I should make clear that I'm not opposed to superhero games that take creative risks and making an X-Men game in which you don't play one of the MANY household names within the most legendary team of mutants in comic history was definitely a risk. But that's not what sinks "X-Men: Destiny." If you took out the central character and replaced him with Gambit or Cyclops (and you really could), the game would still have significant problems. I'm just saying that it doesn't help the nagging feeling that this game was woefully underdeveloped when you have an unengaging new central character at the heart of the story.
Filled with un-skippable cut scenes that only serve to alleviate the repetitive boredom of the most uninteresting enemies in a long time, "X-Men: Destiny" has a remarkably dull story that it feels like someone tried to pump up by adding the illusion of choice through dialogue options and the occasional player decision of power, upgrade, or even path. Rarely have so many choices felt so useless. You are often presented with a cut scene and then, where a list of response options should be, given one choice (I suppose based on previous choices but it happens so often that it feels like you're just clicking "Next" in a cut scene). And the dialogue choices are so interchangeable that it becomes impossible to care.
That's the worst thing about "X-Men: Destiny" - the apathy on every level. Backgrounds are not just poorly-designed in terms of graphics, some aren't even there. Yes, it's wide open space behind you where the sky should be. Buildings look flat. The game has no depth at all on a visual level and honestly looks like a first-gen PS3 title if not a PS2 title. Character design, animations, levels - all of it is disappointing.
The worst thing about "X-Men: Destiny" is the "enemy wave" structure that the entire game operates on. The screen even offers a countdown - "25 Enemies Left" - as you zap/hit/blast some of the least-interesting villains of the year. (It doesn't help that the game glitched more than once, leaving an enemy that needed to be killed stuck in the environment). I hated the enemy A.I. in "Destiny," one in which so many worthless baddies sit and wait for you to kill them before you can move on to another section of the boring map and do it again. The game and combat are so remarkably easy and uninspired that the only chance you have of dying is if you fall asleep.
Great Marvel games are admittedly rare (although I'll defend both "MUA" games and last year's "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions" wholeheartedly). But rarely have we seen one that was this flat and uninspired. Fans of The X-Men deserve better although this lackluster experience is likely to be forgotten so quickly that most of them won't even know it existed.