Yes, “X-Men Legends” has all that and more.
As always, the premise of the game is simple. Well, simple to people who have more than a passing familiarity with the history of the X-Men as a whole, including the “heroes” and the “villains.”
“X-Men Legends” is an action role-playing hybrid that lets you take control of 15 different members in the X-Men universe. These characters range from Cyclops and Wolverine to Emma Frost and Jean Grey. While this is essentially heaven, during missions, the player will have to pick a four-man team from the available characters. During the mission, the players can switch out between different members of the team.
This is where a person’s sense of strategy and grasp of a character’s strengths and weaknesses come into play. After all, you can’t have a team made up of only long-range and/or short-range fighters.
The storyline behind legends is very familiar, and reads more like an arc in a comic book than a game. This is, of course, a mark in its favor. Magneto and the brotherhood are on a mission to terrorize the city and break lots of things while they’re at it. While that is never a bad thing, the villains add a fun layer the game, as they come from all areas of the X-Men universe.
What might throw some people off and make them disinclined to play the game is the introduction of a new and original character that becomes essential to the game and the storyline. As a matter of fact, the first mission is all about her and her rescue from the brotherhood.
Like all other RPGs, “Legends” has a seemingly complex upgrading and leveling system that, once the player becomes familiar to it, becomes fairly easy to negotiate. The basic concept is that with every level achieved, that character will receive a certain amount of points. These points can then be utilized to upgrade those specific characters’ abilities until said character has achieved the highest level that he or she can reach.
As the missions become longer and harder, the opportunities to level up will become more and more numerous. As more points are collected, more abilities will be unlocked and more bloodshed can occur.
While the lure of bloodshed, cool missions and fully destructible environments were what kept me playing the game, the main lure were the X-Men themselves.
X-Men. Who doesn’t react to those words? I do.