I’m going to go a bit hipster on you right now. Before it was mainstream and popular, I read comics. Before it was mainstream and popular, I ran around on the playground pretending Rogue was my girlfriend and adamantium claws were popping out of my fists. Before it was mainstream and popular, I was collecting and trading Fleer Ultra cards with my like-minded friends. I am a X-Nerd, and I can’t wait for X-Men Destiny.
X-Men Destiny’s story, written by X-Men Legacy writer Mike Carey, takes place within modern continuity. Professor X is deceased. The X-Men, such as they are, have moved to San Francisco. San Francisco itself is divided between mutants and anti-mutant groups. The school has closed. And you, as a brand new mutant, have a choice to make. Rather than providing linear gameplay, X-Men Destiny provides you with a more fluid story driven by the choices you make as Aimi, Adrian, or Grant. The larger choices are called “destiny moments,” and they push you closer to either becoming a member of the X-Men or the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. The game was defined as an origin story for your character, culminating in your decision to join either the X-Men or the Brotherhood. In that context, it seems that there are plans (or desires, at least) for a sequel or a franchise built around this game and the character you choose.
Now, about these new characters…Your choice of character affects the story, as each of the three characters has a unique background and progresses through the story in a slightly different way. Your choice of character does not, however, affect the gameplay itself, as each character starts off with the same potential core powers. There are three core powers to choose from (energy projection was the demonstrated core power), and that core power choice is irreversible. Your core power can, however, be modified in various ways as you progress through the game. Collecting “x-genes” allow you to modify your core power using existing mutant powers from canon mutants, some of whom make appearances in the game. X-genes can be mixed and matched for varied effects, but if you use all matching x-genes from one specific mutant, plus that mutant’s costume (yeah, you can unlock existing mutant costumes), you activate X-Mode, which grants you great bonuses for gameplay. X-Genes can be accumulated and hot-swapped at will, resulting in a constantly fluctuating range of powers at your disposal.
Gameplay consists of light and heavy attacks that you can string into combos. It seems to be an action game, but has RPG elements in that you earn XP for defeating enemies, etc., and can use that XP for leveling up various abilities, skills, combos, and more. It is unknown at this point if the game will offer any co-operative or online multi-player play, but given the single character focus, I would say it’s not likely. It is expected to release this September for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo 3DS. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.