Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
Let me start out by saying: “I am an X-Man”. I say this because I deeply immersed myself within the X-Men mythology at a ripe age of seven; reading issues written by Chris Clairmont himself (right before his steady decline; the man can only have so many incredible stories to tell and told he has!). When I first heard that X-Men Destiny was in early stages of production I couldn’t help but be ecstatic at the idea of controlling my much loved characters once again on a platform console. Also worth mentioning, the game is written by comic book scribe, Mike Carey, who does really great work writing X-Men’s title, “X-Men Legacy”. Unfortunately, soon after I read the announcement of the game, I come upon an article stating Silicon Knights grand idea to assimilate three brand new main mutants for you to control, and to hopefully create an unbiased experience thru the X-Men universe. Was this really a grand idea? Not so much.
But enough talk, let’s play!
The game begins in San Francisco during a mutant rights rally, featuring the X-Men as protagonists to the mutants freedom cause. The rally then falls under attack by who obviously seems to be Magneto, time will tell. Impending dangers ensues and you find yourself ready to choose from one of the three new playable characters, they are as follows:
Aimi Yoshida, born in Fuji, Japan by her mutant birth parents, who decide to send Aimi away to America in fear that she’ll develop her own mutant abilities and be persecuted due to them within Japan. Why they believe America would better understand her “condition” was never made apparent.
Grant Alexander, born in Sandersville, Georgia, is a college freshman with the hopes of becoming a professional football player, and I know, these back stories are incredibly overwhelming!
Adrian Luca (the one that most grabbed my attention), born in Los Angeles, California, is the son of a martyr to a anti-mutant extremist religious group, known as the Purifiers.
Finally, you get to choose one of three abilities for a main base power. One allows you to control your own density, by rocks forming in and around your body? Sure that makes sense. Or you can have the control of energy manipulation, which will eventually allow your character to supernova, becoming a tiny star. And last but not least, you can obtain the dark energy known as, the Shadow Matter. Shadow matter allows the player to create sharp knives that form around your hands, much like the power “Density Control”.
Now, the endless slaughter of Purifiers, U-Men and MRD agents can begin! Wave upon wave of bad guys will flock to you, which is the premise of most missions, destroy a specified amount of bad guys within the time limit and unlock an x-gene ability! Each non-playable mutant has three x-genes and a costume you can find through out the game and equip at any time. This leaves a large margin to really make your character something special. Most x-genes can be leveled up multiple times which is a welcome addition to the bland game play
As you play, you come across a plethora of mutant characters (both good and bad). Each character will have a short “mission”, if that’s what we have to call it, to determine whose side you’re on. Will you fight alongside the X-Men, in hopes of peaceful coexistence, or fight alongside the Brotherhood, terrorizing humaninty at every turn? Either way, it really dosen’t matter! These “decisions” will very marginally take you away from the main track which is the backbone of the story. Even your choice of character dosen’t change the story, more the way your character reacts to what’s going on around you. Whether you decide the Brotherhood over the X-Men, you still end with the same boss fight and same conclusion. The only difference being, during the end battle there is a forty second cut scene in which twenty of those seconds change depending on your decision to fight for good or bad. Now, if this would be your decider on whose side you’re going to choose, I’d side with the X-Men; Cyclops really blows you out of the water during those twenty seconds!
Fighting alongside the various X-Men and Brotherhood is a great joy. If there is one thing that Silicon Knights got right, it’s the action! You can’t have a proper button masher without great fighting mechanics. Your AI battle partners, which you’ll fight alongside most of the game, are a lot of fun to watch as they tare holes through groups of baddies. Most non playable characters kick butt and have fun moves, which is a pro and con. Pro: it’s an honor to fight alongside beloved mutants with incredible powers. Con: I want to be these beloved mutants with incredible powers!! Really, why can’t I just be Cyclops! You let me wear his themed costume and equip specific x-genes that resemble his powers, just let me play as him! This is exactly why DC Online never caught my eye. Sure it’d be fun to fight alongside your favorite heroes, but at the end of the day, don’t you just want to play as them?
Overall, the action sequences are fun; for instance, there’s a battle with Cyclops and yourself against Magneto and Juggernaut, on a chunk of the golden gate bridge that Magneto in suspending over San Francisco. As an X-Man fan, it blew me away! Honestly, it’s Cyclops and Magneto that steal the show every time they’re onscreen. It really solidifies the fact that I wanted to play as them in this war, not as their pawns. The idea of this game being that you can create your own destiny is laughable. And that’s beyond the fact that the game can be completed in one night.
So, if you’re looking for a fun X-Men game, keep looking, there are others out there. Like X-Men Legends, which lives up to its title. Here you can be the actual X-Men, fighting other powered mutants such as Magneto and battle the hate fueled machinations known as the Sentinels. And if you really want to be the bad guys, then look no further than X-Men Legends 2, where you can put together a four man group of just Brotherhood or mix it up with some X-Men! Your destiny truly is your own to create!