Published on July 2nd, 2013 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Fellow comic book fans, we finally got a game based on one of the most gruesome and certifiably crazy characters in the Marvel Universe, Deadpool. However, the game based on the Internet’s favorite anti-hero and breaker of fourth walls may not have been worth the wait.
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [Reviewed]
Release Date: June 26, 2013
Though he has grown in popularity, Deadpool is not, say, Spider-Man or any comic character who has had decades to weave his or herself into the fabric of pop culture. For those that do not anything on Deadpool, let me give you a little bit of background.
Deadpool was a mercenary and part of the Weapon X Program — the same one that spawned well known Marvel hero, Wolverine. Weapon X gave Wade Wilson (aka Deadpool) a healing factor similar to that of Wolverine’s. The experimental procedure left Wade Wilson certifiably insane.
One of his more popular traits is that he is aware that he stars in a comic, often making jesting remarks to the reader. He is also the owner of a teleportation belt which gives Deadpool the ability to jump from different locations. In the game, however, the belt grants our merc the ability to teleport around the game area, in a way that is not too dissimilar to the X-Men’s Nightcrawler.
The fact that Deadpool is aware he is a hero in a comic book sets up the story (or lack thereof) for the game. Deadpool, who is famous for breaking the fourth wall in his comics, becomes aware that he is in a video game, and directs the creative team over at High Moon Studios. He begins by forcing the studio into making his game the way he wants, and even trashes the script that the studio has sent over for approval. The plot to the game is perfectly tailored to Deadpool’s personality, however the story overall is very bland, and lacks substance.
The game is filled to the brim with typical video game cliches, but for a third-person action game, a genre that typically sucks with camera angles, this one actually got it right. The camera is tight and the environments are open enough that the viewing angle never gets caught behind any object. In a matter of fact, Deadpool himself sometimes will run out of view, and then yell at the player to move the camera closer to him and keep up.
I felt the writing for Deadpool to be very impressive. It seemed like the writers pretty much threw everything out of the window, and dug deep into the fractured mind of Wade Wilson. Deadpool, who is suffering from split personalities, often has arguments with the two voices inside of his head — one being logical, and the other, well, quite illogical.
There’s plenty of off-the-wall humor. As one example, at some point during the game, Deadpool jumps on top of the very word bubbles that his head creates in order to cross a toxic river. The voice acting, performed by the popular Nolan North (who has starred as Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series), was fantastic, and delivered the sarcasm that defines the character of Deadpool.
There is a leveling that comes with the game. As you chain together combat moves you earn Deadpool Points (DP), which can be used to advance Deadpool’s moves and upgrade his arsenal. Players can unlock more weapons, which can be switched on the fly, and upgrade other attributes of Deadpool, such as his health and weapon capacity.
The upgrades don’t really change the gameplay, they just increase the damage dealt, which allows Deadpool to dispatch enemies faster. The only downfall is that the gameplay often gets repetitive. The enemies do not vary as much as they should, and the AI is not smart at all (and Deadpool knows it).
In combat, you can chain together combos as you go from enemy to enemy, and when an bad guy is ready to strike, an indicator button appears above that enemies head.
When timed correctly, Deadpool will shift to that enemy with a quick attack and will continue the chain. The fighting system is tuned in a way similar to the Arkham series.
There is a lock-on mechanic which proves useful when Deadpool is facing enemies. The mechanic works great, unless there are multiple enemies in the room, then aiming becomes more nuance due to the game locking onto the wrong target.
The environments are very bland and repetitive in Deadpool. Much of the time you are playing in a tunnel, or sewer or other enclosed area, where colors are dark an uninteresting. Then again, Deadpool isnt really much of a all bright colors kind of superhero. Everything about Deadpool is dark, but that doesn’t translate well into games.
What was interesting to experience is when Deadpool is thrown into an 8-bit world, which mimicks graphics from the NES. Elements of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda are used to create the illusion that Deadpool is stuck in a retro game world, and High Moon’s excuse (in the game) was that the company ran over the budget for the game and had to pull back some of its assets.
The cast of characters is up and down. Sure, you run into his old friends of the X-Men (Wolverine, Rogue, Colossus) and even Deadpool’s occasional partner, Cable. The interactions with each of the different heroes can often be entertaining, however Deadpool is a loner and prefers to do things by himself. He doesn’t mind the additional help, but he prefers to do things his way.
Mr. Sinister appears as the main villain of the game. A throwback to Mario and Peach, many times after you kill Mr. Sinister you find out it was a clone, upsetting Deadpool that the game has to continue.
Unfortunately this is where Deadpool is the most disappointing: The campaign only yields about five to six hours of gameplay, and there is practically no re-playability. There are challenges you can play later on, and you can even play the game at a higher difficulty, which is pretty hard, but it is not as challenging as other games in this category.
Deadpool is an entertaining game, and had me laughing throughout the entire campaign. The things that Nolan North does with the character, including the humorous interactions with the player, is rare in many games, and worth a playthrough just to experience. However there is no re-playability, which will leave many disappointed.
Behind all of the crazy dialogue and humor that the game has to offer, there is a lot that left us wanting more. Is this the outing that we hoped for with Deadpool? No, but it was fun while it lasted, and gruesome to boot.
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Summary: Deadpool is a very entertaining game, and had me laughing throughout the entire campaign. The things that Nolan North does with the character and says to interact with the player is unique and worthy of the play through. However there is no re-playability and will leave many disappointed. It is one of those once your done with it, your done with it games. Behind all of the crazy dialogue and humor that the game has to offer, there is a lot that left us wanting more. Is this the outing that we hoped for with Deadpool? No, but it was fun while it lasted, and gruesome!