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?
- Out now
- On DS, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii
- Developed by Silicon Knights
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.
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!
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.
- Entertaining story
- Create your own mutant
- A nice range of powers
- The cast of X-Men characters
- The choices system potentially adds replay value
- 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.