Video Game / X-Men: Destiny

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X-Men: Destiny (2011) is an X-Men video game developed by Silicon Knights and published by Activision, written by veteran X-Men writer Mike Carey.

After a series of natural disasters, plagues and economic downturns, mutant-human tensions are at an all time high, with a mutant-hating organization called the Purifiers springing up all over the world. Professor X is killed by the mutant-killing machine Bastion, and the X-Men splinter apart after the mansion comes under attack. San Francisco has begun segregating humans and mutants into separate areas of the city. At a human-mutant peace rally, hell breaks loose when Magneto (allegedly) launches a terrorist attack, bringing the world to the brink of war.

The player takes control of one of three characters created for the game, whose mutant powers manifest for the first time at the peace rally: Aimi Yoshida, a Japanese girl who was smuggled to America by her mutant parents to protect her from harm; Adrian Luca, a Purifier soldier-in-training coming to terms with the realization that he is one of the mutants he so hates; or Grant Alexander, a small town boy from Georgia with dreams of being a college football player. The player can choose from one of three powersets (density control, energy manipulation and shadow matter) and use "X-genes" to gain the powers of various characters from the franchise.

With these newfound powers, the new mutant must survive in the devastated San Francisco, unravel the conspiracy bringing humans and mutants to war, and choose their destiny by joining either the X-Men or the Brotherhood.


Tropes

  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Cyclops is back to his old ways as the unquestioned leader of the X-Men and an unequivocally good man, a stark contrast to his role in the comics at the time where he was basically being used as a Villain Protagonist.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Gambit has left the X-Men and now leads a gang of Gas Mask Mooks of dubious morality. Highlighted during one mission where the player has the choice of handing over a vial of X-genes to Colossus or him, with handing it to him being presented as the dark/Brotherhood choice. Ultimately he does rejoin his old teammates.
    • Quicksilver is also back to his old ways as an unquestioning follower of his father, something the comic character hasn't been in decades.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the comics, "John Sublime" is the latest alias of a sentient colony of bacteria so old it predates the human race itself. In this game he's just a generic U-Man that injects himself with stolen mutant genes and roids out on the player character.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Even though his Arch-Enemy Cameron Hodge is a major recurring foe in this game, Warren Worthington aka the Angel/Archangel never makes an appearance.
    • The Scarlet Witch also never appears or gets mentioned, despite the presence of her brother Quicksilver at Magneto's side. Probably an intentional choice to avoid the inevitable M-Day headaches.
    • With the heavy focus on the Purifiers in this game, the absence of their traditional leader Reverend Stryker is jarring. Giving the Brotherhood a telepath of their own such as Exodus also would have been a smart inclusion, since as-is the player character is stuck with Emma Frost regardless of what faction they choose.
  • Adults Are Useless: Somewhat averted. While a lot gets dumped on your teenage shoulders, the members of the X-Men and Brotherhood will sometimes join you in battle and offer helpful advice.
  • Alliance Meter: Between the X-Men and the Brotherhood...though technically speaking, they're on the same side.
  • An Ice Person: Iceman. The player character can become a mild version of this too if they equip Iceman's X-genes.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The player character can unlock suits of the various X-Men and Brotherhood characters.
  • Ascended Extra: Luis Reyes, who in the comics is a pretty minor (and different) character, is in this game a main character. Cameron Hodge is also given greater billing than he's had in any X-Men property since the 1990 X-Tinction storyline.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: John Sublime in his final form and the Sentinel the player character fights near the end of the game.
  • The Atoner: Adrian, if the player takes him along the X-Men route.
  • Barrier Warrior: Cameron Hodge, the Prime Enforcers and Bastion all fight in different versions of the same Powered Armor which features a barrier the player must break before they can inflict any damage. The player character can be this too if they choose the Energy Projection ability.
  • Bash Brothers: Adrian and Grant can become this to various characters like Colossus or the Juggernaut depending on what faction they pick.
