution now on iTunes!