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Review

Review: X-Men: Destiny

Does X mark the spot?

The main problem with reviewing a game after the release date has passed is the fact you’ll undoubtedly hear lots about it, whether you want to or not. That certainly happened with third person brawler X-Men: Destiny, and the verdict wasn’t sounding too good. Never-the-less I volunteered for the review, mainly because I have been following the game since the announcement trailer. So, has it been worth the wait?

Info:
  • Out now
  • On DS, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii
  • Developed by Silicon Knights
The game starts by asking you to pick one of three characters; Aimi, Adrian, and Grant, who each come with their own back-story. After a brief cutscene the story kicks off at a peace rally in memory of the dead Professor X, who has been killed in a battle with Bastion. Things don’t stay peaceful for long though, and a mysterious attack on the rally puts your character in danger.

It’s here where you first discover your mutant power, and you get to choose one of three which will be yours throughout the game.  Shadow Matter gives you access to ethereal blades which are great for close combat. Energy Projection allows you to fire spheres, and is ideal for long range combat. Density Control allows you to manipulate your density, meaning you’ll pack a harder punch.


This seems like a fair fight.
These powers can be upgraded as you go so, for example, you’ll unlock new combos for Shadow Matter. At key points in the game you’ll also be allowed to choose an additional power based on your original choice. It’s certainly an interesting twist to the game, and with your powers awakened it’s time for you to go and find out who’s behind the attack.

One addition that I found delightful was the ability to unlock different suits, granting you access to various abilities. Donning Wolverine’s famous yellow garb sees your attack speed increase, whereas dressing like Surge will give your dodge manoeuvre a little electrical aftershock. Some may not like this as it almost feels like your character lacks any real identity, instead choosing to play dress-up, but I enjoyed the variety on offer.

It’s just a shame that the enemies you face are barely worth using your powers on. You spend a fair chunk of time being told to “defeat ‘X’ amount of enemies” to continue, and right on cue wave after wave of identikit bad guys will come stumbling into the room, straight into your fists/feet/projectile ball of death. They go down extremely easily.

At first this isn’t too much of an issue, and it’s actually quite amusing to blast through these halfwits, but by the halfway stage the game is crying out for some more variety. The boss battles are a bit of a mixed bag too, with some being fantastic, whilst others totally missing the mark. I wasn’t going to name names, but the Gambit boss battle made me crease up with laughter as he decided the wall was a bigger threat than I was, and decided to attack that with much vigour. I always thought it bad form to hit a person who has their back turned but, you know, he was pretty much asking for it.

Turn a blind eye to the generic rent-a-goons, and you’ll be pleased to see that X-Men: Destiny features quite a cast of X-Men characters, be it fighting at your side or against you. Magneto, Quicksilver, Pixie, Emma Frost, Cyclops, Gambit, Colossus, Surge, Pyro, Toad; I could go on for an absolute age and they all stamp their mark on the rather entertaining story.


Smell my armpits. SMELL THEM!
Speaking of the story, the game likes to appear big on choices, and you’ll be asked numerous times to make a decision, normally in relation to whether you want to take on a mission for the X-Men or the Brotherhood. There’s also a conversation system in place, giving you the chance to ask key characters multiple questions, which in turn gains you greater knowledge of the situation. This all leads up to the big question: will you be joining the X-Men or the Brotherhood? As a great man once said, “with great power comes great responsibility”… or something.

It’s not a terribly sophisticated system, and the majority of decisions don’t impact the game majorly. However, the story will branch off at points which adds a layer of replayability for those who want to go back and find out what happens if you choose a different path.

Visually the game is inconsistent. Some of the character models look fine but others, such as Mystique, look positively dreadful. Textures are flat, animations are a bit wooden, there’s the odd moment of slowdown and the resource repetition is so obvious in places. Saying that, a lot of the mutant powers look pretty good, and the voice-work is also well done.

Pros

 

  • Entertaining story
  • Create your own mutant
  • A nice range of powers
  • The cast of X-Men characters
  • The choices system potentially adds replay value

Cons

  • Initial playthrough can be done in less than six hours
  • A large dose of repetition means you might not want to play through again
  • The visuals are dated

X-Men: Destiny fits our 6/10 scoring criteria perfectly. It’s an “above average” game, that succeeds in certain areas whilst falling down in others. There’s no doubt that there is enjoyment to be had from this title, but one can’t help but wonder how good it would have been with a lot more polish, and some variety thrown in.

It ends up as a bit of a missed opportunity.

Score: 6/10

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6 Comments
  1. Mick939
    Member
    Since: Forever

    Seems about right so far, but i got the havok edition and hace relearned that activision have bad customer service and are shit with theres codes

    Comment posted on 06/10/2011 at 18:32.
  2. iAvernus
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    Better score than I expected tbh.

    Comment posted on 06/10/2011 at 19:48.
  3. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    it still looks like something i’d like to play, but no real rush.
    it could have been great, but then it could have been awful.
    awful superhero games aren’t exactly rare.

    Comment posted on 06/10/2011 at 20:52.
  4. zeroTRoN
    Member
    Since: Jul 2011

    Played this. Dont buy it. You can tell they rushed this out b4 the big competition, this fall. It had potential , if they wouldve worked on it & released XMen n the Spring, But this was sooo BORING!

    Comment posted on 06/10/2011 at 21:10.
    • hate_smith
      Member
      Since: May 2011

      Is it worth a rental?

      Comment posted on 07/10/2011 at 06:19.
  5. Shakugan
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    Saw the gameplay and it looked awful…X-Men? More like EX-Men

    Comment posted on 06/10/2011 at 21:45.

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