X-Men Legends 2
Platform: Multiplatform
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Raven Studios
Genre: Action RPG
Format: DVD-ROM
Release: US 09/20/05
Japan N/A

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The updated UI.
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HULK SMASH! Er, sorry, wrong comic.
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Nightcrawler, the fan favorite.
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Christine Radler
First Look Preview
Mike Wilson

Comic book aficionados consider 2003's X-Men Legends to be the greatest use of the franchise to date. There was just something cool about being able to command your favorite X-Men in an action-RPG fashion. Activision's Raven Software is hard at work on X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, which looks to fix the problems of the first game.

The premise of the game is pretty simple. After the conclusion of X-Men Legends, the X-Men and the Brotherhood were left severely weakened and ripe for the picking. Unfortunately for them, Apocalypse, everyone's favorite sinister mutant, rises to power and starts his campaign for world domination. Since neither the X-Men nor the Brotherhood can defeat Apocalypse by themselves, they have no choice but to join forces to stop him from taking over the world. You'll be able to control members of the X-Men such as Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Bishop, and Cyclops as well as members from the Brotherhood, such as Magneto, Juggernaut, and Mystique. Several of the X-Men have received makeovers, such as Nightcrawler, who now fights with a sword, to balance his fighting and teleportation.

One of the issues with X-Men Legends was that every character felt identical, even with their unique mutant power attacks. X-Men Legends II has solved this by increasing the number of special attacks for each character; now each mutant has eight to ten attacks at their disposal. In addition to this, character management is much easier this time around. The new "auto leveling" system allows all your characters to level up at the same pace without being in the heat of battle. This will help keep players out of the menus and immersed in the action.

The enemies in X-Men Legends II will also be different. You'll face over 100 different foes throughout the course of the game; this gives the levels a larger degree of variation because you donít have to fight the same two or three enemies over and over (like in the original.) Also, in every fight, enemies will assign a leader, who will make your life miserable by casting spells and reincarnating dead allies. Leaders are a different color than the other enemies, so you'll have no trouble picking them out. Just don't expect to face the same leaders every time, as they are randomly generated to keep things fresh.

The combos are back with a vengeance, too, and there are a lot more of them. You can use X-Men and Brotherhood mutants in tandem to create devastating combos, such as the "Fastball Special" with Wolverine and Juggernaut. Combos are also easier to pull off, which is convenient because you'll need them to dispose of the game's bosses, which are going to be much tougher.

X-Men Legends II also features online play. You can team up with three of your friends and kick tail in an adventure mode, test out the Danger Room scenarios, or face off in the Skirmish and Sparring modes. Raven is promising an entertaining online package, and itís going to be a blast playing with friends.

When X-Men Legends II: The Rise of Apocalypse hits shelves, it should satisfy fans of the last game, as well as fans of the comics. It packs a heroic story, a fun battle system, an online mode, and plenty of extras to keep you playing for hours. The mayhem begins on the Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, and PC this September. The PSP version of the game is slated to hit in October.


© 2005, Activision, Raven Studios.
All Rights Reserved.

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