- “Choice-based” action game play with RPG-like elements
- Single player only
- Play as one of three new characters designed exclusively for the game
- Customizable powers
Today we take a look at X-Men Destiny for the Wii. Released at the end of September on all of the consoles, the X-Men franchise is loved by fans and has terrific potential in the realm of video games. Destiny however fails to deliver on the potential the X-Men franchise has. What is a reasonably good idea is tripped up by poor execution. Read on for the not so great news for X-Men fans that only have a Wii.
X-Men Destiny starts off following the death of Professor X. Rather than play as one of the traditional X-Men characters, you choose from one of three new original characters. You also get to select one of three core mutant powers to begin the game. There is a decent back-story to each character that fans of the series will undoubtedly appreciate too.
The core powers include Density Control, Energy Projection and Shadow Matter. Density Control is largely a defensive power. You can take more damage but it can also be focused into powerful melee attacks. Energy Projection gives you the power to do some ranged attacks while Shadow Matter is more of a stealthy power. While these powers have unique names, they really are pretty standard Melee, Range and Stealth powers that you see in many other games with RPG-like elements.
As you progress through the game, you unlock new powers and abilities including X-Genes. These pickups allow you to enhance and customize your mutant powers. The combination of three new characters, different core powers, and the ability to customize your powers might sound like it adds up to great replayability, but the lacklustre gameplay is probably not going to make that a reality for those who play.
Written by the person responsible for the X-Men comics, the story holds up decently. But while the game promotes really deep, choice-based gameplay, things really aren’t that much more than a decision to play as a bad or good guy followed by button mashing combat with hordes of cookie cutter enemies. Forget about applying skill because the enemy AI is ridiculous. Just keep mashing that attack button. You’ll see both bad guys and good guys doing crazy and stupid things like attacking the air and facing the wrong direction. I don’t ask for much but wow, not good.
While there’s plenty of fan service in the number of notable X-Men that make appearances, the game itself is terribly short. This whole package feels rushed out the door and lacks any amount of polish that could have made this game a whole lot better.
When it comes to the same game released on multiple consoles, Wii games are often the redheaded stepchild and Destiny is a perfect example of this trend. I think games based on comic book material can succeed visually on the Wii but not this one, as the textures generally aren’t all that intense. We know the Wii can pull this sort of thing off but this game looks like it belongs on the past generation of consoles. Beyond the graphical blah-ness of everything there are way too many unforgiveable graphical hiccups. Forget any semblance of a smooth framerate while fighting multiple enemies and there’s far too much clipping and collision detection issues to be excused. I don’t know if this all due to laziness, or that the game was difficult to port, but regardless it is not a great visual experience.
Thankfully Destiny performs better in the aural department. The developers have at least kept the voice acting and it is actually pretty good! The soundtrack is okay and the rest of the sound didn’t offend me nearly as much as the visuals. In fact it might be the best part of this game now that I think about it.
If you’re a multi-console owner and absolutely have to play this game because you’re that much of an X-Men fan, I would suggest looking into playing this one on the PS3 or Xbox. There’s no easy way to say this, the Wii version is just plain ugly and it simply isn’t a very good game.