X-Men Destiny Review
Any more apathy and you would have to accuse them of caring.
Following the recent trend of releasing super hero games not tied to their movie counterparts, such as Batman Arkham City/Asylum and Spiderman Shattered Dimensions/Edge of time, Silicon Knights and Activision try to give the X-men the same treatment. Unfortunately, X-Men Destiny is what happens when you care more about following a trend than you do about focusing on your subject matter.
The sad thing about X-Men Destiny is that all of its concepts start out with good intentions. A number of times during my playthrough I found myself saying “Oh that’s cool….wait what? No, nevermind.” The story, in the beginning seems like a great idea. Rather than taking control of well known X-Men, as you would be used to, you choose one of three unknown characters. Each of these three characters has just discovered, during the opening cinematic, that they are a mutant. This is the sort of stuff that the X-Men are all about but from here the narrative goes off the rails.
The main story is about conflict between the X-Men and the anti-mutant organization The Brotherhood. You choose one of three characters, one who is pro-mutant, one who is the son of a Brotherhood icon and one who doesn’t know anything about either issue. From the start, each character’s attitude seems to ignore their back story at times, while at times sticking to it so closely that they stop making sense.
For example, the anti-mutant guy finds out he’s a mutant and doesn’t seems nonplussed by using his newfound powers to save some innocent bystanders then beat up thirty, or so, bad guys. Yet when confronted with the fact that he is now a mutant, he completely denies it. Though seconds later he’s shooting balls of energy at his enemies. Let me be clear, he’s not confused at all, he’s sure he’s not a mutant. What?
So the story is annoying and unrealistic. Let’s move on to the gameplay. X-Men Destiny is set up like an action RPG, combat consists of mashing X for standard attacks and Y for strong attacks. Different sequences will perform combos. At the start of the game you are offered one of three different starting power types. These powers are explained only in the abstract and not in how they will work. You won’t know which are ranged and which are melee focused until you choose, and once you choose there is no going back. You can upgrade your powers but not change them. The mutant powers on offer are also so uninteresting that they defeat the purpose of the X-Men setting. Each of the X-Men are identified and named based on their specific power, the characters and persona are created around them. The three powers you can choose are so bland they offer nothing to the characters.
Progressing through the game consists of beating up 10-20 bad guys then talking with one of the X-Men for a few minutes. This formula never waivers unless the 10-20 bad guys are replaced with a boss fight. Dialog can not be skipped or fast forwarded even if you have already listened to a particular thread and the frequency of the conversations quickly becomes frustrating. Add this to the combat that isn’t fun and never gets any more interesting and you aren’t likely to be playing this one for very long.
None. Co-op should have been a priority based on the setup and play style of X-Men Destiny but it was not even attempted.
Most are story achievements, so I won’t give them away here. The others involve beating up X number of bad guys.
X-Men Destiny is boring and uninspired in every aspect. It technically works but there is no real reason to play it. Co-op could have salvaged some of the fun, but is sadly missing.