X-Men: Destiny Xbox 360 Review

October 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Xbox 360, Reviews & Features, Xbox

Publisher – Activision – Developer – Silicon Knights – Genre – Action – Players – 1 – Age Rating – 16+ – Other console/handheld formats – PS3

When you buy an X-Men game, there’s one thing at the very least that you expect to be able to do: play as the X-Men. Silicon Knights’ X-Men: Destiny bravely ignores this though, giving you a choice of one of three characters, none of which being an actual X-Man, and to some it will be little consolation that you’re able to fight alongside and against them.

Whilst I said you can’t take charge of any of the X-Men, it’s not strictly true. Whilst the three characters on offer are all original creations and their respective back-stories add little notable to the universe, by finding and equipping X-Genes, however, you’re able to use the powers of the famous characters.

It’s quite a nice idea, and there’s an offensive, defensive and utility slot, each of which you’re able to equip any character gene that you have discovered and you can even clad your character in the suits of the X-Men and Brotherhood, allowing you to create an almagnation, which instantly transforms the pretenders into much more interesting prospects.

There’s an advantage for having all the X-genes and suits of one character equipped, unlocking X-mode, a powerful ability which varies from character to character. So having all of Iceman’s kit equipped allows you to freeze all the enemies on the screen for instance, and with Wolverine’s your attacks become quicker and you gain the bonus of faster health regeneration

The story isn’t bad either, and begins with a peace rally held in Charles Xavier’s memory. This inevitably goes bad. X-Men devotees will get satisfaction from plenty of appearances from their favourite X-Men and Brotherhood throughout, though it might not stop them asking the question of why the hell can’t I play as Wolverine?

There’s lots of choices to make along the way, though advancements have been made in this area over the last few years and by comparison not many of X-Men: Destiny’s choices are very interesting, Also, while you can choose who to fight alongside, it really doesn’t have much bearing on the overall narrative direction, which is disappointing – all the more so when the game can be completed within half a dozen hours.

The combat system is where the game really starts falling apart though. At the beginning of the game you’ll choose your attack style, with the choices consisting of the speed based shadow Matter, the strength focussed Density control and energy projection, which allows you to fire projectiles.

Fighting is shallow, brainless and severely limited in its options, not having much in the way of combos to mix up your attacks, resulting in repetitive fighting. This isn’t helped at all by its sluggish feel and weak animation.

The combat system’s failings are worse when you consider that the vast majority of the game involves fighting. There’s the occasional platforming section and whilst it’s nonetheless a good thing that it’s something to do other than fighting, they’re hardly much fun and are as badly animated as the rest of the game.

There’s a lack of polish throughout and some unforgivable design problems. You don’t even get something nice and shiny to look at, as the visuals are archaic, with bland level design and you’re not able to skip through dialogue, whilst some checkpoints are awfully positioned. Any good points that the game does possess are far outweighed by the games many problems.

The highlight by far of X-Men: Destiny is the opportunity to build your own mutant, leaving it with at least one fine idea, but weak execution of the surrounding mechanics and an archaic feel results in it not nearly being enough to make it anything more than a deeply flawed game.