X-Men Destiny is an action RPG for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii from Activision and Silicon Knights that places players in the shoes of one a new mutant as the X-Men and Brotherhood of Mutants attempt to sway them to join their team.  Along the way players will directly make this decision by selecting which characters and factions they help out during the game.  While Destiny does a few things interesting for a game based on a well-known property, there are a lot of things wrong with the game play and production that hold it back from what it could have been.
                Choice is evident immediately when players are made to choose which of three characters in a crowd at a rally they would like to experience the story as, a Japanese immigrant, a guy whose dad is in a mutant hate group, and a jock who's most notable for not knowing anything.  After choosing a character from the three the rally is then destroyed in a mysterious incident and the player is given the chance to choose one of three powers which will decide how the character plays.  Density Control makes the player really strong, being able to take damage and dole it out.  Energy projection gives the player ranged combat, shooting weak beams at many enemies, or a stronger beam at one.  Shadow matter makes the player speedy, being able to quickly maneuver between many enemies to cut them with a shadow blade.
                Once the player finally gets into the game, it's easy to be disappointed at first glance.  The extent of combos in the beginning is X followed by Y.  This can be improved by defeating enemies, but until a certain point in the story is reached and ability can be chosen for your character, combat can be very boring and button mashy.  I also have to ask, why do I have to purchase "X,X,Y" and then "X,X,X,Y"? Once players get the choice of additional power and collect X-Genes (the ability to use parts of another mutants power for additional abilities), things start to get a bit better.
                That is, until you start to actually move in the game world.  There are plenty of glitches that shouldn't have been in the final product.  I collected a suit change for my character that allowed them to dress like wolverine, after this I triggered a cut scene in a way that allowed me to stare at flame throwers as soon as the cut scene ended.  Let’s not forget that I defeated Gambit by letting him run into a wall as I continued to hit him from behind.
                The game's combat starts out pretty simple and is enjoyable, but as soon as you have to face enemies in massive groups with people that specialize in flamethrowers, pistols and melee attacks, it gets frustrating.  To add to the frustration, there's a dash, but it's only available if you equip specific X-Genes.  There's also one other function specific to X-Genes that are only available if you collect all four of the X-Genes that mimic a certain mutant.  These functions sound really helpful, but I went through the whole game and wasn't able to use them, due to them being dependent on completing set.
                The role playing elements in the game are very light.  Most of the choices in the game boil down to obviously good and obviously evil.  In the first level you're given the choice of rescuing imprisoned mutants from their captors with Nightcrawler, or burning the captors to ashes with Pyro.  Like EA's Marvel Nemesis, it's very hard to feel anything for the characters made for the game; they probably won't be popping up in the comics anytime soon.  Many situations in the game feel as if the X-Men were shoehorned on top of an existing game.  Especially of note is one boss fight that has been prominently featured in the screenshots of the game released so far. (Video linked at the bottom)
                The graphics are a mixed bag, some scenes look great, while others look like they would be home on PS2 and sometimes even PSOne.  For the graphics to look the way they do, slowdown is a regular occurrence.  There are also occurrences where characters ragdoll and get stuck in trees, creating a morbid image.  Sounds do the game justice, although some conversations between characters triggering when not on screen are a bit weird.
                Overall X-Men Destiny is a flawed attempt at creating a game similar to Mass Effect within the X-Men universe.  It is reminiscent of games from the 32 and 64 bit era.  I would only recommend this game for renting, or holding out for a deep discount.


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