X-Men: The Official Game
X-Men: The Official Game is an action adventure role playing game that was developed by Z-Axis, published by Activision, and released for the PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, and GameCube on May 17, 2006.
Release Date: May 17, 2006
Platforms: PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube
JustRPG Score: 64%
+Great for fans of the movie.
-Appeal limited to fans of the movie.
X-Men: The Official Game Overview
X-Men: The Official Game is an action adventure RPG that was released on multiple platforms in early 2006. The game puts the player in the shoes of their favorite X-Men characters as they play through the story line from the movie in order to save the world. Overall the game is very poor in many respects. The controls and clunky, the dialogue is poorly written, and the game is very repetitive.
X-Men: The Official Game Screenshots
X-Men: The Official Game Featured Video
X-Men: The Official Game Review
By, Jason Ferguson
|As a big X-Men fan, I was really eager to give X-Men: The Official Game a try. The game offers fans a chance to see what happens before the movies, features vocal talents like Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman, and has a cool Mutant evolution system to upgrade your characters. Sounds promising, right?|
The game starts off with the X-Men returning to Alkali Lake in an attempt to find the missing Cerebro components stolen by Colonel William Stryker. Little do the X-Men know that evil still lurks within the Alkali Lake facility, and a new master plan is brewing that will set the stage for X-Men: The Last Stand. You’ll take control of Wolverine, Iceman, and Nightcrawler, battle familiar enemies like Sabertooth, Multiple-Man, Silver Samurai, and Deathstrike, fight alongside Storm and Colossus, and master your mutant powers along the way!
|As I mentioned earlier, this is a completely original story co-written by Zak Penn, one of the film’s screenwriters, and the legendary comic book writer Chris Claremont. The game will tie together the two movies, giving X-Men fans a glimpse at what happens in-between. Unfortunately, the story jumps around a lot and becomes a little hard to follow after a while. As you switch from one character to another, the story loses a lot of focus. Nightcrawler is chasing some ghosts around while Wolverine heads to Japan in search of Deathstrike. In the meantime, Iceman is putting out some fires. Huh? What the heck is going on here!?|
|The three characters each control very differently, with distinct fighting styles and missions that really take full advantage of their uniqueness. Wolverine’s levels focus on beating enemies down with physical attacks, Iceman focuses on speedily skating around on his ice sled thingy, and Nightcrawler is all about being agile and sneaky. I’ll admit, I was thoroughly disappointed by the number of abilities in the game. Each character essentially has a strong attack, a weak attack, and an area attack, as well as a few somewhat worthless combos. The lack of abilities makes the gameplay fairly shallow, and even though it’s at times fun, it doesn’t take long before it gets repetitive. Smacking enemies around as Wolverine can only be entertaining for so long before it becomes monotonous, and playing as Iceman is never fun to begin with. I did enjoy playing as Nightcrawler, though, as his missions are actually different from anything I’ve ever really played. Nightcrawler’s stages are filled with action and even require a little bit of thinking from time to time.|
There are some light RPG elements here in the form of the Mutant Evolution System. Whenever you complete a stage, you’ll be awarded with new mutations, which you use to enhance your mutant powers. You’ll be able to increase your HP, attacks, HP recovery, and more. Each stage has three difficulty settings with the higher difficulty settings earning you more mutations. Once you learn a mutation, you can’t take it back, so make sure to think it through first. While I would have liked to see a little more done with the Mutant Evolution System, such as allowing players to learn new abilities, it did add a little bit of depth to the game. Of course, this is an action game and not an RPG like X-Men Legends, so perhaps I had too high of hopes.
|The game seems to feature large, expansive environments, but these levels are extremely restrictive. You’re often stuck in a single room for an entire level, and even when out in the open there are a lot of invisible walls that you can’t cross. Still, the environments do at least look impressive, with a lot of detail and variety. The character models are also very well done, and closely resemble what you’ll see in the movie. The camera is barely rotatable at all, which is more than likely going to cause you some frustration. Where are those enemies coming from? Which way is the door? It’s hard to find out with such an unfriendly camera.|
|Cutscenes are featured in the form of still-frame shots. I assume this was meant to heighten the comic book feel of the game, but the animation-less scenes with characters oddly walking about just don’t look right. Talents such as Patrick Stewart, Shawn Ashmore, Alan Cumming, and Hugh Jackman have their voices featured in the game. The voice acting here is pretty well done, which you’d expect from such stars. I just wish the characters’ mouths moved during scenes as they talked. There are a few really nice-looking scenes that appear to be right out of a comic book. Unfortunately they fly by so fast that you won’t have a chance to read them.|
By collecting hidden items throughout the game you can unlock new costumes for your characters. Fans that can’t get enough of the game will be able to go back through each level in order to find all the items and achieve 100% completion. Due to the size of the levels, most of the hidden items are so easy to find that it’s almost insulting to refer to them as ‘hidden.’
|The enemy AI was perhaps the most disappointing part of the game. While I do enjoy beating the crap out of bad guys, it sort of loses its appeal when they’re too stupid to defend themselves. Most enemies can easily be defeated by simply running around a corner, allowing your HP to restore, then pouncing on them for a surprise attack. Even if they see you turn the corner to hide, they’ll be stupid enough to follow you and will likely sit and wait.|
|I’d like to note that I’ve also played this game on the Xbox 360, which is a total waste. While the graphics will be noticeably better for gamers with an HD-TV, the game is identical otherwise and costs $20 more! Going with either the original Xbox version or the PS2 version would be highly recommended to anyone who does decide to purchase this game.|
When it comes down to it, X-Men: The Official Game is exactly what you’d expect out of a game based on a movie… extra story for fans, flashy graphics and good voice acting, but shallow gameplay and a short playthrough time. Still, it’s far from unplayable and does feature moments of fun. If you’re a big fan of the X-Men and want to get the entire story, then I suggest you give this game a shot. Still, it’s probably best as a rental.
|Final Grade: 64%|
X-Men: The Official Game Videos
X-Men: The Official Game Trailer