Top critical review
on 18 March 2011
I played Marvel: Ultimate Alliance a while back and after discovering this game afterwards and finding out they were supposed to be similar, was very excited to get playing it. How I wish I'd stayed away. After three hours, I decided enough was enough and had to switch it off.
Plot: Magneto has a plan to give mutants the power to reign supreme over humans. By choosing a team of X-Men, you are then tasked with putting a stop to his world domination and prevent the human population being enslaved.
Graphics: Quite poor. Although when actually playing the game, everything looked alright if a little basic, when switching to cut scenes, they were dreadful. The X-Men had oven mitts for hands and around every character were huge black lines giving everything a blurry effect.
I found the art direction a little confused at times too. Sometimes when being shown a setting, the graphics would switch from a cell shaded effect to a realistic one and then back again like they weren't really sure what to do.
Sound: You have your usual catchphrases delivered by the different X-Men while selecting or fighting. Some of them are spot on while others sound like they could be anymore. Not consistent.
Game play: X-Men Legends is an action role playing (RPG) game. You choose four members out of a selection of X-Men and then head off onto your mission. However, at each save point (called an extraction point) you can switch members in and out as well as resurrect any that have happened to of died along the way.
Throughout the game, as you kill enemies and complete objectives, you get experience points which cause you to level up every now and again. When levelling up, you are given skill points which can be used to either level attributes up or skills. If you're not sure where to put your new points, there's always the auto button that can help choose the places for you.
As you play through the game, different items are dropped for you to equip. Although they don't show up on your X-Men while playing, they give a boost to your stats. There are some famous items to be found too.
Once you've selected you X-Men and started the mission, you control only one of them but have the other three being controlled by the game. You can switch any time between the different characters and the ones you're not using can have their aggression levels, when they decide to use health packs and what move to use set to your liking.
Although all this sounds great, it would be if the game didn't do such a shoddy job of playing along with you. Now I don't mind dieing when it's my fault and there's something to be learnt from the mistake but when you team mates are intent on jumping down a chasm whenever they see one, it begins to become a little on the frustrating side. Not only do they enjoy jumping to their death, but they like running at it too. Now if a beam of poison is being shot at you and there's a chance to run either side of it, where do you run? If your one of the games players the answer is straight down the middle. Shoddy programming in my eyes.
Controls: Fairly simple to pick up. The bumpers are used for the likes of health and energy packs and directing your team mates while the arrow keys are used for selecting your team member and the shapes for different moves.
Overall: When playing X-Men, I kept wondering if I would have felt differently about playing if I had of played this before Ultimate Alliance but I think that even then, this game wouldn't have been saved from the amount of problems it has.
If you really enjoy comic book games then head over to Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Ultimate Alliance takes this game and tweaks everything to produce what X-Men should have been.