This new instalment of the X-Men series has not really experienced any blockbuster hype this time around but has still crept into the top ten in the gaming charts. Many people will say it's due to the trademark of the X-Men game and the excitement held by the younger generation. Comic books have never really interested me not even in the money-throwing days of primary school when crazes used to be more frequent than an England player breaking their metatarsal before a big tournament.
Past instalments most notably Wolverines Revenge has shown that if only one character is playable, the player loses interest very quickly. This is the game where the developers have fixed this feature and replaced it, with a wide array of playable characters. Throughout the game three characters are playable, Wolverine, Ice-Man and Nightcrawler.
If a non-gamer with no experience with the outside world was to play this game I think even they would know what type of game this was, well from the menu anyway. As you are charged into the menu, the instantly recognizable theme tune of X-Men is blasted out, as you are given time to adapt to your surroundings. The first menu you come to seems complex but as your eyes focus you see it is pretty simplistic with maybe too many graphical stimulants being used though. Any veterans of the x-men series, myself included in this category due to experience of the movies, will feel right at home with the location of Professor X being used to progress through the various before-game menus.
As I already stated the game is the new instalment in the almost endless line of X-men games being produced and it seems to supply something a bit different to the rest of series, that something which makes it one hell of an addictive game. The cliché 'Things Can Only Get Better' seems to be true for the X-men series for the time being. Some might expect the controls for a comic book game to contain the simple punch, kick combination but the controls are a lot deeper than anyone except the developers could apprehend. Depending on the character that you are using, different control systems apply although this seems too hard to remember at first once you have played through a couple of missions it becomes second sense. Each playable character has different attributes for example Ice-Man has the imaginative Ice Beam whereas Nightcrawler has the teleportation ability. This feature of the game is what makes it so addictive with each character having different abilities that have not really been shown in that many games before and shows you that the game is all about variance, whether it be genes or the actual game. The game also features different difficulty settings and unlike most games you get a choice of what difficulty to compete on in each mission.
Who Needs a Holiday?
X-Men: The Official Game features many different locations, maybe even enough to save you going on holiday; a lot cheaper anyway. Whether it be in the city or in a sewer type land it's all here. Each character model has adequate detail applied and look pretty much similar to their real-life movie counterparts, even the common seen enemies are detailed and look realistic enough for you to destroy with a few combos. The attributes or powers of the characters are shown well with Nightcrawler's teleportation being the most spectacular with the screen blurring as you race across to the point of teleportation. Before you are ploughed into the mission, the story of events is told with a special comic book effect with no real movement of characters just a change of frame every few seconds, this is an extraordinary technique to try and fortunately it does work well. As I already mentioned the levels look good and there is definitely enough variance in them to keep you interested, although each level seems to be set out for the mission. For example in a Nightcrawler mission, lights are set up especially for you to teleport across each one; this definitely adds some linear effect to the game which is not good news. The game does feature some annoying bugs due to the adjustable character camera though which is a minor nuisance.
As you can imagine sound is a pretty important part of any game but especially with ports of comic books or anything related to that genre. This is one of the parts that really sells the game because young trademark loving children won't like a game if the characters don't sound like they did in the movie. The developers though have obliged to this request and the voice-overs used are as good as you are going to get. Within the game, is a lot of slashing and punching and the sound effects used for these actions are very realistic and add to the overall feel of the game. Background music is also used but during the intense battles you will struggle to hear it.