  • Big Bad: Looks like Magneto as usual at first, but ultimately revealed to be Bastion
  • Big Good: Luis Reyes. Or so most of the public and Cyclops thinks.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Reyes uses the mind control powers stolen from Professor X to wreak havoc on the X-Men and Brotherhood's minds.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: This is what Reyes' plan basically boils down to.
  • Broken Pedestal: Luis Reyes.
  • But Thou Must!: An annoying consequence of X-Men Destiny's rushed production. Despite much of the game's promotion being based around choice, the actual player has very little choice in the plot, which plays out pretty much the same for both factions regardless of what choices you make. The only things that change are the characters you fight alongside and the responses you get from the villains.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Adrian during the final fight with Hodge in the factory, culminating in:
    "Once and for all, shut the hell up dad!"
  • The Cameo: Sunfire, in Aimi's prologue.
  • Canon Foreigner: Aimi, Adrian, and Grant. On the NPC side of things, Luis Reyes kind of counts, being In-Name-Only compared to the comics version of the character (who is the head of O*N*E, a squad of Sentinel mech pilots created by the US Government after M-Day.)
  • Cape Busters: The Purifiers, of the Knight Templar variety. Adrian gets in a pretty good line in the Brotherhood faction path underlining this, when asked by Magneto if he can handle fighting other mutants his response is a deadpan:
    "Yeah, I was kind of trained for this."
  • Casting a Shadow: The Shadow Matter powerset.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Charles Xavier, of a Posthumous Character sort. Turns out Luis Reyes used the X-gene technology both you and the villains make liberal use of throughout the game to harvest a portion of Xavier's prodigious Psychic Powers as he lay dying, specifically gaining his ability to perform Mind Control.
  • Child Soldiers: Adrian was more or less one of these, being raised by his father's associates in the Purifiers and trained to be a soldier from childhood.
  • Climax Boss: The Sentinel is both larger and more epic than any other boss you fight in this game.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: You gain different abilities and bonuses based on who you model your X-Men/Brotherhood uniform on.
  • Compelling Voice: This is how the Mind Control power used by Reyes works, since victims apparently have to hear his voice for it to take effect. He's set up speakers all throughout the city for this purpose, and plans to expand his influence over the whole world with the help of Bastion.
  • Dark Messiah: Luis Reyes wants to refashion himself as something like this, bragging that with his powers he'll bring peace to San Francisco and then the whole world.
  • Death by Adaptation: Professor X's death is a key part of the game's backstory. Pixie also dies during the events of the game.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Shadow Matter powerset being used by X-Men Protagonist.
  • Demoted to Extra: Avalanche, Havok and Psylocke are only present in the game through their X-genes.
  • Die or Fly: The Player Character discovers their powers while defending themselves from the chaos of the rally attack.
  • Digitized Hacker: Bastion survived Magneto destroying his body by uploading his consciousness onto an orbiting satellite. All of the Purifier's tech has been outfitted to be a viable body for Bastion in the event that he needs to save himself again.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: The player character can become a mild version of this if they equip Avalanche's X-genes, though Avalanche himself is MIA.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Magneto uses his magnetic powers to do this literally to several Purifier mooks (and the player's character, though he/she survives thanks to Nightcrawler's intervention) early in the game.
  • Dual Boss: At one point the player character has to fight both Magneto and the Juggernaut simultaneously. Thankfully, they don't have to beat them, instead just survive long enough to get Cyclops out of a hunk of metal Magneto's wedged him in. They do have to fight them individually afterwards, but with help from Emma Frost and Cyclops.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Due to the threat of the Purifiers, the X-Men and Brotherhood spend most of the game in an uneasy alliance.
    • The enemy characters get in on this too, with the Purifiers and U-Men forging a Villain Team-Up masterminded by Bastion.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Magneto voices his suspicions about Luis Reyes in the very first scene he appears in. As it turns out, Reyes is not only the voyeur Magneto accuses him of being but a wannabe Dark Messiah being guided by Bastion himself.
