If any was like me and was an X-Men fan growing up, this game’s title alone should be enough to set fans salivating at the mouth. I know I’m not the only one that watched the 90’s animated cartoon over and over. Sadly, what Silicon Knights has done to the X-Men franchise has scarred me for life and the resulting putrid muck that is X-Men Destiny has subsequently ruined my childhood.
The game opens on a peace rally in memory of the deceased Professor X, but things quickly take a turn for the worse as an unknown force attacks the rally. Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, believes Magneto is behind the attack. Your chosen character’s super powers are awoken during the attack and you must defend civilians against the Purifiers — an anti-mutant organization that plays the villains throughout the game. You get to choose from 3 very generic characters — the football jock, a human purist member or an abandoned Japanese girl. Once all hell breaks lose you are given the choice of 3 different power types to choose from — energy projection, density control or shadow matter — each having their own strengths and weaknesses.
Combat plays out as a hack-n-slash button masher. The levels are broken up into “rooms” where the goal is to defeat a set number of enemies. The only difference here are the enemies you face and the number to defeat. You can perform light and heavy standard attacks as well as learn new combo attacks, but just tapping the same attack button continuously can get you through just about everything in the game.
Throughout you will interact with different X-Men and Brotherhood characters using a very simple dialog system. The choices don’t really have any consequences on how the game plays out sans the ending scene. The dialog system is so bare-bones, at some points it flat out asks which side do you want to go with, instead of making the choices throughout the game matter.
You gain more powers as you play that awaken in the middle of boss fights. Before the boss clobbers your character a cut scene will pause the action giving you choices on what your new power will be. I was expecting to see the new move in action, but as soon as you select your choice, the game just resumes the fight like nothing happened. During at least one of the boss fights I don’t think I even performed the new move.
Everything in the game is just a mess. The plot is uninspired and generic and the A.I. has pathing problems in cut scenes – they can be clearly be seen walking into other characters or walls. Not to mention the fact you are playing an X-Men game and you are not controlling any of the actual X-Men. I recommend staying away from this title, even if you are a huge X-Men fan; it’s just not worth the river of tears that will flow after playing this game. It takes roughly 4 hours to beat the game the first time through. After beating it, you are dropped into interactive credits as you defeat wave after wave of enemies.
While it is cool to see the X-Men in a new game, the only thing that stands out is the voice work — I enjoyed hearing Nathan Dr…I mean Cyclops during the dialog sequences. Visually the whole game is a mess. San Francisco is uninspiring and bland and the characters look like they could be part of an HD remake. It’s just the icing, or the lack of icing on the cake for a game that has nothing going for it.
Note: The X-Men Destiny review was written based on the PS3 version of the game.