- Street Date:
- September 27th, 2011
- Reviewed by:
- Daniel Hirshleifer
- Review Date:1
- October 22nd, 2011
- Game Release Year:
- Silicon Knights
- ESRB Rating:
- T (Teen)
I think it would be interesting to see the development of a bad game. No one sets out to make a bad game, right? I would love to see how a good idea for a game can go so horribly wrong. Take, for example, X-Men: Destiny. The idea for the game, that you play as a young mutant learning their powers and deciding whether to join the titular X-Men or the Brotherhood of Mutants, is a good one. Actually, it’s a very good one. X-Men games tend to force you to play as one of the X-Men, not considering that it might be more fun to fight for Magneto. But the execution of Destiny is so poor that it ruins any good the original idea had in it.
The Game Itself: Our Reviewer's Take
As the game begins you can choose one of three characters. You can be anti-mutant, a refugee from Japan, or an unaffiliated college student. All three of these people are attending a mutant/human solidarity rally, which of course quickly turns to disaster. During this, previously unknown mutant powers surface in your character, putting you right in the center of a conflict that’s bigger than just the X-Men or the Brotherhood of Mutants.
Again, X-Men: Destiny should be good. There are six game variations to choose from at the outset: Three characters and three types of powers. There’s your basic strength and energy powers, along with the ability to manipulate dark matter. Of the three, the dark matter is genuinely fun to use and the expanded powers (you can gain more as the game progresses) are interesting and unique. Strength is bland, turning you into a tank. The energy power is the worst. Aside from looking and acting exactly like a rip-off of Infamous, they’re inaccurate and difficult to use well. While the game gives you the illusion of choice, it’s clear the developers spent much more time on one set of powers at the expense of the other two.
You also have a choice of characters, and while each have their own back stories, in general they respond exactly the same in every situation, meaning that there really isn’t three separate stories to play through, just one story with slight and meaningless variations. Probably the best one is the anti-mutant bigot coming to grips with being a mutant himself, but even that is thinly written and often trite. Whatever character you choose has no bearing on the main plot. Even worse, the big choice of the game, whether to join the X-Men or the Brotherhood of Mutants, also has no effect on the plot, as the two groups team up at the end to fight a bigger threat.
And that, in a nutshell, is the biggest problem with X-Men: Destiny. The game makes a big deal about getting to choose for yourself, but the choices don’t actually change anything. Even the levels are disappointingly linear, without any branching pathways. Without the element of choice being relevant, the game lives and dies on its combat system, and in that regard it fails miserably. Combat is boring, minus one or two cool dark matter powers. Combat at the beginning is exactly the same as combat at the end, making the game one long, pointless trek.
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
Well folks, it ain’t pretty. X-Men: Destiny is one of the worst looking games I’ve seen in a long time. The only reason I would hesitate to say the graphics look like a game from last-gen I’m sure I’ve seen better graphics last gen. The characters are blocky and stiff. Animations are limited and repetitive. Textures are bland and unappealing. This game is downright ugly.
The Audio: Rating the Sound
If this game has got one thing going for it, it’s that there are a ton of mutants crammed into it, all with their own powers. And each power gets its own set of sounds. Other than that, there’s some okay voice acting, with the best probably being Magneto and Wolverine.
The game wants you to play it over and over again, giving you three different characters and three different powers to choose from. But again, the characters you choose have no effect on the plot, and the powers aren’t even fun if they’re not dark matter. I’d say the replay factor on this one is at zero.
Again, I’d love to see what went into making this game. Was it purely for profit, or did the developers hope to make a great X-Men game and got bogged down in the details? Who looked at the graphics and said, “Yeah, that’s what we’ll go with”? In every possible way, X-Men: Destiny is a disappointment.
- Dolby Digital 5.1
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