Not too long ago COED received an invite to check out a preview of the new X-Men Destiny game. Being a huge comic book nerd, I jumped at the chance to go check out the game and the next direction X-Men video games were headed. Unlike previous X-Men games, you don’t play as the classic X-Men characters. I know, I know, that sounds like it is a horrible idea. Why would you want a game where you don’t get the chance to slice up bad guys with Wolverine or melt face with Cyclops? I am here to tell you that X-Men Destiny was a pleasant surprise, but you’ll have to find out why below.
Right from the beginning your adventure starts. Nothing about this game is really set in stone and you can choose one of three, new and unique mutants: Aimi, Adrian and Grant. Each of these characters has unique back stories that affect their future in the game. I chose Grant because he seemed like a bad-ass. Frosh at college and an aspiring football player. Since the guy looked like a beast I figured he would be the best mutant to choose to kick some serious *ss.
The story picks up in San Francisco, and we now find out that Professor Xavier is dead and the mutants are trying to rebuild the school. You’re at a rally in downtown SF where mutants and humans are trying to iron out some differences and maintain a peaceful coexistence, when all of a sudden, cars, helicopters and even the Golden Gate bridge start getting tossed. Magneto is the immediate suspect and the war begins.
While the game-play is pretty standard, its the unlimited customization that really makes this game interesting and re-playable. Right from the get go you begin going down one of two paths, either the X-Men path (good mutants) or the Brotherhood path (bad mutants). Naturally, I roll with the X-Men. How could I not?They’re the f*cking X-men. No sooner than I made my decision did I receive some advice from fellow X-Men Nightcrawler. “Grant, there is pain in this life, hard decisions, sacrifices. You must understand that.” I hear you Nightcrawler, but just get out of my way so I can break some necks.
There are various types of villains in Destiny, and they seem to get progressively tougher as the game goes on. The Brotherhood are sort of the evil mutants, and although they are not direct enemies, the two mutant sides feud throughout the game. The real problem lies with the Purifiers and the U-Men. Purifiers are simply militants who hate mutants and whose main mission is to wipe them out. U-Men are bad guys who steal X-Genes and inject themselves to gain the powers of the X-Men. The U-Men get pretty tough, (one boss takes a few too many X-Genes) and present the biggest challenge of the game. The frequent change in enemies helps keep the game fresh.
The most fun I had in the game was with the X-Genes, the source of your characters powers and abilities. As you go through the game you unlock new X-Genes by accomplishing certain tasks, or simply by finding them hidden throughout the city. You can attain genes from any of the X-Men and use them for yourself. Whether you want the defensive X-Gene of the Juggernaut, the offensive abilities of Surge or the suit of Toad, you can do it all. What I loved is that you can alter your X-Genes at any moment, even in the middle of a heated battle. This is a huge advantage because you can cater your abilities to the villains that you are facing at the time. Switching powers is the best part of the game because you can really experiment with tons of different X-Men powers and abilities, making the game very re-playable and fresh. The one recommendation I have is to play the game on the highest difficulty level. Playing on medium really didn’t give me too much to worry about.
I won’t give any spoilers to the plot lines at the end of the game, but it gets pretty intense. With four different groups going at it throughout the game, how could it not be? The game-play and fighting got kind of repetitive, but the ability to customize your X-Men outweighs that completely. If you are a fan of the X-Men series, its worth giving Destiny a shot. The mutants need your help to save their species, so hop in the battle and do your part!