Even if you Love the X-Men Franchise it's a Disappointing, Repetitive Destiny if you Buy this Ugly Beat-'Em-Up Game
X-Men Destiny is a beat 'em up, hack 'n slash sort of game. This isn't a bad thing. I enjoyed various hack-'n slash and beat'em up games on my GameCube. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the best beat 'em up game I've played on the PS3. But lest I be faulted for continuing to compare this game to others, let's review it for what it is...
You take control of one of three mutants who has a short, very short back-story. You sorta care about this character through the dialogue, though it seems the same past story-line elements come up over and over for whatever character you choose. On a bigger scale, you find yourself in the middle of troubling times for mutants. The X-Men are scattered, lost and confused, the Brotherhood is preparing for war, the Purifiers are attacking and well, you get the idea. You have to find out what's going on and put an end to it. Because let's face it somebody wants Mutants dead.
The graphics are drab. They look like something from the previous system or a bad Wii port. I mean the character models are ok, but the levels just look sad. The corridors begin to blend together, the environments aren't interesting or convincing. The textures are just ok and the modeling and animation is sub-par. If this game was made by a some guy in a basement I would applaud his work and support him. But this is a full-blown retail game. Let's face the facts, this game looks sub-par.
The voice acting is good, but not great. The sound effects do the job, but like much of the game are rather lack-luster. Sometimes odd sound effects stand out because of volume or because they seem out of place. The quietness leads to these weird moments and these effects are repeated almost noticeably.
The game-play is a Beat 'Em up sort of game. The best part is you can chose one of three characters, you can choose your powers and even choose other branching elements within this powers that give you new abilities within this power set. That's the best part, the rest is downhill from here. You can also equip yourself with mutant x-genes from key franchise characters but most of the time these do little to actually make your character better or alter your character to be like the franchise characters and actually seems a little tacky. The beat 'em up is often a button mashing fest with hordes of the same enemies rushing you again and again. The missions (if you can call them that) are rarely varied from get from point A to point B. You stop and talk to other mutants (which is sorta RPG element). But the game is hardly inspiring, making me upset that I bought it more than anything else. Eventually you learn what is most effective and you do some of the same combos over and over again. Then the game will have you do these climbing parts (which are stupid and uninspiring). Then beat up some more guys, then search the environment for an x-gene or a collectible, then go to point B then beat up some more people, then talk to a mutant, ask him some questions, then go to point C and beat up some more people. The enviornments are bland and mostly corridor like-always, they look like corridors even when they're not. This wouldn't be so bad if the beat 'em up part was awesome (like LOTR: ROTK) but it's not, you don't feel like a kick-butt hero, you feel sluggish and you begin to wonder when the game will end. There are a few bosses and mini-bosses but on the whole the game is repetitive, uninspiring and frankly lackluster. Towards the end of the game you do unlock some pretty cool powers but they end up in all reality just being bigger-badder versions of what you've already been doing for the past hour or so.
The comic-book presentation and the simple menu layout is effective and easy to navigate, probably the strongest point in the game. The nice little collectibles that are like trading cards of x-men are fun, but pointless and don't make the poor graphics or bland environments more enjoyable to tromp through. Did I mention the environments and levels are bland and mostly corridor-like? So boring.
The X-Men franchise is of course a fun universe to find yourself when playing a video game. For that reason, I would recommend you rent this title, as it's a fun weekend romp around the X-Men Universe. But the lack-luster graphics and game-play really disappoints on a whole. It's truly a good thing that Professor X was dead for this game though its' existence probably made him turn over in his grave, poor chap. In fact, Wolverine goes crazy at one point in this game and I suspect it's because the game is so down right bland and boring that he couldn't handle it anymore, and needless to say, I couldn't either.