There have been a number of X-Men inspired games to appear on consoles and why not? Marvel Comics mutant creations are as worthy game material as the next character and with the likes of the vicious Wolverine or chilled out Iceman and teleporting Nightcrawler at the helm, X-Men characters offer gamers the chance to experience several game play possibilities. Well a number of superheroes have had their comic book characters brought to life in movies Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Hulk and of course the X-Men. In fact X-Men the Official Game is based upon the series third movie which is in cinemas across the globe now.
X-Men the Official Game offers gamers the chance to relive scenes from the movie and take control (using a third person viewpoint) of three distinct characters; Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Iceman. Starting with Wolverine the gameplay is a simple get from A to B affair with some beat-em-up action thrown in. Wolverine has few moves in which to dispatch enemies and with those long claws of his makes light work of foes early on in the game. The enemies come in a variety of forms including gun and rocket launcher wielding guards to close combat troops who use melee weapons.
Iceman is a different affair as he is able to use his famous ice slide to get around. This means Iceman is able to effectively fly whilst sliding on a sheet of ice. Iceman missions offer low ceiling open areas with objectives being to use his Ice powers to destroy objects or defend areas. The Iceman missions are rather basic and can be completed quite quickly if you are experienced but generally are a fun addition to the game.
My favourite of the three and unfortunately a character that didn’t appear in the movie is the excellent Nightcrawler. With Nightcrawler players are able to teleport at will to areas marked as a blue flame ahead of the character. The blue flame locations change depending on where the character is facing. With a simply click of the right bumper Nightcrawler teleports in an instant which makes the feature intuative extremely well implemented. Nightcrawler is also able to teleport behind enemies when engaging in hand to hand combat. This adds a new dimension to the fighting as Nightcrawler is often able to run rings around single enemies with ease by simply teleporting behind the opponent and unleashing a number of attacks and then teleporting behind again as the opponent faces him. Nightcrawler’s missions involve navigating complex environments and fighting which certainly adds some interesting situations.
X-Men the Official Game looks very sharp although in terms of graphics are not up to par for an Xbox 360 title. I guess this boils down to the game being a multi format release which means the Xbox 360 version gets some basic graphical touch ups over its Xbox counterpart. Whilst playing as either of the three characters, everything runs silky smooth and works just as it should. What did impress me was the way in which cut scenes were portrayed using stills from the movie with a painted effect used on the images to create a comic book presentation.
The sound is of a reasonably high standard as the voices have been lifted from the movie and so players get to hear the delightful voices of Hugh Jackman, Halley Berry and Patrick Stuart to name a few. Other sound effects are pretty standard and with a musical score lifted from the movie the game definitely has enough aural excitement to compliment the on screen action at all times.
X-Men The Official Game offers a number of missions that vary in length from very short to not so short depending on the difficulty selected. Players can choose three levels of difficulty and can replay completed missions as many times as they please and even up the difficulty to unlock more stuff. Players can upgrade each characters powers by completing missions on various difficulties which helps make some of the tougher missions easier. There are also hidden items to find in each mission and these unlock more goodies. X-Men The Official Game isn’t the longest of games despite its replay value and can be completed in a rental period.
X-Men The Official Game remains a fun title to while away the hours on a lazy weekend however despite being able to control three very different characters, lacks any sort of punch to make the game’s features stand out. Nightcrawler is definitely the most fun in the game as far as I’m concerned and perhaps in the back of my mind I wished for more missions with him. Everything else in the game is standard and will perhaps be enjoyed more by X-Men fans or casual gamers looking for some simple action. I would recommend renting the title first before deciding on a purchase.