The game does have some high points, but X-Men: The official game is exactly what you’d expect out of a movie game
I loved the X-Men Legends games, and I’m
hyped for the new X-Men movie. Games based on movies don’t have a very
good track record, but I started playing X-Men: The Official game with
high hopes. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The game does have some
high points, but X-Men: The official game is exactly what you’d expect
out of a movie game.
Get 'em Wolverine!
This is what Iceman does – put out fires!
One of the highlights to the game is the fact that
it’s not actually based on the movie. Instead, it tells the story of
the events that take place between the second and third X-Men movies.
Despite being co-written by Zak Penn, one of the films screenwriters,
and the legendary comic book writer Chris Claremont, the story isn’t
particularly good. While playing the game you’ll go back and forth
taking control of one of three different characters. As you switch
between characters and missions, the story will jump around a lot,
making it hard to follow. Either way, hardcore fans will likely enjoy
the chance to see the rest of the story.
You’ll play through the
game as Wolverine, Iceman and Nightcrawler. Each of these characters
has a unique fighting style and feels distinct while being played.
Iceman’s levels generally focus on speed, such as rushing to put out a
fire or chasing after a Sentinel. Wolverine’s levels are all about hand
to hand combat. Lastly, Nightcrawler’s levels are about being sneaky
and agile. Unfortunately, all of the levels end up seeming the same.
Beating the crap out of enemies as Wolverine is fun for a while, but
every stage follows a similar patter… fight enemies, take a few steps,
fight more of the exact same enemies. It becomes extremely repetitive
and the only real strategy is to build up your fury meter and go into
fury mode, which basically makes you attack faster and stronger for a
brief period of time. Iceman’s levels were by far my least favorite.
Rather than do anything cool with the character, they essentially
turned him into a fire-fighter.
Nightcrawler’s stages are the
best part of the actual gameplay. These levels are fast paced and
fairly unique. There’s a fair balance between action and stealth here,
from battling multiple man to sneaking around the inside of Master
Whenever you’ve completed a stage you’ll gain mutations,
which can be used to power up your characters. Each stage has three
difficulty settings, and the harder the setting the more mutations
you’ll get out of it. This did add a little bit of depth to the game,
and hardcore gamers might find a reason to go back through in order to
collect all the mutations. I would have liked to see some abilities
added to the game, considering all the game has to offer are the most
basic of moves: strong attack, weak attack and an area attack. The end
result is a beat ‘em up with little variety or fun. The chance to play
as three very distinct characters does liven things up a little, but
considering how awful Iceman’s stages are and how repetitive the action
in Wolverine’s levels is, you might not care. More depth to the
gameplay, such as more special moves and abilities, could have made
this a much better gaming experience.
Nice enemy variety, huh?
Most of the levels are pretty short, so you’ll fly
through them in no time. There will be plenty of times when you’ll be
restricted to a single room for an entire level, so it’s not like
you’re going to be doing much exploring. There are some larger stages,
and even a few stages that I genuinely enjoyed. However, for the most
part the game is extremely restrictive and linear. The environments are
somewhat destructible, particularly while controlling Wolverine. You
can burst through crates, cut down trees and slash barrels in half. It
doesn’t really add anything to the gameplay, but it does help bring
some life to the game.
The enemies are pretty much morons. I
don’t know how else to put it. If you’re surrounded by enemies you can
pretty much just run away and hide on the other side of a wall, because
they’ll be too stupid to walk around the wall to get you. On more than
one occasion I just jumped on top of a table and healed while the enemy
stood around waiting for me to come down.
The game’s vocal
talent is actually pretty good, including Patrick Stewart, Allan
Cummings, and Hugh Jackman. These great talents really do heighten the
experience of the game, and fans won’t have to get used to anybody new.
Visually, the game is pretty good looking. Despite the restrictions,
many of the environments appear large and detailed, with a good amount
of variety. The character models are well done, and very closely
resemble the film’s cast. And for Xbox 360 owners with an HD-TV, you
can look forward to some great next-gen graphics. The cutscenes, done
in still frames, are a mixed bag. While they do increase the comic book
feel of the game, the silly movement of characters across still frames
and the lack of moving mouths make it look really awkward. The music is
almost non-existant, as it’s always fading out and is rarely even
As far as the length goes, you’ll easily beat the
game in a night or two. As I said earlier, the levels are generally
brief, and although there are quite a few of them, you won’t have any
trouble finishing them off. The game does feature some unlockable
costumes, though, and three difficulty settings if you feel like going
back through in order to dominate the game.
Nightcrawler fights a Sentinel
Beating down Silver Samurai
Unless you’re a big fan of the X-Men, I would
suggest this as a rental only. If you simply must purchase it, don’t
bother with the Xbox 360 version. It costs $20 more than the other
versions, and aside from the improved graphics, it’s the same game.
Just buy the regular Xbox version. Overall it’s not a great game, but
the continuation of the X-Men storyline is an opportunity that some
fans won’t want to miss out on.
Top Game Moment:
TOP GAME MOMENT
Watching Magneto destroy a whole bunch of Sentinels… Yeah, Magneto rules.