What good are mutant superpowers without exciting reasons to use them? As X-Men: Destiny proves, they're no good at all. In this busted beat-'em-up, clobbering swarms of stupid bad guys with your newfound abilities is tedious, and although a constant supply of choices tries to convince you that your actions have real impact on this tumultuous world, they don't have much impact at all. Destiny does the incredible: it makes being a genetic marvel a generic bore.
6337609NoneThanks for the help, Gambit and friends, but I think I got this.
It's a grim new era for the mutants. Professor X is dead, and anti-mutant sentiment is running high. You choose one of three characters, each with his or her own backstory. Whomever you choose, your mutant powers awaken when a mutant-human peace rally in San Francisco is attacked by anti-mutant thugs called purifiers. As you come to terms with your powers, you're given many choices that let you align yourself more with Cyclops and the X-Men or with Magneto and the Brotherhood. But these choices have almost no impact on the course of the game. For instance, you can make Brotherhood choices straight down the line and still end up fighting Magneto in a boss battle. Regardless of your decisions, you go through the same levels and find yourself in the same final conflict. Some games give you real choice; some create a convincing illusion of choice. X-Men: Destiny just drops a bunch of meaningless choices in your path.
And in the Wii version, sometimes those choices aren't clear. You might finish a boss battle only to be abruptly presented with an image of Cyclops and an image of Magneto and be told to "Choose Your Destiny." In the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game, a preceding cutscene makes it clear exactly what this choice means, but not here. During some conversations, you see goofy comic book portraits; during others, fuzzy character models just stand in place without moving their mouths as they chat. There's some fine voice acting and the occasional decent motion comic sequence, but everything else about the way the story is presented is embarrassing.
You choose what type of power you want from three options: energy projection, shadow matter, and density control. But like the story choices you make, this decision has little real impact. You spend most of your time fighting swarms of mindless purifier thugs, and mashing the attack button is all it takes to clobber these buffoons regardless of which power you choose. As you tap the attack button to pummel bad guys with the same attacks over and over, text often appears indicating that your combo is "uncanny" or "ultimate," which is hilarious because you're doing so little. This is combat at its shallowest. Boss fights are just as bad. Most bosses can be defeated with brute force; just walk up to them and pound the attack button. A few bosses have attacks you actually need to avoid, but these bosses follow simple patterns, and once you have those patterns figured out, there's no excitement in fighting them or sense of triumph in defeating them.
Doing the same attack over and over again is X-Treme!