Rise of Apocalypse, the action-packed sequel to X-men Legends, is sure to entertain even the most fair-weather comic fan. Arcade action meets role playing game (RPG), in a stylised dungeon crawler with lots of gnarly flashes and huge explosions. We like explosions.
Legends 2 sees the X-Men having to team up with their historical enemies from The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, led by Magneto, to stop the greater nemesis, Apocalypse, from destroying the world. The sequel brings a lot of scope for variability and exploration within the game; with very interactive environments, teamwork bonuses, X-Men/Brotherhood team combinations and, of course, costume changes.
The story is a little weak, which is unfortunate, since compelling storylines have been a lasting trademark of the X-Men franchise. And the mission objectives lack the depth and excitement that is typical of RPGs like Baldur's gate, Diablo and even the original X-Men Legends. However, the gameplay of the original is still here, and beating up bad guys has never been so much fun.
At any one time, you have an interchangeable team of four mutants from the Brotherhood or the X-men. Each character has nine unique super powers that you unlock as your characters gain experience, and unleashing these super powers looks absolutely stunning in the cel-shaded comic style that truly immerses you inside the Marvel world, without being too demanding on your PC. The audio has also been finely crafted by a fantastic voice cast, including Patrick Stewart as Professor X, alongside Lou Diamond Phillips.
The multiplayer co-op aspect of the game supports four players and creates a strong emphasis on teamwork by requiring different characters abilities solve puzzles and enhancing super powers when attacks are combined. Besides, nothing promotes team bonding like four guys in public with their underpants on the outside.
X-Men Legends 2 has increased the number of playable characters in the game from 14 to 18, but not all the playable characters from the first game have made the roster this time. The playable cast consists of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Wolverine, Iceman, Rogue, Gambit, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Bishop, and Sunfire from the X-Men, plus Magneto, Toad, Scarlet Witch, Juggernaut, Pyro and Sabertooth from the Brotherhood. There are also 31 non-playable characters to unlock to use for training.
Legends 2 is a fun game that brings arcade-style action to the RPG genre. Fantastic graphics, more characters, special abilities and plenty of hidden extras will ensure that it will take you a while to complete.
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Visuals: Cel-shaded animation really adds to the graphic-novel feel of the game; lots of explosions.
Audio: Patrick Stewart leads the vocal talent; lots of explosions.
Gameplay: Enjoyable and energetic arcade action; team multiplayer extends gameplay for even more explosions.
Developer: Raven Software