One of the most popular action style comic book characters to hit the home consoles has been the X-Men who have really had some great game. They have always been known for their action games, but now Activision has teamed up with Raven Software to bring an RPG style X-Men game to the next generation consoles. It’s called X-Men Legends and it’s for the Xbox and it’s pretty dang good.
We have seen several different types of this action RPG’s that have you go in groups of people to fight off the bad guys in real time. For example in Baldur’s Gate and Champions of Norrath you have games that take different types of setting but the same type of premises. The game does have some RPG styles to be talked about basically just in the stats portions of the game but for the most part this is considered an action RPG through and through.
One of the biggest driving factors behind this action RPG is the storyline, which is one of the deepest storylines to ever make its way onto an X-Men game. The story was written by Man of Action, which is a collection of former Marvel writers who have a whole lot of experience working with the whole group of X-Men. The storyline of X-Men Legends is one that seems to be taken from the original X-Men series. Though some things have been changed up a bit allowing everything to work better with the game. The story of X-Men Legends is a great addition to the game and really will keep you up to date on all the X-Men characters and the things going on around them.
The gameplay behind X-Men Legends is very simple yet has a hidden complexity that will be found as you go throughout the game. For almost all of the game you will guide around a total of four characters. Many may be quite skeptical with having that many characters around but luckily for us the game pulls it off in a very nice fashion. The game does a nice job of being able to hit your opponents from afar or engage in hand to hand combat, and really gives you just the right amount of control over your team. This becomes very important, as you will have to select your teammates and this is where a lot of the strategy of the game will come in. Choose the wrong teammates for the mission and you will find out that the missions will be harder then they needed to be. So you really have to be careful when selecting whom to use for the team.
There are a few minor downsides to this four-member team, and that is that the computer can work against you at times. In my experience I have found at times the computer can get in the way of things and can either cause their own deaths or others by pushing them off a bridge. There are also times where the doors or elevators in the game can get in the way and you do have to be careful on how you maneuver your team.
One of my favorite parts of X-Men Legends is the ability to play this game with a group of friends. This is the part of the game where I think it is at its best and really takes us back to the good old days of team based multiplayer games with comic book characters. From my experiences with playing X-Men Legends with some friends I found that there weren’t any major problems with it. Besides the normal wait for me sort of comment, everyone seemed to very much enjoy it, and it seems as though the developers spent quite a bit of time making sure everything worked out right. There are some other modes that the developers through into the game where you can go up against AI Controlled characters or other players. This mode really isn’t much more then a button masher but it is a nice way to get some very nice unlockables.
Overall I was quite impressed with how well the game plays; especially with the cooperative play. Every character has there own unique style of fighting and they really mix it up quite well. With only a few minor flaws, X-Men Legends combines a solid storyline with very easy yet complex combat system, and gives you a game that really has all the making to make any X-Men fan happy.
When it comes to X-Men games one of the key factors that many gamers look at is the graphics. Many wonder what type of style the developers will use to bring these comic book characters to life. So how did they do with X-Men Legends?
The style behind X-Men Legends is a little bit of a mix if you ask me. You can see that there was a lot of cel shading techniques used in the game, but also some other styles that are really hard to describe. The developers gave the game a more flat comic book style look to all of the characters and during gameplay they look great. All of the characters are very recognizable even from a far, and have all the makings that you would expect from the X-Men. On the downside, the cutscenes uses the same style but don’t do a very good job of it. The environments on the other hand have plenty of detail and use the comic book colors to their advantage by really giving you the authentic X-Men feel throughout the game.
Overall the graphics of X-Men Legends seem to shine the best during the combat sequences where the true comic book flair of the game comes out at its best.
What really makes X-Men Legends fun is all of the different abilities the X-Men have. Combine this with a very solid action RPG environment along with the ability to play the game cooperatively and you have a game that I spent many hours having fun with. The game is very much one that you can pick up and play, which makes it easy to have friends join along your quest through the games storyline and be successful. The other multiplayer mode was nice to have, but didn’t do the game as much glory as it could have.
X-Men Legends is a game that looks like they took notes on other recent action RPG’s and really combined all of the good qualities to make this game. The combat in the game is very entertaining and combine that with a very solid storyline and you have a game that will make any X-Men fan very happy.
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