I would say 99% of the time I have heard “something” about a game before it is released. Usually it’s small details about gameplay style, artistic flare, or some unique feature that separates the game from the pack. Outside of knowing there was an X-Men game coming out I had not heard a single whisper on X-Men Destiny prior to release. Which led me to wonder is this game going to be a hidden gem or was there a reason the game quietly released to store shelves? Read our full review to find out!
X-Men Destiny is different from what we have seen in X-Men games of the past. Instead of taking the role of a notable X-Men character you instead take the role of a new mutant. You have a few choices for mutants at the beginning of the game which include Grant, Aimi, or Adrian all of which have unique backstories but regardless of whom you choose you will take them all through the same story. You pick up when Professor X is dead and the world is even more anti-mutant than ever before.
Your character at this point learns that he/she has powers and begins to fight off the purifiers after a vicious attack on a peace rally. From here both the story and the game begin to unravel in a hurry. The games story is laughably bad. My wife was sitting in the room during my first hour of the game and was laughing hysterically at how bad some of the dialogue is. I played as the football jock Grant and nearly every line of dialogue comes off as a 5th grade homework assignment. I found myself after a few encounters with notable X-Men characters immediately going to the “goodbye” dialogue option just to continue with the game and forget about even trying to get into the games story.
Throughout the game you make choices of whether or not you want to take the side of the X-Men or the Brotherhood. Unfortunately none of these choices matter. When you do grind your way to the end of the game you find out that really only the final choice actually has any impact on the experience.
Although X-Men Destiny is considered an Action RPG the RPG elements are on the light side. You can almost ignore leveling up your abilities as you never have a need for any of them. Much of my experience in the game was beating down on the face buttons using the same attacks I had at the beginning of the game. Many of the upgraded attacks actually take so long that they work against you more than for you. Enemies in the game are downright mindless and your constantly reminded how many mindless enemies you have to take out to move on to the next portion of the game.
The whole game will take anywhere from 5-6 hours, less if you skip all of the dialogue and cut scenes. I would even be “OK” with the length if the game had higher production values. X-Men Legacy plays like an unfinished and unrealized experience. When you have a game like infamous 2 release earlier in the year with a similar premise and style and you then look at X-Men Destiny there is no comparison. The combat is basic, the areas are claustrophobic, the story is awful, and the length is unacceptable.
X-Men Destiny is an awful looking game. I would compare it to Xbox 360 launch titles or even at times late round PS2 and Xbox titles. The character models for the mutants are OK, but you can count the variety of enemies on your hands alone and none of them look good at all. There is a complete lack of detail in any of the environments. Everything is so plain and boring and it further detracts not only from the world but the experience itself. This is one of the worst looking full priced games I have played in 2011.
I wanted to find things to enjoy in X-Men Legacy but far too quickly it became a grind. The game literally has you go from area to area fight off bad guys, move on to the next area, and repeat. There are a few boss battles which are simple learn the enemies cycle of actions and take them out. The only thing keeping me going was the constant ringing of achievements as you make your way through the game. Because of the short length it feels like you’re ringing with points every five minutes or so. Once you complete the game there is literally no reason what so ever to go back and play the game again.
The argument has been made a lot in the video game industry. Which is better five hours of exceptional gameplay or twenty hours of good gameplay? Don’t worry about that with X-Men Destiny it’s not only short but it’s just flat out a bad game. Unless you want easy achievement points there are far too many great titles this holiday to waste your time with this one.