Let me just start by saying, ugh.
As a superhero fanboy, I give any and all superhero games, movies, comics and ideas a chance, but sometimes an opportunity is missed by a mile.
I rented “X-Men Destiny” with the initial goal of playing through it at least twice so I could get a few different stories and difficult levels. Well, that goal was easily met three times rather quickly. But before I jump the gun, let me start at the beginning of the game.
The game starts with an opening video – don’t skip it, it helps you understand the story. In this opening, the three potential characters are revealed briefly- Adrian, Grant and Aimi.
After the opening video you get to pick who you want to be and there is a bit of a backstory for each character.
Adrian is a purifier – the bad guy – whose dad trained him to hate mutants like no other: the tragic hero. Grant – who I hate – is the star player for the football team, and really, really wants to get with Emma Frost – good luck. And then there’s the Japanese character Aimi.
Oh, I should also mention here Adrian has some type of mental illness where his dead dad talks to him in his mind; he is also the only worth while character to play as. I like that his character was involved in the conflict before and not just some random person walking around. But alas, I chose Aimi my first time through.
You get to pick from three different base powers: density control – which is just buffness – energy projection and shadow matter. My first round, I picked energy projection.
A riot breaks lose and you must fight your way to the bridge while Emma Frost is talking in your mind.
I don’t fully understand why she decides to help you, but apparently a fresh mutant who has no idea how to control his or her powers is the logical choice to save the world.
You meet up with other X-Men and Brotherhood characters ranging from well- known characters like Pyro, Ice Man, Nightcrawler and Gambit, to your lesser-known characters most people couldn’t care about like Pixie, Northstar and Caliban.
You also get extra powers as the game goes on. Some are good – energy projection’s force field – and others suck, like density control’s obsidian shards.
X-Genes and Suits*
Okay, the really only awesome thing about this game is the pretty deep customization you can do with the X-Genes. There are three types: offensive, defensive and utility. If you get a complete set you get a bonus ability, but mixing and matching is your best bet to make a good character.
Genes range from increased damage, to running like Quicksilver, Wolverine’s healing factor, to Emma Frost’s diamond skin, hopping around like toad and fire damage from Pyro. The suits only make a difference if you do a complete set; I just picked suits I thought looked cool with my character and powers. For example, Aimi plus energy projection plus Avalanche’s suit equals a cool-looking mutant.
X-Men or Brotherhood?*
Choosing your side is pointless, really, until the last cut scene; the game plays out the same way whether you side with X-Men or the Brotherhood. The only difference is the final cutscene and who fights along side you. Brotherhood is better because you get to fight alongside Juggernaut, thus making fights slightly easier.
1. The difficulty setting is weird. Easy is really easy – I died once, to one boss – normal is a bit harder and hard is annoying, because average enemies who do diddly amounts of damage to you on easy and normal have the potential to kill you. They can also hit you during combos, like when Grant with density control did a slow-motion ground pound, I got hit several times before my attack went off.
2. I beat it the first play through in under four hours …really? It took me longer to beat “Mario Brothers 3” the first time.
3. As for the voice acting of the three main characters, it sucks. Everyone else does pretty a pretty good job – Gambit, Nightcrawler, Pyro and Colossus have appropriate accents, Magneto sounds like a dictator, etc. Except Forge … he kind of sounds like he has had a stroke sometimes, not all the time, just sometimes.
4. A wide variety of characters to interact with, if you like X-Men, you’ll like all the characters in the game. There are a bunch of them, and most are pretty far off the beaten path when it comes to importance.
5. This one is just for me, but Wolverine doesn’t show up until about halfway through, and is only in the game for like 15 minutes total. I’m glad when my X-Men or Marvel games are not centered around Wolverine, I frankly do not like the character.
If you like X-Men and Marvel, then rent this game from Blockbuster for $1.99 on a Saturday morning, beat the thing – twice – and take it back that night. You’ll have a few hours of fun and get to enjoy a game that could have been the “Mass Effect” or “Dragon Age” of superhero games, but tripped at the finish.
Well, it tripped at the start really, but the idea was there.
Story* – The game has an original story and I applaud it for that, but it doesn’t work; it’s predictable and kind of lame. 4/10 *
Replay Value* – The game has a trick to make you play it again, and that is the idea maybe a different and better story awaits you in a different faction. Here’s a hint: it doesn’t. 4/10 *
Visuals *- I liked them. Pyro’s fire looked like fire, the energy projection powers looked cool, I thought the characters looked nice and the game didn’t glitch or do anything wonky with the visuals at any point. 8/10
Audio – I was actually a fan of the background music to a point, but eventually it just became a blur and I forgot about it. Aside from vocals there wasn’t too much audio aside from random glass-break sounds and guys shouting, but there was a Wilhelm Scream or two. 6/10
Voice Acting* – The strongest part of this game was the X-Men and Brotherhood’s voices. They were well done and I greatly enjoyed them. However the leads of Adrian, Grant and Aimi were mostly a letdown. 7/10 *
Gameplay* – The basic controls of “hit everything that moves” is fairly simple, certain characters take a bit of effort to take down, but for the most part, keep attacking and you’ll do fine. 4/10
Bosses – Something I didn’t touch on in the review so I don’t give away an spoilers – don’t worry, the game is not very good at hiding them anyway. They were decently fun fights; they were kind of different, and there was a pattern to a few bosses that were the same as previous, but you got a few fun boss fights in there.
I will give one spoiler: If you can win the first boss fight, you can win the last one. 6/10
Overall:* 5.5 out of 10, aka sad Jordan for hoping the new X-Men game wouldn’t suck.