X-Men: The Official Game

With the story being set between the first X-Men movie and its sequel, X-Men: The Official Game follows Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Iceman over a span of almost thirty levels. Missions include defeating Hydra, The Brotherhood and a whole host of other villains in typical third-person adventure mode.

5Wolverine is your typical scrapper, but seems to have forgotten half of the fighting skills he had in 2003’s Wolverine’s Revenge. Iceman soars in the air on an iceboard and can fire icy projectile at enemies, but he’s hampered by the fact most of his levels have time limits. Nightcrawler can teleport to various areas over the level, which is a wonderful element that this makes his segments the most fun, but also easy to abuse. Unlike Price of Persia’s timeshifting power, Nightcrawler doesn’t have much to hold back his teleporting ability.

The gist of each level is to complete a few tasks, beat up a number of generic guards, and move on to the next level. At points throughout the game, a boss needs to be defeated. These are your typical “Hit them in a certain place a few times”-types and pose very little threat. This isn’t to say that they aren’t fun though – they are. In fact, they are the best part of the game. It’s just a shame that the rest of the game is repetitive and hardly amusing.

When you’re playing as Wolverine or Nightcrawler, you’re beating up a lot of enemies in relatively closed-off environments. Sometimes you need to find a control panel to open a door, and there are some platforming elements with the Nightcrawler sections (which can usually be circumvented altogether using his teleport ability), but for the most part you’re just constantly fighting enemies with guns, electric sticks, electric spears, bazookas, or the occasional mutant power. Plenty of beat-’em-up games have managed to suffice with a similar formula, but X-Men’s combat is just boring.

In the end what you get is a mediocre game wrapped in a good license. None of the fights are that interesting, and the jumbled story does an even worse job of capturing one’s attention. It’s sad to say, but I remember playing Wolverine’s Revenge and having more fun in the process – and that game is some three years older.

System Requirements: Pentium IV 2 GHz, 512 MB RAM, WinXP

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