  • Fallen Angel: The ultimate attack of the Shadow Matter powerset basically turns the player character into one of these for a span of 15, 30, or 45 seconds.
  • Fantastic Racism: A given in any X-Men game.
    • Bonus points for Adrian, if you ally him with the Brotherhood - He goes from thinking mutants should be exterminated, to a believer of mutant supremacy.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three powersets (density control, energy manipulation and shadow matter, respectively) are essentially this.
  • Flunky Boss: Cameron Hodge and Bastion both summon mooks periodically during the fights with them.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Cameron Hodge.
  • Fragile Speedster: Quicksilver, as demonstrated when he gets captured by the U-Men and thrown around like a ragdoll by John Sublime.
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: The setting of the game's third mission, and the part of San Francisco where Gambit has set up shop since leaving the X-Men.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Reyes was a nobody before the death of Charles Xavier. Afterward, he rose meteorically in both power and prestige.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The Externals.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: The Purifiers use a lot of red and white, reflecting bloodlust and zealotry.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Aimi throws in the occasional "arigato" and "konnichiwa" in her dialogue to remind the player she's Japanese. Strangely, she does not do this when she meets Surge, who is also a mutant from Japan.
  • Hearing Voices: Adrian is taunted by the voice of his dead father throughout most of the game.
  • Hijackedby Ganon: Inverted by Bastion being the Big Bad rather than Magneto..
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Towards the end of the game the player character fights two of these against teammates affected by Reyes. If you're with the X-Men, you fight Nightcrawler and Northstar; if you're Brotherhood, you face Toad and then Pyro.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Hodge surrenders to the player character in the second fight with him, telling them he's their prisoner and the X-Men don't kill prisoners. You have the option of accepting his surrender or fighting on, but the choice is superficial since the result is the same either way (Hodge revealing he was stalling for his suit's auto-repair and attacking the player again).
  • Immune to Mind Control: The player character is this regardless of what powers you choose. This is why they get sent after Reyes, since they can resist his Mind Control powers.
  • In-Name-Only: The Externals, which in the comics are a small group of immortal mutants. In this game, they're human followers of Gambit.
  • Informed Ability: Mystique's shapeshifting ability is mentioned in her bio, but she never gets to use it.
  • Instant Armor: The Density Control powerset.
  • Instant Death Radius: The ultimate attack of the Energy Manipulation powerset, in which the player basically gains Story-Breaker Power for a span of 15, 30, or 45 seconds.
  • Instant Expert: You kicking ass within seconds of discovering your powers.
    • Possibly justified by the fact that Emma Frost is in telepathic communication with the player character immediately before their first fight, so she could easily be guiding them along.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Plenty of these to be found, especially in the first and second missions.
  • Item Farming: Certain X-genes and suits are rarer than others, leading to lots of playthroughs of the Challenge missions where they might drop.
  • The Juggernaut: Guess who.
  • Kill Sat: The Powered Armor enemy class all have a move where they rocket up off the screen and start targeting the player with one of these.
  • Knight Templar: Adrian is one at the beginning of the game, having been raised by the Purifiers who are an entire group of these. If you let the rally scene play out long enough on the start menu, you can hear Adrian silently reciting Purifier dogma to himself to strengthen his resolve.
  • LEGO Genetics: You can swap X-genes in and out freely.
  • Life Drain: Featured as one of the abilities of the Shadow Matter powerset.
  • Like A Daughter To Me: Cyclops says this of Pixie, after her death.
  • Lost Forever: Juggernaut and Havok's suits and X-genes were pre-order bonuses. Most of the time pre-order bonuses are later made available for download online, but with developer Silicon Knights out of business and the game delisted from Xbox Live and PSN networks, no such luck here. Juggernaut's gear was made available normally on later-released discs, but if you didn't pre-order, you'll never be able to obtain the Havok gear.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Reyes. And behind him is yet another man: Bastion.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Luis Reyes manipulates basically the entire game's cast to achieve his ends.
  • Military Brat: Adrian, as evidenced by the dogtags he wears in his civilian outfit.
