The X-Men Game We Wish Someone Would Make
X-Men games, I am sad to say, are mostly bad. They tend to either be the simple repurposing of classic characters for no real reason, or lazy movie tie ins. Even the good ideas, like the disappointing X-Men: Destiny, tend to disappoint simply because they fail utterly to live up to the source material’s full potential.
The failure that is X-Men destiny is particularly disappointing. Reviews largely confirm what I suspected when I played during E3, which is that it’s largely an unremarkable, generic super hero game dressed up in X-Men clothing and kicked out the door before anyone notices how bad it is. That’s sad, especially considering that the storyline upon which it is based – a global war between mutants and anti-mutant extremists – has vast potential for greatness.
As the better X-Men films and the excellent 90′s animated series demonstrate, the X-Men universe is a great way to deal with serious topics, unpleasant outcomes and the consequences of fanaticism and unchecked power. There’s vast potential for an epic story that forcing players to confront serious unpleasantness while also immersing them in a fairly well-developed universe. It’s a shame we haven’t seen one yet, especially in a world where the Mass Effect series is a huge hit.
Dammit, X-Men fans deserve a better game. Because it doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon, we’re inserting ourselves into the matter directly. Allow us to offer the X-Men game we wish someone would make.
First and foremost, as if this will come as a surprise, the game has to be on PC. I’m convinced that half of the problem with prior titles is that they’ve been either arcade-only or console games, which is kind of like giving your carpenter a half empty toolbox and telling him to add a new wing to your house. On the other hand, assuming the developers know what they’re doing, everything from graphics capabilities to processing power is vastly superior to what a console can deliver. Best of all, the developers won’t have to choose between the size of the game and how the game looks.
The endless repetitions of X-Men fighting games are unmemorable precisely because they simply dress up Street Fighter II in yellow spandex. The various action games are a step in a better direction but as we’ve seen in X-Men: Destiny, even when they’re ripping a story right out of the comics, they end up with a neutered product. To get it right, Marvel, and whomever they authorize to adapt their story, needs to go back to their roots and dig deep, deep into the series mythology.
What we need is a game based on the Dark Phoenix Saga.