Review by KeynoteImpaler

"An enjoyable game for any X-Men fan, or anyone else for that matter"

X-Men Legends is the 2001 action-RPG from Activision. Not to be confused with the official X-Men video game in spite of the fact that Patrick Stewart does reprise his role as Professor X from the movies. The game is overall quite the enjoyable experience whether or not you're a born X-fanatic. Here's why:

Game play

The game is a brawler with RPG elements similar to games like Gauntlet, wherein you move around with a team of four X-Men (from a selectable stable that comprises fifteen different heroes, some of whom will be familiar to anyone who has only seen the movies, and a few that won't be so familiar), bashing groups of general enemies, from thugs to members of Magneto's Brotherhood. There are missions that take place anywhere from New York to Alaska, Europe to Asteroid M. These are point A-B type missions generally, but these mission usually have several different objectives, defeating boss-style mutants, defending civilians, breaking things, etc. The missions are rarely boring and usually challenge you. One problem is that the difficulty does not ramp up through the game, but rather, varies from hard one mission to easy the next. This can be overlooked though. You can upgrade your X-Men as they level up using points to boost their stats and to unlock new abilities, upgrade them, and improve your stats in various ways. Each character can be equipped with three items that provide various bonuses. New items can be purchased with tech bits or found in rubble from things you destroy or dropped by enemies.

Fighting, however is the most important part of this game and the combat system delivers. Characters can throw opponents into walls, punch, kick, and juggle their opponents, as well as unleash special mutant powers unique to each X-Man. Each X-Man has access to one special ability at the beginning of the game, this ability affects one opponent at a time. The second special attack usually affects more than one opponent at a time at the expense of doing less damage. The third ability either makes the character stronger and faster or makes them almost impossible to kill depending on the type of character (Wolverine won't need defense boosts, but he can use his rage to tear through enemies with blazing speed, Emma Frost, on the other hand, would turn into organic diamond making her defense nearly unbreakable. Finally, each X-Man gets a special Xtreme power that uses X-points. These are very valuable powers that usually cause loads of damage to ordinary enemies in groups. Choosing the right X-men to use for each mission is important as their powers and skills vary.

Game play is further enhanced by the addition of up to three other players in drop-in drop-out co-op play. Grab a few friends and you'll have a blast.

Graphics

Graphics are dated, but what do you expect from a game released in 2001? It may not be the most pretty, but it gets the job done, and the cut-scenes are still very good. If you're not snobbish about graphics you probably won't care. The graphics have a comic book look to them and the characters are modeled after their paper counterparts, not the ones from the movies. Wolverine does not look like Hugh Jackman in this game so don't expect him to.

Sound

The sounds in this game are quite good with the notable exception of the highly annoying voice of the new character Alison Crestmere. If you can ignore her and the fact that the only voice from the movies is Patrick Stewart, you'll be fine. The music is good, if a bit repetitive, and the familiar sound effects like Wolverine's claws coming out will be familiar to any fan.

Story

The story centers around a growing threat of war between mutants and humans. General Kincaid wants to destroy all mutants with his Operation Vigilance project to get revenge for the death of his wife at the hands of a mutant. He begins rebuilding the Sentinel's to get the job done. Meanwhile, The Brotherhood tries to kidnap Alison Crestmere who becomes an integral part of the story and the means by which new players can learn about the history of the X-Men and their powers. Magneto escapes (again), and all hell breaks loose. To save the world from destruction and all-out war between mutants and humans, the X-Men must get involved. Simple huh? The story is pretty good and keeps the game moving along at a brisk pace.

Fun and last words

So, overall, is this games fun factor worth its weight in dollars to find a copy? In a word, yes. The fighting system and the ability to duke it out as your favorite mutant with or without a friend or three is a blast. The game will keep you busy for about twenty or so hours on one play-through, while unlockables, competitive multi-player modes, and the like can keep the fun going on even longer. And if you finish the game too soon for your liking, there's always X-Men Legends II...


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/26/07


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