  • Mooks: The Purifiers serve this role throughout the game.
  • More Dakka: The Purifier Stalker, which can be one of the game's deadliest enemies even though it's a mid-level Elite Mook. Players unlucky enough to be caught in front of it can look forward to watching their five or even seven health bars get shredded in seconds from chaingun fire.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: Aimi's mutant parents smuggled her out of Japan in order to protect her from the Purifiers. Aimi's actually angry about this, seeing the whole thing as selfish Parental Abandonment.
    • Not to forget that mutant hatred and killing are worse in the USA than anywhere else in the world. It's like sending a black guy to a KKK meeting.
      • Aimi pops up in San Francisco at a "let's all be friends" mutant rally, and says early on that she got shipped out so she wouldn't wind up in a prison camp. There are worse plans than going to Cyclops's backyard and hoping he's paying attention.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The end credits feature the player character with their chosen teammates in an arena and are challenged to defeat 200 Purifiers. They are rewarded with a vintage X-Man suit for their trouble.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: A literal example, as the upgrades your character gets throughout the game are triggered by plot events rather than leveling up (you do have to level up the actual upgrades once you get them, though).
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Aimi hasn't a hint of an accent, despite apparently coming from Japan.
    • Similarly, Pixie's Welsh accent is conspicuously absent.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Despite evidence to the contrary, Magneto and the Brotherhood were not responsible for the terrorist attack on the peace rally. However, they don't really do anything to challenge these accusations. Also, early in the game, Magneto lifts part of a suspension bridge and drops it on San Francisco in order to kill an army of Purifiers, causing massive collateral damage.
  • Not Quite Flight: Certain X-genes enable the player character to achieve this, levitating slightly off the ground when they dash.
  • Not So Different: The X-Men and the Brotherhood. Regardless of which faction you choose to align with, you'll follow basically the same story path.
  • Older Than They Look: Mystique is mentioned in her bio as being over a hundred years old, keeping true to her history in the comics.
  • Playing with Fire: Pyro. The player character can become a mild version of this too if they equip Pyro's X-genes.
  • Playing with Syringes: The M.O. of the U-Men, who feature in the fourth mission and play a major part in the game's story through their gene-splicing technology.
  • Police Are Useless: The MRD's effectiveness is displayed in their very first scene, which sees Magneto show up. When leader Luis Reyes announces his intent to arrest Magneto for terrorism the Master of Magnetism's response is to coolly mock him before effortlessly disarming all the MRD troops with him.
  • Power Copying: By collecting X-genes, the player can use the powers of various other mutants and add them to their arsenal. The villains also figure out how to do this, though through considerably more unethical means.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Events before the game are somewhat paraphrased for the sake of not bogging the player down with hours of explanation. For instance while the game takes place in San Fransisco (like the comic) the Civil War story arc leading to it was conveniently left out.
  • Pure Energy: The Energy Manipulation powerset.
  • Purple Is Powerful: The Powered Armor worn by the Final Boss is purple in color.
  • Random Drops: The X-Genes and suits are dropped randomly and after being picked up get replaced with an "XP Mutator" with gives you a slight experience boost. Becomes really annoying when you've farmed almost all the genes and get boost after boost of experience you no longer need.
  • Regenerating Shields, Static Health: An entire class of enemy has this as their shtick, as do the enemy bosses Cameron Hodge and Bastion.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Magneto flips out when Pixie dies, attacking Cyclops and the player character even though you're all more or less on the same side.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Brotherhood, per their M.O. in the comics.
  • Role Reprisal: In addition to Steve Blum as (to no one's surprise) Wolverine, there's Fred Tatasciore as The Juggernaut from X2: Wolverine's Revenge. Their Wolverine and the X-Men costars Nolan North, Phil LaMarr, and Kari Wahlgren also reprise the repsective roles of Cyclops, Gambit, and Emma Frost and Blum also reprises the role of Pyro from The Super Hero Squad Show. However, despite voicing the character in WatXM, Yuri Lowenthal doesn't reprise the role of Iceman, instead voicing Nightcrawler and Northstar, while Jason Marsden voices Iceman instead.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Aimi's covers up her lower face, and she never takes it off, even when the player changes costumes.
