PS3 Review: By Don Parsons
I am going to say two things, and I want you to say the first thing that comes to mind. “Action-RPG” and “X-Men”. Now I’m going to read your mind and say your first thought was X-Men Legends, a legendary action-RPG featuring Marvel’s finest team. When X-Men: Legends came out, I was in heaven. Mixing some of my favorite gameplay elements (button mashing and RPG mechanics) with my favorite superheroes was a golden idea. They followed it up with X-Men: Legends 2, then switched to the Marvel Ultimate Alliance branding. So you can guess that when I heard Silicon Knights, developers of Too Human, was working on X-Men: Destiny, I got excited. But the contents of this game are anything but exciting.
To set the stage briefly, Professor X has died, the X-Men are in shambles and led by Cyclops, and the Brotherhood is fighting for mutant supremacy. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s hard to expect more. While the overall story arch is generic, the actual writing to the story is atrocious. You play as a new mutant. By new, I mean you play a character without a developed story, and they try to develop this character in the span of the game. What would normally take months, if not years of comic book writing to go from “I have powers, I’m scared!” to “I’m ready to take on the world!”, X-Men: Destiny accomplishes in less than an hour of storytelling. Each character has a different background, but the main story remains the same; fight the Purifiers.
While you can’t play AS an X-Men character, you can plug in X-Genes, which give you some of their perks. For example, you have a suit (mostly for aesthetics), and three X-Genes you can equip. Equipping Wolverines offense gene raises attack, and regenerates health. Some genes change your appearance, like Colossus’ gene. There are a whole slew of X-Genes and suits, but they are randomly generated, which means if you have to restore a checkpoint, and get a gene again, it will be different. Or it might even be a suit. It’s a frustrating mechanic to say the least.
The whole “plug and play supermutant” was really what ruined this game for me. I could live with the choppy framerate, or the bad graphics. But between the terrible writing and the X-gene concept, I couldn’t stand the 5-6 hours I spent playing this game. Here’s the kicker, though, I actually beat the game in that amount of time!
In the end, this has been my biggest let down of 2011. And how not only Activision, but Marvel, could sign off on this baffles me to no end. If it wasn’t for the button-mashing side of me, or the trophies I earned, I would have given this a 1 alongside Ryan.
Pros: trophies, button mashing for modern brawler fans
Cons: everything else
Score: 2 out of 5
Wii Review: by Ryan Kenward
Any time a comic book becomes a video game, there is almost always very bi-polar results. The games are either pretty good, or pretty bad. Unfortunately X-Men: Destiny on the Wii is the latter. The concept, was somewhat promising if not a little tired. You control a new character who has just discovered their mutation, you must decide if you will join the X-Men, or the brotherhood when things go awry after the death of Charles Xavier. The over arching story is a very generic X-Men theme, the X-Men want there to be peace between mutants and non-mutants and the Brotherhood wants mutants to rule over the non-mutants.The game utilizes comic book like panels for cut scenes, unfortunately these feel more like a cop out than anything else as the majority of the character models come across fairly sloppy. Simple things like moving mouths during dialog were tossed to the wind, the games feels like it was rushed through development. This rushed look is noticeable everywhere, very generic stages, repeated objects although different colors (cars for instance, which by the way you can’t interact with), repeated enemies. Destiny does not look or play like a game of this generation.The ability to create your own mutant could have been cool, if it were not so limited. There are only a few powers to choose from when you begin (3 to be precise) and from there you can “collect” the powers of other mutants by finding X-genes randomly, though these generally are pretty lame. Also having to chose between 1 of the 3 characters is also another strike, since these characters are clearly non-canon why not let us generate our own heroes? You will easily button mash your way through the game, which luckily will be a fairly quick run. How about the controls? Your only option is Wiimote and Nunchuck, though what would have been the best would have been the classic controller (or just any other options at all) – the game won’t let you play unless you have the nunchuck connected to your Wiimote. Stacking bad controls on top of a game that looks like the Wii may have been an afterthought is bad juju.
For those out there that may blame the Wii for X-Men: Destiny’s bad looks, consider Super Mario Galaxy and Donkey Kong Country Returns.
Pros: Game is short.
Cons: Everything else.
1 out of 5.