October 12, 2011

Power Control

Lasting First Impressions of X-Men Destiny from Activision

X-Men Destiny - Xbox 360 Box ArtWith the exception of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men games of recent years have not fared well in the video game market. The Wolverine game was exactly what this franchise needed and, it seemed, that X-Men Destiny was going to continue that tradition.  Silicon Knights had taken the reigns and the concept of the game, essentially creating your own mutant, sounded amazing and I was really looking forward to playing this game.  With Silicon Knights being a local Canadian developer, I had really high hopes for this game.

In X-Men Destiny, you choose to be one of three new mutants who are just on the verge of discovering their powers.  As their powers manifest throughout the game, you have the choice of which powers they will be.  Additionally, you will acquire several X-Genes to choose from in which to customize your character with the abilities of famous X-Men characters like Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Cyclops, and more.  Unfortunately, this is where the uniqueness of this game ends and the repetitiveness begins.

X-Men Destiny turns out to be a fairly simple button mashing combo-fest.  Regardless of what powers you choose to imbue your mutant with, the core of the game is a straightforward linear-base corridor brawl.  While there is a fairly substantial story going on in this game, and one in which you ultimately choose sides (X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants), the result is still the same: run down the set path and take out a specified number of enemies before moving on to the next section.  When I say a specified number of enemies, I mean just that; you are told, at the beginning of each wave, how many enemies you must defeat before moving on.  Once you reach that goal, the area is complete and you can now look around for collectibles before heading off to lather, rinse, repeat.

X-Men Destiny - Aimi & Cyclops

This formula is broken up by constant cut scenes with dialogue between your character and those of the X-Men or the Brotherhood at which time you can choose which missions to take on.  This also seemed to really slow the game down.  I felt like every time I did something big and exciting, and was ready for more, I would be presented with more cut scenes and dialogue trees.  While I typically chose to do the missions with the X-Men, I didn’t feel like going with the Brotherhood would change the gameplay in any way.

Graphically, X-Men Destiny isn’t anything fantastic.  While its certainly not terrible, it doesn’t present anything amazing in any way as the environments are fairly sparse and simplistic. Overall, Silicon Knights has delivered a run of the mill action adventure with an X-Men skin.  Applying a variety of X-Men traits to your own character seemed like a fun idea but the execution is lacking. I didn’t feel like the any of the available powers and abilities changed the gameplay in any way.  With the ability to continuously change which X-Genes your character is going to use at any time really takes away from the idea of “creating” your own mutant since you’re never stuck with a decision.  Additionally, all the powers you have to choose from are the same as the already established X-Men characters, so you’re not really creating anything new.

I was really hopeful for this game to be a little more than it was. As it is, it’s just a let down where it could have been great.  The idea of creating your own mutant with your own set of powers is a wonderful concept and I had imagined it to be more along the lines of creating your own completely customized guns in Borderlands.  Unfortunately, X-Men Destiny doesn’t really meet those high expectations and it is a let-down.

Activision, I gave you an hour and I am NOT IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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