X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse Preview - The Next Level

Game Profile

System:
PlayStation 2
Release date:
Sept. 27, 2005
Publisher:
Activision
Developer:
Raven Software
Players:
1 - 4
Genre:
RPG
ESRB:
T

X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse

Update: New media content. More mayhem from Marvel's merry mutants!

Preview by Ken Horowitz (Email)
September 11th 2005
 

Update: 9/10/05

X-men fans, assemble! We've wanted to let you know that Mutant Vault.com features an all-new trailer showcasing some in-game action that demands to be checked out.

Want more goodies? How about some new screenshots of the PSP edition, get a first look at the Mikhail and the new Bastion Boss. PLUS -- wallpaper for each new character. So what are you waiting for? Click here and let the eye candy festivities begin! If you're just checking out our coverage for the first time, read on below for some additional details.

ยทยทยท Chris Scantleberry

The Basics: Raven Software and Activision serve up another hearty helping of comic book action with X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse. The sequel to the popular action/RPG that made a splash on consoles last year, it features a myriad of new features sure to please both X-Men fans and gamers alike. Foremost among those additions is online play for both the PS2 and Xbox, which offers players the chance to battle together for the sake of humanity. Hosts choose which mutants may be used (either X-Men or Brotherhood), and up to four people can play the entire story mode online. Even better, you can play for a bit and then sign off, leaving your pals to fight the good fight on their own. Jump in, play a few missions, and get on with your life.

That's not all. Players can now choose from up to twelve active powers for their characters, and the interface has been improved so that you can switch attacks without having to pause the game. Over 100 new enemies are scattered throughout a ton of familiar locals, like the Weapon X facility and the Savage Land, and Raven has promised downloadable goodies like new costumes and maps.

One of the cooler inclusions is that certain costume and character combinations will yield specific bonuses. Choose mutants from the same time period, for example, and you'll earn a 15% energy boost. Combinations are secret, so you'll have to rely on your friends to play a different hero (or villain) every time to see what happens.

What do we think? The original X-Men Legends was the best selling game in the franchise's history, and I've no doubt that the sequel will top it. Improved gameplay mechanics, more characters, online play -- all of it makes a solid product simply irresistible. I especially like the fact that playing online doesn't necessarily require you to commit long periods of time, which is good for those times when you just need a quick fix. You can play a single level and then sign out, or play as long as you like. That kind of flexibility in an action/RPG is quite refreshing.

The trailer looks amazing, with some significant improvements to the engine. There's lots more happening onscreen, and everything is sharp and oh-so pretty. X-Men and Brotherhood fighting alongside each other leads so some explosive combinations, and there is no shortage of action anywhere. Gameplay is pretty much the same as before, but it's been tightened and refined, making the whole experience much more fluid than before.

Unless the game itself turns out to be too short or too easy, I can't see anything not to like about it. The character/costume combinations boost its replay value immensely, as does the promise of new maps and outfits for download. I enjoyed the first game, and it looks like I'm going to have something new to play on Xbox Live pretty soon (sorry OutRun 2; it was good while it lasted).

Media Download:
X-Men Legends II "Powers" Footage (104.78MB, Zipped)


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