|System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360*|
|Dev: High Moon Studios|
|Release: June 25, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Sexual Content, Strong Language|
by Joshua Bruce
When I first heard about a game based on Deadpool, I lost it. I couldn’t think of a better character to grace my screen and deliver a balance of insane action and absolute hilarity. But then I got nervous–could someone really do this character justice? Could a studio make a game that Deadpool fans wouldn’t rip to shreds? Well, the answer is yes and no.
High Moon has made a game that captures the essence of Deadpool’s character damn near perfectly. Unfortunately, the technical aspects of the game are not quite as strong as the story or the presentation of the character. But don’t let that put you off. If you’re a Deadpool fan, or a fan of comics in general, you should probably play this game.
Deadpool and the voices inside his head are voiced by none other than Nolan North (voice of Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series and Desmond Miles in the Assassin’s Creed series), who brings the character of Deadpool to life in a way not typically found in games. Aside from being absolutely hysterical, this game focuses on breaking down the fourth wall (the barrier between the player and the game), and it does so spectacularly. Throughout the game, even though you are controlling him, Deadpool will talk to you, point you in the right direction, and even call you names. The merc with a mouth is out to make his own video game, and you’re going to help him do it.
You begin in his apartment, where you can find a plethora of items to interact with–you can drop a “stink pickle,” eat some pizza, drink a beer, watch some TV, or even blow up his inflatable doll (she is always surprised to see him.) Once you’ve exhausted the interactivity of the apartment, you and Deadpool are set upon the path to create your game.
Basically, the game is a self-aware love letter to Deadpool fans everywhere. It pokes fun at itself when it needs to, making up for any plot holes or shortcomings with snarky dialogue and over-the-top witty humor. During the in-game events, if Deadpool doesn’t like the way the game is going, becomes bored, or finds a glitch of some sort, he makes a call to the president of High Moon to complain and/or threaten death if it’s not fixed. This type of delivery hasn’t really been seen before and works surprisingly well.
The gameplay is fun and satisfying, but it can become repetitive. Your controller is mapped to contain strong and weak melee attacks as well as aiming and gunplay, and it provides you with the ability to string them together at your discretion. Combos and kills will earn you Deadpool points, which are used to upgrade your weapons and abilities. As you upgrade, you will be able to unlock new abilities that will vary the combat and require you to learn new combos. This does keep the gameplay slightly varied through the game, letting you decide how you play your character with a basic character upgrade and skill tree.
However, variety does not extend to enemy types. There are an extremely limited amount of different foes to kill, and dispatching them generally plays out the same no matter how you play the game. Oddly enough, even boss encounters don’t force you to change your tactics. Simply pumping them full of lead and teleporting or circling them will do the trick. I feel like this was a missed opportunity to diversify the gameplay a little, if only for the boss fights. And with Deadpool’s ability to regenerate, there is no need to watch your health meter too close, which kind of removes any element of danger.
The controls can feel clunky at points, and I sometimes found myself lost in a sea of my enemies, blindly swinging away with my swords and trying to bring the camera back to an angle that would allow me to see what was going on. Fighting the gameplay camera was a recurring theme, but it was infrequent enough that I never felt out of the action.
But even with these issues, Deadpool still manages to keep you so engaged through ridiculous comedy and hilarious cutscenes that the generalized third-person action setup is completely forgivable.