Comic-Con 2011: X-Men Destiny Hands-On Preview

Accessibility and player choice collide in this upcoming X-Men title from Silicon Knights.

The first thing you'll need to keep in mind about X-Men Destiny is that you won't be playing as the most famous of mutants. Nope, you're not going to be tearing people apart with Wolverine, nor will you be taking down enemies using Beast's overwhelming powers of science and math. In this game, you start as a green recruit and use a little help from friends to get your journey rolling.

But first you have to make a choice, and that's which character you assume control over. The game begins by giving you a selection of a small handful of characters, each with its own unique background and powers. In this battle of mutant oppression, you want to make sure to really stack the odds in your favor, so needless to say we decided to play as the 15-year-old schoolgirl named Aimi. By contrast, we could have chosen the college football player Grant, but if you're a mutant, shouldn't you be good enough to go straight to the NFL? Come on.

Destiny plays like an accessible beat-'em-up with some overarching role-playing elements to add extra substance to the action. We managed to tear our way through the demolished streets of San Francisco with ease, thanks to the game's fairly simple control scheme, which used two face buttons to mix up Aimi's light and heavy electrical attacks. It's a very easy game to pick up and play, but there are a number of flourishes that add some flair to the action. Our favorites were the times when a text prompt on the screen told us there was one enemy left to take down; we then shattered the text prompt with a ground pound, along with the enemy. Yes, you can destroy both enemies and interface text with the same attack. Pretty cool.

Along your journey, you'll encounter a number of more well-known X-Men to help you out. In this brief 15-minute demo, we ran into a roster of mutants that included Quicksilver, Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Toad. You can chat with these mutants using a role-playing-game-like dialogue menu to add some extra context to the backstory, and even choose which X-Men you keep at your side during the game's overall journey. Combine that with the ability to choose which X-gene powers you unlock during the journey, and you get a sense of how developer Silicon Knights is looking to add some player choice to this relatively accessible action game.

In the end, we had a fun little romp through X-Men journey, but this demo was a brief one that didn't allow us to spend much time inside the gameworld. Naturally, the big question left with this particular game is how much depth you'll be able to mine out of the game's relatively simple control scheme, and how much of an impact your choices have over the events of the game. It's certainly an interesting approach to the X-Men license, which alone leaves us eager to see how this title turns out.

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Discussion

14 comments
0oJazZMano0
0oJazZMano0

I love the idea and concepts this game promises. However, I have a suspicious feeling that it will end up being too basic a combat system, with little flow and repetitive moves, unlike Batman AA/AC or the lesser Spidey Web of Shadows for example. Also, the character selection and choices made in the game seem to be far too simplistic. Three character models too choose from? No cosmetic character design (aka Oblivion). Any costume customisation? The powers I've seen don't look too impressive either. I was really looking forward to the release of this, but all the footage looks disappointing :'(

jaispeed2007
jaispeed2007

NOPE! WON'T BE GETTING THIS.. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! they show all the regular mutants and you don't even get to play with them... epic fail! just like i feel edge of time will be... completely boring

FFJAMER
FFJAMER

I actually like the idea. After all what would be better than actually getting to build an "X-Men You". So even if the game turns out really bad props for a good idea. Besides I try not to berate a game until I've played it. I can think of at least 10 games that sounded terrible that, once I played them quickly became favorites.

Legolose
Legolose

I really want to know how much depth there is in the charcters like do you level or something like that or is it when you finish quest you get a set number of powers (Hope not) ??? It doesnt really explain much...

cpinheiro2
cpinheiro2

Why would someone play a schoolgirl instead of Cyclops or Wolverine? Crap.

lostboy85
lostboy85

Activision producing = fail. It looks interesting but definitely needs some polish before release.

light-on
light-on

Used..bored...Let's see when they decide to release the real game than this f....ing piece of crap! (3)

AM8
AM8

No words... Just a Death feeling...

AM8
AM8

f....ing pieace of crap (2) Why people make things like this? WHY?!