X-Men: Destiny

3.0 Overall Score

Written by on October 26, 2011 in [, , , ]

It’s not very often that a strictly X-Men only game graces the consoles. Released earlier this month was X-Men: Destiny, the latest game from Activision and Silicon Knights. The premise for X-Men: Destiny is you choose a custom character and then help them learn to use their new mutant powers while saving humanity and mutantkind. Do you have what it takes to save humanity, joining forces with some of the most iconic mutants ever to leap out of a comic book?

X-Men: Destiny begins with you selecting a custom character. There are only 3 characters to choose from, with each having their own backstory. These characters are newcomers to the X-Men Universe and are just discovering their true potential Who you choose doesn’t determine your power though, so don’t freak about who to choose quite yet. Your choices are college football star Grant Alexander, voiced by Milo Ventimiglia, Japanese refugee Aimi Yoshida, voiced by Jamie Chung, and mutant-hating Adrian Luca, voiced by Scott Porter. After choosing your character you then get to pick your mutation. You can have the ability to control your body’s density, use Shadow Matter to quickly dispatch of your foes, or have the ability to project energy via energy blasts. It seems like the powers were designed for one character, but you still have the choice to assign them to whomever you want, even if that means giving petite Aimi density control.

The story begins with Charles Xavier’s death at the hands of Bastion and the X-Men fighting to keep their mutant team together. (If this is your first exposure to X-Men, I apologize for the random story entry). As your character watches the proceedings at a memorial to Xavier, all hell breaks loose and an attack, supposedly lead by Magneto, commences. It is then your job to help other mutants and citizens escape to safety. Your first actions help mold your character’s abilities and establish how you will play through the game. I chose to have the ability to use Shadow Matter while playing as superstar Grant. Starting out you have one special attack you can perform in addition to using your own fists and legs to rain justice. As you progress in the story you will get the chance to unlock new abilities of your choice and pump experience points into each skill to max it out. Earning experience points comes naturally as you defeat Purifiers, other mutants, and robot mechs. By the end of the game you will have 3 abilities that you can trigger to help even the odds during a fight. My abilities started out with a simple whirlwind attack, then progressed to a teleporting attack, and finally a physical transformation that allowed me to become a shadow beast who could swoop down on groups of enemies and send them flying. These abilities are chosen at key points in the campaign where you will get to select which powers you manifest. Sadly, it would have been nice to test these powers out rather then reading about them and hoping they were as cool as they sounded.

In addition to leveling up your abilities you can also find X-genes and suits scattered across the game. When worn or equipped, these modifiers can give you the strength of Collossus, the speed of Quicksilver, or the poison touch ability of Toad. Not only will these modify your stats, but they can even change your physical appearance. After equipping Collossus’ gene your appearance will become metallic. Experiment with these genes and you can really do some damage to your enemies. Along your journey to uncover who is behind the attack you will interact with other famous X-Men characters such as Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Juggernaut, and Magneto. You will also meet less known characters like Surge, Caliban, and Avalanche. I’ve read the comic books and watched the cartoons, but these characters don’t feel like they truly belong in the X-Men Universe. I think the game could have done with a lot more well-known mutants instead of filling the benches with D-list wannabes. The enemies in the game have very little variety and the only joy I got from the game was squaring off against other mutants like Pyro, Magneto, Juggernaut, and Toad. The major force you will go up against are  anti-mutant soldiers called Purifiers, who are trying to capture and kill mutants, be them X-Men or Brotherhood.  Depending on your choices in the game, your character will interact with the Brotherhood, the bad guys, and the X-Men, the good guys. At certain points you will be given a choice to either go with a member of the Brotherhood or the X-Men, and although this should result in you being hated by the side you didn’t pick, the only thing you receive for your choice are spiteful remarks from the other side stating how “disappointed they are in you”. I thought the two sides were supposed to fight each other and hated one another?

By the end of the game no matter how many actions you have done for the Brotherhood or the X-Men, you still have the choice of which side you want to join. On my first playthrough I sided with the Brotherhood and ended up joining them. As you lean more to one side your alliance bar will begin to fill up. This is strictly for show though because, for example, even if every action you do alignswith the Brotherhood, you can still join the X-Men and no one will speak any less of you. Halfway through the game I had the choice of destroying a mutant serum or giving it to another mutant with ill-intents. Regardless of what you choose to do with it, the serum is never heard from again and your actions have no repercussions on the game. I turned the serum over to the Brotherhood and was hoping to see that my actions had actually done something, but all I got were disappointed remarks from the X-Men.

The bad vastly outweighs the good in X-Men: Destiny. The graphics in the game look like something off the original Xbox, the story takes you a lowly 5 hours to complete, and the replayability is low because your actions do little different when you play as each character. If you aren’t familiar with the X-Men series you will be left scratching your head at the end of the game because you need context in order to understand what is going on. It’s nice that they included so much content for the more hardcore X-Men fans, but I think it would have been nice for the game to welcome newcomers with more of a background of what the X-Men and Brotherhood are all about. The battles in the game are also really repetitive and scaling walls by jumping to ledges seems awkward, including times where my character would land and walk on a ledge he wasn’t supposed to be able to walk on. The challenge mode that is supposed to help you gain some extra points and get more comfortable with your abilities is a real drag and is so repetitive that I quickly stopped even going into the challenge arenas. Almost every single challenge revolves around beating up a certain amount of enemies in an allotted time. They even tried to change it up by throwing in a few objective challenges like “Destroy all the mechs”, but sadly it is not enough to revive this game “destined” for the bargain bin.

Overall, X-Men: Destiny is a major letdown. With bad graphics, a lame excuse for a story, and limited choices that don’t really affect the outcome of the game, I wouldn’t recommend X-Men: Destiny as a buy unless it has been discounted. The game had so much potential but feels like it was slopped together. This game is not worth $60, no matter how big of an X-Men fan you are. X-Men: Destiny is out now on the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and Nintendo DS.

A copy of X-Men: Destiny was provided to TMG for the purpose of evaluation and review.


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Author: Loren Nikkel View all posts by
Hardcore Xbox and occasional PC gamer. I love to play multiplayer and co-op games where strategy is key.

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