Activision have had a lot of experience when it comes to Marvel and the X-Men universe. After the massive success of the X-Men Legends series, Spiderman 2 and Ultimate Spiderman, Activision have given comic fans plenty to be happy about. This game bridges the gap between the second movie and the up-coming X-Men 3 (due out in cinemas on the 25th May). The story starts out with a problem. Cerebro is broken and needs to be fixed. The only place where the X-Men can find parts to it is back at the Canadian research base – which is where Dark Cerebro lies (the copy made by William Stryker in the second film). However, the base is far from empty now. New enemies have arrived and are just as deadly. Forces from HYDRA (an organisation dedicated to global conquest, which should be familiar to comic readers) have decided to do some looting, which sets up the first of many conflicts you’ll face in the game. Fans of the comic will be pleased to hear that the entire plot behind the game is an original story from venerable X-comic scribe Chris Claremont and X-movie scribe Zak Penn.
The games gives you control over three characters over 28 levels – Wolverine, Iceman and Nightcrawler. Strangely enough, after his dominance in the second film – Nightcrawler is absent from the up-coming third film, but playing this game explains all of that. Each character will have certain obstacles to overcome and each of their powers will be used to their advantage. Obviously, Wolverine is pretty good at smashing stuff up, so close-quarter combat will be his speciality with his lethal adamantium claws and slightly “crazed” fighting style. As Nightcrawler you’ll be scaling walls, doing acrobatic swings and teleporting from room to room to confuse your enemies. Shooting ice bursts, forming frozen paths and creating hailstorms is your job as Iceman, and the game (at most points) allows you to choose which mutant you want to be per level. Occassionally, according to the storyline, you’ll be forced to use a particular character as levels can change from full-on melee fighting, stealth missions and time-based objectives. Also, a “mutant evolution” system will let you earn points through out the game, which can be used to upgrade certain aspects of your hero (similar to most RPG games out there).
The game also goes outside of the movie and players will find themselves going up against characters from the X-Men universe, including Lady Deathstrike, Sabretooth, Magneto and even Sentinels. In set missions through out the game, you will also have the aid of other mutants like Storm and Cyclops – who will back you up in the heat of battle. For fans of the comics and movies, X-Men 3 the Official Game is also packed full of unlockable extras to keep you busy, offering plenty of gameplay and is a game to look out for, especially the graphically superb 360 version.