|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
X-Men: Destiny is an action role-playing video game based on the X-Men comic book series. It was developed by Silicon Knights. Written by Mike Carey, the writer of the X-Men: Legacy comic book series, it was first published and released by Activision for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii consoles.
Along with many other games published by Activision that had used a Marvel license, X-Men: Destiny was de-listed and subsequently removed from all digital storefronts on January 1, 2014. The game and another game, Too Human, were recalled, and had their unsold copies destroyed due to legal issues between Silicon Knights and Epic Games over the games' use of Unreal Engine 3 code.
In X-Men: Destiny, players are put in the roles of new mutants who choose to join either the X-Men or the Brotherhood of Mutants; from there, they make decisions for the ultimate destiny of their character. X-Men: Destiny places an emphasis on the players' freedom of choice, as opposed to a more traditional linear type of gameplay. This was supported by quotes in the official press release: "the all-new original video game casts players as new mutant recruits in a rich, branching storyline that features a deep element of choice and gives players ultimate control of their destiny."
Throughout the game, players collect power enhancements called X-Genes. Every X-Gene can unlock three types of abilities: offensive, defensive and utility. X-Genes can be mixed and matched as the player sees fit for a unique experience.
Some retailers packaged the game with exclusive pre-order bonuses. Those who pre-ordered on Amazon.com received an early unlock code for Emma Frost's outfit and X-Genes; Best Buy offered an early unlock code of Juggernaut's costume and X-Genes; and GameStop's pre-ordering customers received Havok's suit and X-Genes.
Silicon Knights developed the game in collaboration with Activision after being green-lighted in 2009. Anonymous sources claiming to be former employees have claimed that the development team was split between 'XMD and Eternal Darkness 2, with management indifferent toward X-Men.
Denis Dyack, the founder of Silicon Knights, has responded, stating that the project budget was drastically reduced due to Marvel's acquisition by Disney. He has asserted that the perception of indifference had to do with resources at the developer being re-allocated in response to the shift in budget; the developers were not informed of the reduced budget so as to maintain morale.
X-Men Destiny is based in San Francisco, which has been divided into human and mutant areas due to a conflict between the two groups. At the start of the game, the player chooses from one of three mutant characters who have been created for the game. The game allows for the player to decide which mutants become their allies and enemies through choices made in the course of the story.
The game begins at a peace rally held in San Francisco, in memory of the deceased Professor X, by the Mutant Response Division's Chief Luis Reyes. Things quickly turn into a disaster as the rally is attacked by an anti-mutant extremist organization called the Purifiers, who are taking mutants alive and not killing them as they usually do. Immediately after, the latent mutant powers of the player's character are awakened and he/she is forced to defend civilians in the area from the Purifiers. The player's character then meets with mutants from both the X-Men and Brotherhood of Mutants and makes the choice of joining either group as they go after Cameron Hodge, leader of the Purifiers. Hodge is wearing a Power Armor and personally joins the hunt for mutants. While many characters wonder why the Purifiers are capturing mutants alive instead of killing them, the player character eventually corners Hodge on top of a building. The fight is then interrupted by Magneto, who is accused by Reyes for attacking the rally, and drops a steel bridge on top of the combat zone.
The player's character is saved by Nightcrawler at the last moment and is teleported to China Town where he/she is tasked to find Gambit, who left the X-Men after the death of Professor X and is currently operating a nightclub in China Town. After meeting Gambit, he asks the player to help him raid a Purifier warehouse which contains technology that the Purifiers use against mutants. After the raid, Gambit gives the player the location of the secret underground lab where Purifiers are holding captured mutants.
At the lab, the player meets several captured mutants such as Quicksilver, Surge and Colossus. With their help, the player eventually defeats Sublime and the U-Men, a group of anti-mutant soldiers that somehow uses power drained from mutants, and saves the captured victims.
Acting on information gained by the X-Men, the player goes to a secret underground base used by Hodge and the Purifiers. He/she eventually finds Hodge who is now wearing a more powerful Power Armor containing drained mutant powers. Hodge claims that the power drained from Pixie and Caliban will enable them to find and capture any mutant that the Purifiers want. He also says that he is being helped by some other group or person. After the fight, Hodge falls from the generator tower and is presumed dead.
Depending on the player's choice between the X-Men or the Brotherhood of Mutants, he/she goes to either Cyclops or Mystique with the new-found information and is tasked with finding Pixie and Caliban. With the aid of Forge, the player eventually finds Caliban and realizes that the person who is pulling the strings is Bastion, the robot who killed Professor X before being destroyed by Magneto. Bastion somehow survived and uploaded himself to the MRD satellite; it is revealed that Reyes also works for him.
With Caliban's help, the player finds Pixie, but is too late. The helicopter carrying her gets shot down by a laser beam and crashes, resulting in the death of Pixie in the blast. Immediately after, regardless of the player's choices so far, Magneto accuses Cyclops of shooting down the helicopter and, alongside Juggernaut, attacks both Cyclops and the player's character. After the fight, Magneto grudgingly gives the player a chance to join the Brotherhood, and he/she is forced to make a decision.
Regardless of which side the player chooses, he/she is tasked to find and eliminate Reyes who seems to have mind control powers to influence humans and even other mutants. Reyes plans to amplify his power with Bastion's satellite so he can control all humans and mutants on Earth. After fighting several allied mutants and saving them from Reyes' mind-control, the player eventually finds the broadcasting tower used by Reyes and shuts down the signal with the aid of Cyclops and Magneto. However, Bastion downloads himself into Reyes, who is now wearing an even more powerful version of the Power Armor that Hodge was wearing, and takes control of his mind. Bastion also sends several Sentinel robots to the fight. After the player defeats Reyes and his Sentinels, Reyes surrenders to the authorities, to which the player responds that they (either X-Men or Brotherhood) are the law now.
The ending depends on which side the player chooses to join at the end of Chapter 7.
- If he/she sides with the X-Men, Cyclops and rest of the team is seen watching the remains of the city and promising that they will create a world where mutants and humans can live in peace. Cyclops says that there's another storm coming that might be worse than the ones they endured. Cyclops tells the player that it is good to know that the player is with them.
- If he/she sides with the Brotherhood of Mutants, Magneto and the player are seen watching the ruins of the city, with Magneto declaring the formation of a mutant-only nation and saying that he will teach the player how to survive in a world that despises mutants.
X-Men: Destiny received generally negative reviews, with most pointing out the button mashing combat, lack of consequences to choices, and overall lack of polish. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 32.50% and 33 out of 100 for the DS version; 50.90% and 50 out of 100 for the PlayStation 3 version; 48.47% and 47 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 version; and 40.44% and 36 out of 100 for the Wii version.
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. However, Game Informer gave the game a 7 out of 10. They praised the fulfillment of fantasy for mutant lovers that this game provides, as well as replay value, despite the questionable graphics.
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