X-Men: Destiny

My 9 year-old nephew Justice loved it, I liked it, and lots of “hardcore gamers” I know HATE it.  I say “to each their own.”

In yet another case of “what are you looking for in a game?” Here’s an in-depth review worth reading:

The video game X-Men: Destiny is based on the X-Men comic book series.  Mike Carey (writer from the X-Men: Legacy comic book series) wrote the story for the game.  It flows really well with the X-Men story arcs before the current Schism/Regenesis stories.

When you start playing X-Men: Destiny you choose to be one of three all new characters (Aimi Yoshida, Grant Alexander, and Adrian Luca) and you get one of three new mutant powers (Energy Projection, Density Control, and Shadow Matter).

As you play the game you find “X-Genes” around the map that unlock one of three ability types: offensive, defensive, and utility.  You get a limited ability in one of those three types from another mutant such as Wolverine, Gambit, Iceman, or many other established characters in the franchise.  These abilities can be leveled up using points that you acquire through gameplay like defeating enemies.

You’ll be asked to make certain choices along the way that determine what your faction is: X-Men, or Brotherhood.  However you can help both sides and stay pretty neutral for most of the game, it’s up to you.

 

The Good

I LOVE the X-Men.  If you really enjoy seeing your favorite characters on screen in different formats, this game is worth playing.  This alone may be enough to overcome all other faults in the game.  IF you want to see these characters on screen in a new game, this is your only option.

You get to make a decent amount of choices along the way.  The game plays differently depending on character, core power, X-Gene, and faction choices you make.

There is a lot of replay value.  You can start over with a different character and a different power, while equipping different X-Genes and see how things are different playing through again.

The new powers are cool.  The characters are cool too, but the powers are great.  The execution of these powers in a game don’t show just HOW cool they are, but in other mediums, if these powers join the X-Men universe, it’ll be cool to see.

I think the game is great for kids.  There isn’t gore or extreme violence.  Sure you beat people up, but the guys don’t seem to DIE as much as disappear into thin air. With multiple teleporting characters in the game, the subject of death isn’t really an issue.  My nephew thoroughly enjoyed the game.

 

The Bad

Linear. As much as the “choice” factor let’s you “find your path to your own destiny” the gameplay is very linear overall.  You are on a path — though it curves around debris – that is essentially a rail you can’t deviate from.  There is almost NO open world exploring whatsoever.  Even when you choose to do an alternate mission you often teleport away, fight, then teleport back.

There’s a lot of button mashing.  You can use combos and you have powers that activate by slightly more complicated button pressing (Hold RT and press X) but hitting X over and over again proves effective and efficient.

The story seemed really short.  It didn’t take long to beat the game and considering all the time devoted to button mashing, I wish there had been more actual content.

Most of the enemies take a few hits, fall down, then disappear after expelling yellow, green and/or blue orbs for XP, Health and Energy. Fighting is pretty repetitive and unrealistic.

I don’t like Magneto’s look in this game.  I don’t like the design of his outfit or how it looks in the game AT ALL.  There are others I don’t like, but I REALLY don’t like Magneto’s look.

 

The Ugly

Overall the graphics are mediocre at best.  There are many issues with the polish of the game.  You try to climb up on piles of debris and you can find yourself standing in mid-air with jagged mistakes sticking up now and then as you rotate the camera.  There were aesthetic flaws that I haven’t seen in new games often.  It seemed at times that I could be easily convinced that this game was made for an older console and quickly scaled up for the next-gen consoles in a short amount of time.

 

X-Men: Destiny was developed by Silicon Knights and published by Activision.

Here’s a lot more info, with some SLIGHT spoilers ahead:

Core powers

When you start the game, you get to choose a core power after you pick your character:

Energy Projection: The power to project blasts of concussive force from conduits in the hands and envelop the body in raw energy. Energy emitted from the mutant delivers concussive force to it’s target. The energy can be shot at various levels, from rapid bursts to focused beams. Even contained discharges of energy can be separated from the body and detonated. This mutation gives the ability to engage enemies from a safe distance and keep them at bay with detaining effects.

Density Control: This power grants the ability to control the density of one’s body mass. It can be focused into the fist for a heavy hit or distributed throughout the entire body, making the mutant indestructible. Parts of the body that are influenced are so dense they turn into an obsidian stone. The power comes with superhuman stamina and durability allowing the mutant to endure attacks from large groups of enemies.

Shadow Matter: This power allows the mutant to control the immediate unseen dark matter around the body and manifest it into solid shape for an instant. The mutant can craft indestructible weapons out of thin air, move them with lightning speed, leaving no trace of a weapon. Tapping into this ether allows for full body matter displacement, making movements appear instantaneous. The powers mutation also tempers one’s reflexes and movement speed, making it easy to take on multiple opponents or deal sever damage to a single opponent.

 

Playable Characters:

Aimi Yoshida: Born in Fuji City, Japan, Aimi was smuggled out of Japan by her mutant parents before their family could be incarcerated in the new mutant camps. She arrived in San Francisco hidden on a tanker ship. She is too young and frightened to appreciate her parents’ motivations for sending her away, instead feeling only the bitterness and anger of abandonment.

Grant Alexander: Born in Sandersville, Georgia, Grant is a college freshman who dreams of becoming a professional football player. He hopes to land a spot this year on the University of California, Berkeley, varsity squad. Grant has no interest in politics and knows little about the ongoing mutant/human conflict.

Adrian Luca: Born in Los Angeles, California, Adrian is the son of an anti-mutant extremist who was killed in battle. His father’s associates called themselves “Purifiers,” and under their care Adrian was educated to hate all mutants and conditioned to seek revenge for his father’s murder. The Purifiers have trained Adrian to be a soldier in their army of “pure-blooded” Homo sapiens.

 

Non-Playable Characters:

Lots of established characters from the X-Men universe interact with you in the game.  You also aquire X-Genes and costumes from many other characters you may be familiar with.  I’m sure there may be more, but this is who I can remember seeing in some form or another:

Cyclops

Emma Frost

Wolverine

Gambit

Iceman

Colossus

Psylocke

Magneto

Mystique

Nightcrawler

Quicksilver

Pyro

Avalanche

Toad

Bastion

Caliban

Forge

Northstar

Pixie

Surge

the Purifiers

and the unstoppable JUGGERNAUT

 

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