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X-Men Origins: Wolverine Video Game

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Video Game Q&A: Brian Raffel

Studio head Brian Raffel explains why Raven Software is the best there is at making the ultimate Wolverine game

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, True Believers—Marvel.com's the place to be!

By Rob Bricken

The "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" video game isn't Raven Software's first tangle with Marvel's least merry mutant; the developer created the "X-Men Legends" games and the intensely popular "Marvel Ultimate Alliance," all of which featured the ol' Canucklehead. But this new game wasn't just about making something based on the upcoming film, but making sure the "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" video game (due out May 1) became the ultimate Wolverine game as well. In this final installment of our five-part interview series, Raven head Brian Raffel discusses the studio's history with Marvel and why Raven and Wolverine are perfect for each other.

New ''X-Men
showing the HUD

Marvel.com: Why do you think Raven is so suited to making Marvel games in general and the "Wolverine" game in particular?

Brian Raffel: Because we are Marvel geeks at heart and that gives us insight and passion [for] the characters. Wolverine has always been a big favorite here, and when doing the "X-Men Legends" and "Marvel Ultimate Alliance" games, we always wanted to focus on Wolverine due to his attitude and abilities. Wolverine also had a great story and history that inspired us to want to make a game about him beyond just the claws.

Marvel.com: How did Raven first get involved with Marvel?

Brian Raffel: Years ago, before the "X-Men" movies came out, we wanted to do something with this license. Activision had been talking with Marvel about their many different super heroes, and we let them know that if we could get X-Men we would be very interested. We were lucky to get the license, and it has been a blast working on these titles.

Marvel.com: What has Raven learned from its "X-Men Legends" and "Marvel Ultimate Alliance" games that it brought to "Wolverine"?

Brian Raffel: We learned a lot about Wolverine from our previous games because we had a chance to experiment with ways to show his character as well as the best ways to use him for fun, dynamic gameplay. This helped to hone his core gameplay strengths as well as his mood and humor, which we took full advantage of in the "Wolverine" game. This exposure to the character, and the ability to play up his key elements in a deeper and more satisfying way, helped us nail the gameplay and story in this title.

New ''X-Men
showing the HUD

Marvel.com: How much access to the movie did Raven have?

Brian Raffel: We had a great amount of accessibility to parts of the movie. We got to go on set and talk with Hugh Jackman, and he was very polite and accommodating. We knew that things could change pretty rapidly on the movie front, so we tied in what we could. But we were very familiar with Wolverine's origins, so it wasn't too hard to create the best gameplay and story backdrops.

Marvel.com: Do you have any stories from the movie set?

Brian Raffel: Sadly, I stayed at Raven rather than going to the set because we have three games going on this year at Raven. Also, I felt that Dan Vondrak, our project lead, was the best fit to go and feel out the set and talk to the actors and producers. It certainly sounded like he had a great time, and now I wish I had gone!

Marvel.com: Your team has talked about how it's not just a movie game, but a Wolverine game. Can you expand on that a little?

Brian Raffel: We started off making a Wolverine game, and when the movie aspect was brought up, it was close to our initial plan of how Wolverine came to be who he is. So it made sense to synch up together and show that movie games can stand on their own, and supplement the movie rather than feed off it.

"X-Men Origins:
Wolverine" Xbox
360 box art

Marvel.com: What's your favorite moment in both the game and the movie?

Brian Raffel: I don't really want to say about the movie, but in our game I really think that the Sentinel battle is the best! You won't believe it until you see it.

Marvel.com: What's next for Raven after "Wolverine"?

Brian Raffel: We are hard at work finishing up on "Wolfenstein," and our own new game, "Singularity," will also be out this year.


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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: Evolutionicon now on iTunes!

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Maybe it's just me, but I felt the Wolverine game's graphics and cinematics could have been a lot better considering what Raven has behind them that they've worked on. Some of it is ok but left some others to be desired. And I'm comparing the quality of the game in contrast to Sony's own God of War and even Ninja Gaiden Sigma as an example. I may come back to this a little later.