X-men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse
Allow me to start off with the following statement: if you’re looking for originality, look elsewhere! For gameplay reference I gladly point you to b|0-0|n’s review of the original game for Xbox he wrote last year, as not much has changed in that department. Graphics and sound are of the same quality, not bad for a game that’s one year old which is to say it all looks dated. Soundwise I was pleasantly surprised in hearing Patrick Steward reprising as Prof. Xavier, but the other ingame voices are so overacted that his efforts are reduced to one of the few positives of the game.
Starting up the game, things look promising as the CGI introduction is very nice (you can download this intro from our servers). The Action-RPG style was kept because it worked on the previous game. You get to control four characters you can select yourself, and guide them through the missions. You can switch between each of them and they all have their own supernatural power. Controlling them is worked out very well indeed: you use the left analog stick for moving around the map, the arrow buttons are used to select one of your team members. Combine the R2 button with one of the arrow buttons and you trigger one of the superpowers that comes with the person you’re playing with.
The thing that really bothered me ingame was the constant interruption for dialogue. When this happens at “key-events” I can only applaud this approach, but when you are in the middle of some action and for example free a prisoner it becomes annoying. Especially when you get to hear the same dialogue over and over again, which in my opinion illustrates a lack of fine detail work or maybe even writer’s block… Action becomes repetitive after a while. Opponents become stronger during the game, but all in all it’s just simple button bashing. This was OK for games like “Double Dragon” but is not good enough for this day and age. I felt the gameplay came second supporting a rather thin storyline.
The few mini game I tried weren’t changed a lot if I compare with my colleague’s review of the original: ranging from the “Great X-Men soap” quiz – earning you health points for every correct answer – to tests in the “Danger Room” (this feature hasn’t been shown in the movies yet, but Patrick Stewart won’t really be surprised when it does feature, you can compare the Danger Room to Star Trek’s Holodeck: a room where dangerous situations are simulated, and where the X-Men do their training). Scenarios for this Danger Room have to be collected during the game in the form of CD’s spread over the different levels of the game.
On to multiplayer: Gamespy again provides servers for this and many other Activision titles. Different gamemodes are available in multiplayer and this should prolong the life of this game as much as it has with every other online game… but then again, you need other players to do this and when I tried to go online with this game that was the thing that was lacking: online gamers. So to be fair I didn’t take the online part in consideration when grading this game.
I admit, maybe I should’ve put more time in this game to get the know the whole story, but gameplay got the better of my nerves. Too much interruption and repetiveness bring this game down! One to leave on the shelves!