X-Men: Legends (GameCube) Preview

By Mark Sedge 01.07.2004

With an established fan-base and the recent revival of the televised mutants thanks to the movies, X-Men is having another bash at getting into people's homes through home consoles. This could prove to be very lucrative for the publishers and developers (Activision and Raven Soft respectively) or it could go down the path of X-Men: Next Dimension and Wolverine's Revenge and turn out to be yet another mediocre licensed game based on the long-running adventures of our favourite superheroes. However, we are promised some great things, but will this be enough to sway our opinions? Read on...

In a new direction for X-Men games, Legends will be a real-time RPG, in which players will be able to choose a team of four X-Men and put them together to form a small, versatile fighting force. This means that you will be able to form a team suited to your individual style, or for the more thoughtful out there, create a well-balanced team who will see you through even the most demanding of scenarios. In typical RPG fashion, you'll also be able to level up and upgrade your abilities. The range of X-Men you can choose from is extensive and a fan's dream; over a dozen famous characters, including Cyclops, Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Storm, all of whom you can pick from and use their unique powers to overcome obstacles such as blocked doors, made easy with a simple character switch option. At any time, you can This gives the game a more strategic edge and you'll have to think carefully before rushing into a stealth mission with all laser eyes blasting.

Say we had a team composed of Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm and Gambit. Wolverine has excellent melee skills, while you can use Storm's powers to provide powerful long-range attacks, with Gambit and Cyclops being the middlemen. Other features of using your team in a battle include character attack combos, for example, you can combine Colossus and Wolverine's attack to create the Fastball Special. When you take into consideration the melee attacks that your characters have, power ups and that the battles will take place in real-time, then what ensues will be a fast, dynamic and hopefully enjoyable experience.

Screenshot for X-Men: Legends on GameCube

That's not all though

Screenshot for X-Men: Legends on GameCube

If anything, the game's plotline will be a strong aspect of the game. Written by former veterans of the comic business, Legends story begins with Magneto's plan to unite mutants and exterminate 'inferior' humans, and maybe even take over the world! Original, no?

This sends the X-Men on a quest to stop Magneto from achieving his goals, and in the process, the heroic mutants will have to fight against Morlocks, the huge Sentinel robots and duel with the Brotherhood of Mutants. We're promised many twists and turns in the story as the game progresses, and we're also surprised what impact the storyline has had on the current build of the game. At last year's E3, we seen a game that followed the style of the movies, but now there seems to have been a complete reversal, as the new screens show. With cel-shaded graphics, it now looks more faithful to the comics, and it looks all the more better for it.

Screenshot for X-Men: Legends on GameCube

Previously ropey and garish visuals are now replaced with smoother, slicker and generally more eye-pleasing treats for your pupils. The lighting and character models are also fairly impressive, but the textures are still bland, but this has more to do with the levels that Raven Software have chosen to demonstrate to us. So far, the game's locales range from underground sewers to a massive futuristic aircraft carrier. The design in some of the levels is a bit restricted, but there are destructible environments and we've seen enemies cower beneath crates and other objects for cover as Cyclops gives his evil stare. The layout of the game also asks you to use the X-Men as a team at times, requiring you to use someone's power to remove a breakable wall while you use another to disable security, and we're sure that teamplay in the battles will be emphasized as well.

We're not expecting anything groundbreaking in gaming, but we should see a solid title hitting the shelves come Autumn.

Screenshot for X-Men: Legends on GameCube

Final Thoughts

Altogether, the game seems to be gelling in all the right places, and we have our fingers crossed for this one. We would love to see such a great franchise getting a game worthy of its popularity, and if we get a decent RPG to boot, we're sold. This will be one to watch in the coming months.






Real Time RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (5 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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