X-Men games don’t have to be bad. The incredibly-violent Wolverine title, for instance, richly deserved its 18-certificate, but it was still really good fun to play. Rise Of The Apocalypse was sound, too, and X-Men: Legends took the characters into the world of an RPG.
X-Men Destiny, however, is a bit of a shambles.
The idea is decent enough. You play a new recruit to the X-Men who is faced with some stark choices. For what kind of mutant do you want to be? It’s an intriguing setup, that ultimately lets you choose which side of the mutant battle you want to fight on. Sadly, the game isn’t quite as interesting, no matter which you plump for. Nor, crucially, is it actually that different.
It’s a staid, pretty linear affair, which mixes in action with light RPG elements. You sit through tiresome cut scenes, and, appreciating that there are different ways through the game, which extend its life somewhat (at least you can go back and replay elements, to get a slightly different result), you’ll still get through it in surprisingly little time.
Hint of a spark
On the upside, it does have moments of spark. The assorted combinations of mutatnt powers you get to tinker with are interesting, at least in the early stages. There’s nothing radical about them, granted, but it provides some incentive to battle on. As does the chance to fight alongside familiar X-Men heroes. You might not get to play as them, but Destiny scatters many X-Men friends and foes throughout.
Plus, for a braindead battler, X-Men: Destiny does have a place in the world. It’s easy to get to grips with, will have you mildly entertained fairly quickly, and throws in a few things to discover, to try and give it a bit more weight.
The problem, though, is that no matter what is thrown at X-Men: Destiny, it’s a shallow game, one that flatters to deceive. On the surface, it seems to offer choices and innovations, but there’s barely anything you can do here that really affects the game or its direction. It’s all surprisingly linear, surprisingly familiar… and surprisingly forgettable.
- Some nice ideas, and the promise of impactful decisions.
- Ultimately, a very tired game, in not particularly attractive clothing.
A waste of the X-Men licence, particularly in the light of the excellent Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games. Bargain bin fodder.