A week ago, Silicon Knights revealed their new teaser trailer for a game they’ve been busy working on the last couple of years, and to my surprise that title is X-Men: Destiny! Is it too good to be true? Could one of my favorite developers be creating a game about my favorite comic? Apparently they are developing it, but watching the brief trailer leaves little to go on as to what crusade everyone’s favorite mutant team may be embarking on. Well, never fear fellow gamers as I’m a bit of a mutant telepath myself (I know exactly how many fries will be in every one of my Happy Meals), and I’m here to wax poetic about all the details of what the future holds for X-Men: Destiny… maybe.
Hope: It’s a universal theme.
For those of you who don’t know, the X-Men have been getting’ their mutie asses kicked as of late. Bastion, a super-sentinel from the future, trapped the X-Men on their island home, Utopia, and brought forth all sorts of havoc that not only killed Nightcrawler and Cable, but left many others permanently injured.
Why did that mean ole’ robot go and do that you ask? Simple, he wanted Hope, Hope Summers, a girl who’s been hailed as the mutant savior for several years now in the Marvel U.
Hope isn’t your run-of-the-mill mutant. In fact she’s about as special as they come. Hope Summers was the first mutant born after M-day; an event where the Scarlet Witch basically silenced almost every mutant power on earth, leaving only around 300 mutants with homo-superior abilities. Aside from that, Scarlet Witch altered reality so that no new mutants would ever be born again. What a bitch! But then hope came in the form of the first mutant newborn, and her name was… well, Hope. That was way back in 2007, and since then Hope and Cable have been time-traveling like gangbusters, doing whatever they can to survive the masses of forces bent on their destruction (including former X-Man, Bishop). Fast forward to 2010 and Hope decides enough is enough and running away is no longer an option. She returns to the present to battle alongside of the X-Men, where they ultimately defeat Bastion and his forces, and Hope’s powers begin to unveil.
While it’s still not entirely clear what Hope’s true powers are, it’s beginning to look more and more like she’ll be evolving into the newest iteration of the Phoenix. The current story arc of Uncanny X-Men, “The Five Lights,” has Hope going around seeking out five new mutants who showed up on Cerebra immediately after she first utilized her powers to decimate Bastion. These new “mutants” seem to be unable to evolve until Hope physically touches them. Basically, not only is Hope endowed with some of the most physically intimidating powers in the Marvel U, but she acts as a catalyst for the rebirth of the mutant race as well.
Silicon Knights, meet Hope Summers.
If you know anything about Silicon Knights, you know that their last game wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Too Human was, by most accounts, a failure and lacked the critical success of past Knight’s titles like Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen and cult-favorite, Eternal Darkness. If you look at the release date of Too Human, you’ll notice that it was August 2008, and somewhat coincides with the timeline of Hope really beginning to pick up. Moreover, it was in February 2008 that Silicon Knights was awarded a grant of $1 Million by the Ontario Media Development Corporation to develop a “third-person action/psychological thriller” due out in 2010.
What I’m getting at is that comic timelines are planned out years in advance, and if Silicon Knights were working on a game revolving around Hope, they could have known about most of her abilities and history years before the general public. This would then allow them to craft a story about the aftermath of Hope’s emergence, which is what I think they may be doing.
Look Out DC Universe!
Watching the trailer, the pieces just seem to fall into place. At the very end you’ll see three silhouettes of mutants with a voice echoing “Not every mutant has the freedom to choose his path, but one mutant does: You.” I believe (given that fact that Hope activates stagnant, mutant powers) that X-Men: Destiny will be an MMO where players will design their mutant from the foot up and choose from number of preset powers that Hope will activate at the onset of the game. Think of it as a rags-to-riches MMO where your unknown mutant will rise from the ranks, working alongside some of the greatest X-Men heroes or villains to ever exist. I can’t see Marvel letting DC universe own the online space, and not only is X-Men: Destiny a way to reinvigorate interest of the X-Men, but it’s a way to familiarize people with Hope, who has become the major focus for the Uncanny timeline. Also, it’s a chance to do something above and beyond that lame Super Hero Squad MMO Marvel is doing.
Am I right about this stuff? Probably not, but it’s always fun to speculate. And as an X-Men fan for the past 10 years, I’m just as qualified to do so as the next mutant telepath. So, is Silicon Knight’s developing the next X-Men MMO where you’ll not only customize your look, but choose your powers and allegiance? Only time will tell, but one things for sure — even if I’m completely wrong about the game, at least my mutant ability of guessing french fry quantities will continue to impress the hottest of chicks. And that, my friends, is worth its weight in gold.