Its been quite a while since we’ve last played an original X-men game, and lately, Activision has been focusing a lot of effort onto bringing back superhero games. Activisions Derby Scott was on hand to show me the opening level of X-men Destiny, an all new adventure that puts players in the shoes of one of three brand new mutants.
â€œYou’ve got three characters to choose from when you start, which is at an anti-mutant rally in San Franciscoâ€, Scott tells me. â€œYou can choose from Aimi, who was smuggled to the US by her mutant parents in Japan to escape the persecution that is being perpetrated there by the government, Grant, who is basically your muscle head jock who just at the rally to pick up chicks, or Adrian, a mole within the pro-mutant group who is there to stir up trouble. He also happens to be a member of the anti-mutant group, The Purifiersâ€.
â€œThe thing is, none of those three characters know that they’re actually a mutant, who has yet to awaken their powersâ€.
I pick Aimi, who has become angry and bitter due to her isolation from her parents, when disaster strikes the rally. A huge explosion occurs, killing and injuring many people, while debris flies everywhere. A flaming car is about to smash into me, which is just the catalyst Aimi needs to activate her powers.
At this point, time freezes and I get a choice of three powers. â€œWhat you’ve got there, is density control, energy protection and shadow skills, Scott says. Density control is your usual melee option, makes you tough and strong and is great for beginners. Energy projection will allow you to blast away at enemies, while shadow skills is more nightcrawlerish, and lets you teleport around a map while summoning dark weapons with which to attackâ€.
I skip the cinematic, to keep things flowing, which is something that Scott takes note of. See, this is what we’re talking about with choice. We’ve got a great story here, penned by X-Men Legacy writer Mike Carey, but for those of you who want to get into the action, you don’t even need to see itâ€.
I choose Density control for Aimi, which allows me to shift my body, creating rock like armour with which to smash my way through anything. Its not long before I encounter some Purifiers, and I start combat.
The combat feels fast and free, and taking place on a 3D map, allows for some strategy with attacks. I block and parry, dodge as well as use some combos, and the combat feels solid, as well as hints at a few moves that are not shown in the menu. â€œThe game is quite deep, and its not common for us to be surprised at what players come up with. They’re experimenting and using their powers in combos that we never even thought were possibleâ€.
We move on further, and encounter some more purifiers, but this time we have some help from the super quick Quicksilver, a member from the Brotherhood of Mutants. â€œSee, at this point, you’re still neutral in the gameâ€, Scott says. â€œBut you’re going to have to make a choice about which side you want to work for, whether its the Brotherhood or the X-men, and they’ll send members that will help you during missionsâ€.
â€œYou’ll also face different objectives with each side, as the Brotherhood is more extreme, whereas the X-men want to protect everybody, regardless of mutations. Those decisions will impact on what powers are offered to youâ€.
With this combat section wrapped up, we proceed down the linear map, and pick up an X-gene, which belongs to the character Surge. Equipping it gives me a similar costume to hers, while also allowing me an enhanced dodge move that lets me electrically blast my way through crowds. â€œThere are going to be plenty of those, and you can hotswop them any time in the gameâ€, Scott tells me.
â€œIts a way of allowing you to still feel like an X-man, even though you aren’t playing as one technicallyâ€.
After a short scene that sees me use some new enhanced moves to launch enemies into the air, I’m going underground, teaming up with Emma Frost, and taking down more bad guys. â€œWe really wanted to create a unique universe for this game, Scott says, and also make it worthwhile to play the game finished several times, as its really fun to collect all those powersâ€.
â€œIts a game for the fans and for those people who don’t know anything about the X-men, but most of all, its going to be funâ€.
Last Updated: August 22, 2011