The purifiers must have worked with the developers of X-Men Destiny to make our favorite muties more mutated than ever with it’s frail customization features, lackluster combat, and yawn worthy visuals. Our little adventure takes place in a modern Magneto and Xavier being dead days, well, Magneto is momentarily dead, and it’s up to you to choose a vanilla flavored hero and add a few stale mix-ins to their DNA and hope for a fun time.
Our hollow hero choices range from a Flash Thompson clone-shell, a buzz-cut bro tattooed feller, and a recently imported Japanese goth chick who’s accent fell off in transit. Naturally I chose the Asian chick and gave her super strength, because what’s more fun than controlling a brutish Asian girl who snaps off enemies necks and sucks out their bone marrow for sustenance. Eh hem…. upon further gameplay, my heroine’s only requirement to live is to mash the square button and triangle buttons (X and Y button for you Xbox’ers at home) for several seconds until her enemies kneel over and pop out floaty orbs that either replenish her health or enhance her skills in her skill tree, well, more like skill branch, there isn’t a plethora of choices to choose from.
There are a few rewards for those willing to explore drab environment such as collectables, which aren’t really too collectable, (stock character artwork and a mini bio) and X-Genes. X-Genes are an interesting touch that allow you to equip up to 3 powers that mirror other mutants powers to enhance your character a tad bit, but if you happen to find a complete match from the same mutant you can activate their X-Mode. X-Modes range from Gambit’s Kinetic overdrive, which essential makes enemies eXplode, to Toad’s Epidemic that deals out toXic damage.
Combat and mutant powers are extremely boring to wield and power variation is hardly even noticeable after upgrades. Several powers are downright broken and are nearly impossible to wield. Force field of obsidian, I’m talking to you. Whenever I was fighting alongside other mutants all I ever wanted to do was wield their powers! It was more a more enjoyable experience watching other mutant NPCs fight then for me to join in.
The fan service is somewhat present in the game’s character designs, not your character, but the supporting cast of mutants that aid you. Every mutant is voice acted surprisingly well, Cyclops sounds as pompous and proud as he should, and Pyro sounds as if he’s crisping a dingo in the outback.
At first glance X-Men Destiny tantalizes you with the option to join either the X-Men or the Brotherhood of bad dudes. I’m always a sucker for this sort of morality split and usually ends up going good guy in the end anyways, but as I tinkered with going to the dark side I didn’t notice any shift in story. Both factions essentially had the same thoughts regarding the purifiers and very similar goals. Neither side truly hated me, everyone was always more than happy to bore me with constant beat em’ up, protect this person, and save the civilian missions. On a side note, developers, nobody ever enjoys save the stupid civilian missions! I’ve never met a single soul who finds saving stock characters, that are meaningless to the story, an enjoyable act.
Visually, this game is the equivalent of the result of several optic blasts to the corneas. As a system launch title these visuals would have sufficed but after being spoiled by other super hero games, that revolve around a certain bat crazed gentleman, I feel for the sake of comic fans and gamers alike we deserve better. The game could have greatly benefited from a cel-shaded effect that Ultimate Spider-Man proved gorgeous in 2005. Pixels often loaded incorrectly to the point where my lady scarf looked like a symbiotic tentacle eating my Asian goth face. At least civilians were more than happy to be running endlessly into walls during cinematics, I do believe that is a plus.
I am a deeply sorry fellow X-Men fans, save yourself the time and avoid X-Men Destiny because all you will find here is form of mutation that even Professor Xavier himself would deem unacceptable to live. Excuse me scholars of Comic Book Therapy, but I do believe I have a date with a certain Dark Knight in his returning video game sequel.