The X-Men are back, who could have guessed? X-Men Legends: Rise of the Apocalypse is the sequel to Raven’s first critically acclaimed X-Men Legends title, released last year. It seems the popular X-Men movies have breathed new life into the X-Men franchise. After years of mediocre titles the X-Men were finally given a quality game by Raven Software, the popular FPS developer of PC titles. The first X-Men Legends game was an action based rpg. Heavy on the action, light on the RPG game. A beat-em up disguised like a RPG by allowing players to level up, gain hp and learn new abilities. The cell shaded game included almost a dozen X-Men to play as or fight against and contained many locales familiar to comic book fans. If this sounds interesting or if you had a good time with X-Men Legends you’ll be happy to know Raven isn’t changing things up too much. In fact the core gameplay in X-Men Legends II will remain but on top of that Raven has added new characters, locales, mutant powers and whole bunch more. They also didn’t forget the great cooperative play included in X-Men Legends.
This time around the X-Men take on Apocalypse, the shape-changing, long-lived opponent from the comics. To help them defeat Apocalypse, Professor X and the X-Men team up with Magneto, their off again, on again arch-enemy. What does this mean to you? You’ll get to take control of not only the X-Men but Magneto and his henchman. Add this to a whole slew of new X-Men and you’re left with a lot of characters to choose from. Some new additions include Bishop, Jubilee and Magneto. Favourites from the first game will also be returning like Cyclops, Wolverine and Iceman. All in all Raven is aiming at 15 playable characters, many which will need to be unlocked before playing.
Graphically the game will look similiar to the first title. The cell-shaded graphics and isometric view return. The graphics have been cleaned up a bit and Raven has added some graphical effects including real-time lighting, particle effects, and destructible environments to spice things up a bit. The game will also run smoother this time with a higher FPS rate. Like the first game the sounds effects will be top notch and Raven will be including Patrick Stewart as the voice of professor X once again.
X-Men Legends II will include many new levels. Some new and some old and familiar. So far Raven has shown levels in the Savage Lands, a Weapon X facility, and the Temple of Madripoor.
Just like in X-Men Legends you’ll be controlling a 4 team squad of X-Men. You’ll take control of the squad leader and have the ability to switch to any of the X-Men on your squad whenever you wish. The three remaining X-Men will be controlled by the computer. The X-Men will now also have the ability to perform more mutant powers than before. Each character will have over 8 mutant powers and a new streamlined interface will make performing mutant powers and team moves much easier. Bosses will now require more strategy to defeat and instead of pounding on the boss until he or she dies you’ll have to discover just how to beat them. This may include finding their weakness or using the surrounding environments. Improved AI will give not only give enemies and bosses a boost it will help your teammates figure out what to do in different scenarios making for more intense battles.
X-Men Legends was a great game and it looks like Raven isn’t taking any chances with the X-Men II: Rise of Apocalypse. Expect the sequel to be a lot like the first with a bunch of new content. The game shines with its multiplayer cooperative mode which will once again be a large part of the sequel. If your fan of the comics, or fan of old-school beat-em ups, keep an eye on this one.