X-Men: Legends

Review

posted 10/20/2004 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: Xbox
It’s been a good couple of years for X-Men fans. With the release of two decent movies, it’s been good times. The only thing that’s really been missing is a good X-Men game. Sure you had last year’s X2:Wolverine’s Revenge which was an OK game but it only featured one of the X-men. There still wasn’t a game that allowed you take control of a squad of X-men and unleash mutant mayhem. Well, that is until Activision released X-Men:Legends.

I’ll put it bluntly, X-Men:Legends is the best X-Men game that’s come out so far. It gives gamers the opportunity to play most of the X-men that have ever appeared in the comics, use a variety of cool mutant powers and kick major ass across a bunch of decent levels.

The plot of the game blends several classic X-Men plot lines. I won’t ruin the plot of the game but you’ve got your typical bad guys (the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Magneto, Sentinels), typical plot lines (the X-Men fighting humans and their hatred/fear of mutants), and other assorted X-Men back stories (even the Morlocks make an appearance). This game has everything an X-Men fan could ever want. If you don’t know the X-Men from X-Factor, you’ll be introduced to the characters slowly through Allison Crestmere, a young mutant who’s just coming into her own. Through her, you are slowly introduced to the history for the X-men and the various members of the team.

X-Men:Legends is an action RPG game. To put it in less marketing like terms, it plays a lot like the classic Gauntlet game but with RPG elements added to it. As your team dispatches enemies, they earn experience points and level up at present amounts of experience. At every level, you are given points for your physical skills as well as your mutant skills. Physical skills are made up of Strike, Agility, Body, and Focus which specify the characters offensive, defensive, damage you can take, and amount of energy available for your mutant powers. Your mutant powers are where the game really forces you to make some interesting decisions as you have to select which powers you really want to emphasize with your team. Do you want to make Wolverine nothing but a damage dealing machine or do you want to slot some points into his mutant healing ability so that you’re not always pouring healing potions down his throat? It’s a nice system and while it seems a bit odd that the X-men don’t come with all of their powers at the start it works within the construct of the game.

The other RPG element of the game is that you will find equipment in the game that can amplify your team’s powers. These range from generic strike enhancers to specialized equipment that can only be used by certain X-Men. Some of the items are also geared towards specific enemy types and characters so you will be switching equipment around several times during a mission if you want to get the max out of your items.
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