  • Set Bonus: When wearing a character's suit and equipped with all three of that character's X-Genes they can use a powerful Super Mode that varies from suit to suit.
  • Shock and Awe: Many abilities in the Energy Manipulation powerset, as well as the Surge X-Genes.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: Even with certain issues, the game has many subtle story elements were present for the fans to squee over, such as Pixie actually chanting the spell that lets her teleport and most costumes keeping with the then-current comic designs.
    • Though the Pixie bit creates a case of Fridge Logic. They clearly show it to be a magic spell, but we are later informed she can't teleport when near a device to surpress her mutant powers. Later in the story, a key plot development hinges on characters somehow genetically copying her mystical teleportation ability, rather than the mutant teleportation abilities of, say, Nightcrawler, though his limited range may be why they chose her, it still raises a few questions as to why a magical ability is still treated like a mutant power.
  • Spin-Offspring: While never made explicit, it's heavily implied that Aimi's father is the X-Man Sunfire. They have the same last name & the credits list the character as Sunfire.
  • Stuffed In The Fridge: Xavier died prior to the games events, mostly to motivate the X-Men to break up and Cyclops to agree to working with the seemingly benevolent MRD. Pixie's death is seemingly just to make the player hate the bad guys more, since after talking to Cyclops about it no one mentions it again.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: Adrian has a Purifier tattoo on his right arm to show his zealotry and dedication to their cause. It becomes a Mark of Shame for him as the story progresses.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The X-Men and the Brotherhood might be working together, but it's clear from conversations with individual members like Mystique and Northstar that neither group particularly likes it.
  • Teleport Spam: The villains start spamming en masse after they gain Pixie's mutant power.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Nightcrawler and Pixie both have teleporting powers.
  • Timed Mission: A lot of the Challenge missions are this, challenging the player to defeat x number of mooks or destroy x objects before the timer hits zero.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Emma Frost is a telepathic variant of this, guiding the player character through the game's opening mission telepathically and frequently acting as an Exposition Fairy in later missions.
  • Voices Are Mental: Bastion has his own voice when he takes over Reyes.
  • Waif-Fu: Aimi's fighting style. Give her Density Control and the right X-Genes, and she becomes a Glacier Waif.
  • Wall Crawl / Wall Jump: The player character can do this like Toad regardless of what powers you choose.
  • Wicked Cultured: Magneto speaks in a very refined and aristocratic manner, as per his M.O. in the books and original film trilogy.
  • Wolverine Claws: It's obvious, Wolverine being in the game and all, but also doubles as Spikes of Villainy for Aimi in her Brotherhood Suit, which has all of her fingers and thumbs covered in a curved claw, as well as a large spike on each foot.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Very satisfyingly averted, with Wolverine playing a relatively small part in this game. The player can unlock his suit and X-genes, though, because of course they can.
  • World Building: In many ways this game presents a more fleshed-out setting and cast of characters than the comics it is based on do. Groups like the Purifiers (which in-canon are pretty much a one-dimensional Corrupt Church) are given more depth, and their relations to one another are also explored more thoroughly (as seen with things like the Purifier/U-Men alliance, which characters in-game note is a strained one due to their conflicting ideologies).
  • You Are What You Hate: Adrian is a Purifier-in-training and despises mutants. Turns out he is one, though he had no way of knowing until the events of the game.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The player character attempts to warn Reyes that Bastion is just using him and will discard him the moment he gets what he wants. Reyes doesn't listen, and predictably becomes Bastion's new host body for his trouble. It was apparently not a permanent overwriting of his personality though, as he sounds like himself again after Bastion is defeated.
  • Zeroth Law Rebellion: This is Bastion's endgame, as he plans to use the powers of Luis Reyes to remove The Evils of Free Will from ordinary humans while hunting down and exterminating mutants en masse.

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