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X-Men: Destiny

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X-Men: Destiny
X-men-destiny-cover-890x1024.jpg
And to think that this was developed by the same company that gave us Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes...
Genre(s): Action role-playing
Beat 'em up
Platform(s): Nintendo DS
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Wii
Release: September 27, 2011
Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Developer(s): Silicon Knights
Publisher(s): Activision
Country: Canada
Series: X-Men

X-Men: Destiny is a beat 'em up/action RPG video game developed by Silicon Knights and published by Activision. It is based on the Marvel comic book franchise X-Men and was Silicon Knights' final game before their closure in 2014. The game was published and preleased by Activision in September 2011 for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii consoles.

Plot

San Francisco has been divided into human and mutant areas due to conflict. The player chooses from one of three mutant characters who have been created for the game: Aimi Yoshida, Adrian Luca or Grant Alexander. The choices, depending on the playthrough, affect which mutants become their allies and enemies through decisions made in the course of the story.

Bad Qualities

  1. Confusing and disjointed plot.
  2. Originally you were going to create your own character as Silicon Knights intended it, but this idea was hastily dropped during development, as it would've been too much work for the developers. This idea was then changed to five premade characters, then three. One of the cut characters would be playable in the DS as the only playable hero. Most of these playable characters are generic and one-dimensional.
    • Aimi Yoshida, the only female playable character, is by far the most remotely interesting. Her backstory is that her mutant parents smuggled her out of Japan, sacrificing their lives in the process. She was too young and frightened to appreciate her parents’ motivations for sending her away, and instead felt only the bitterness and anger of abandonment.
    • Samuel Kamerhe, the only playable hero in the DS version (and the second most interesting), grew up from "the depth of a war-torn childhood" to eventually work with likes of Luis Reyes as his personal assistant. Samuel quickly became a son-like figure to Reyes and one of the many inspirations to the MRD Administrator's turn towards mutant and non-mutant unity.
    • Adrian Luca is a generic white guy protagonist who wants revenge for his murdered father.
    • Grant Alexander is just a generic football player who doesn't even have an ounce of a backstory.
  3. Meaningless choices: You can choose to side with the Brotherhood of Evil and still have to fight Magneto and Juggernaut, and siding with the X-Men won't stop you from fighting Wolverine. In the Wii and DS versions, your choices aren't even made clear sometimes.
  4. Some of the spoken dialogue doesn't match the subtitles. The Wii version uses face images for the dialogue instead of in-game cutscenes, which is very cheap.
  5. Repetitive and boring combat.
  6. The X-Genes that you can equip don't alter your character in any significant way (offensive X-Genes affect the type of damage your attacks do, but they don't actually increase your attack power).
  7. The inclusion of special moves is made obsolete due to most enemies being easily defeated by mashing the same buttons over and over again.
  8. The boss battles (with the exception of the frustratingly difficult Sentinel battle) are incredibly easy, and are made even more so in the Wii and DS versions, with some encounters like Wolverine being completely cut and the existing bosses being simplified.
  9. Incredibly dumb ally and enemy AI.
  10. No competitive or co-operative multiplayer of any kind.
  11. Restrictive and linear level design.
  12. The graphics and visuals look mediocre and outdated for a game released in 2011, being on par with a Xbox 360 launch title at best and a 2003 game at worst. The graphics in the Wii and DS versions, however look even worse, practically looking like a budget GameCube and Game Boy Advance game. It also suffers from a choppy framerate, especially on the Wii and DS ports.
  13. The game can be completed in just six hours (five hours in the Wii and DS versions).
  14. Unsold copies were recalled and destroyed after legal issues between Silicon Knights and Epic Games over the game's unlicensed use of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 (however, a lot of them can still be found on websites such as eBay due to Silicon Knights not having any actual power to recall them as they'd been reduced to a skeleton crew by then).
  15. This game is also the reason Silicon Knights shut down and because of this, we'll never see a sequel to Eternal Darkness.

Good Qualities

  1. It's the first (and as of 2020, the only) X-Men game that allows you to side with the Brotherhood of Mutants.
  2. The game handles the character of Cyclops better than the actual comics at the time, despite him being an unplayable character.
  3. The mere thought of the nigh-unstoppable Juggernaut getting beaten up by a 90-pound Japanese schoolgirl is pretty amusing.
  4. The premise (the X-Men disbanding after the supervillain Bastion murders Professor X) is admittedly rather interesting.
  5. Pixie's death in the climax is incredibly emotional and sad.
  6. The idea of using X-Genes to customize your character's powers is a novel concept that sadly wasn't executed properly.
  7. Decent voice acting, such as Steve Blum as Wolverine, and Fred Tatasciore as Juggernaut.

Reception

X-Men: Destiny received mixed-to-negative reviews, with Metacritic scoring of the PS3 version a 50/100, the Xbox 360 a 47/100, and the Wii and DS versions lower scores of 36/100 and 33/100 respectively. The game was rated at #2 on WatchMojo.com's "Top 10 Games That Ruined Their Companies", in which they claimed that the game pretty much destroyed any chance of Silicon Knights' existence ending on a high note.

Joystiq (now a part of Engadget) criticized the sluggish gameplay and short story, stating the game feels unfinished and gave the Xbox 360 version 1.5 stars out of 5, ending the review with, "...at least you can quickly move onto something more pleasurable, like...burying a beloved family pet".

GamesRadar, although praising the fan service of the game, echoed the sentiment of the game feeling unfinished, calling it mediocre and citing the graphics being similar to "an HD remake of a last-gen game" and although the boss battles received some praise, the majority of the fighting was considered dull and repetitive, awarding the game 2.5 stars out of 5. Angry Joe gave the game a 6/10.

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