Level Up! Reviews: Deadpool (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, July 26, 2013
Marvel Comics’ “Merc with the Mouth” gets his own videogame in the self-titled “Deadpool”, developed by High Moon Studios and published by Acvtivision. As I played Deadpool, another game kept popping into my consciousness…Lollipop Chainsaw, which was one of my favorite games of 2013 despite getting less than stellar reviews from some critics who are totally lacking in anything resembling a sense of humor. Like Lollipop Chainsaw, Deadpool is loaded over-the-top violence and rife with crude bathroom humor that would likely make a trucker blush. No, this is not a game for kids…big immature adult kids maybe but not, you know, YOUR kids.
The insane assassin gifted with a healing factor similar to Wolverine’s but with a psychosis that makes the Joker seem normal by comparison, is the star of the game and knows it. Part of the Deadpool shtick in the comics is that he frequently breaks down the “fourth wall” to interact with readers. The game does the same thing as Deadpool frequently halts the action to talk to you, the player which gives the game a sensation of silliness without taking away too much from the story which you should not be taking too seriously to begin with anyway. Deadpool will yell at you, tell you what buttons to push, make sexist comments to you…much like your regular annoying friends.
The game is pure action/beat ‘em up as Deadpool utilizes his standard comic book arsenal of swords and guns, along with various types of grenades and other items like sledgehammers. These combine with his acrobatic abilities and his power of short-range teleportation to slide and dice (literally) the waves of enemies he will face. Similar to the recent Batman games, Deadpool can string together attacks to pull off some pretty cool juggles and combos and the teleportation ability is a great help to get you out of trouble when surrounded by a horde of enemies.
But gameplay frankly isn’t the game’s strong suit. The controls are accurate and it’s easy to pull off the basic attacks and many of the combos. The one annoyance is with the targeting weapons for your firearms. Sometimes it just doesn’t lock on where you want or where it should forcing you to expend the precious seconds to target an enemy manually. Pausing the game can take you to the menu where you can see the combos you’ve gained so far as well as the button combinations you need to do them. The game also includes RPG elements that allows you to expend experience points to upgrade Deadpool. You can upgrade your healing factor, attack abilities, weapon abilities, and purchase new weapons. There isn’t a whole lot of uniqueness to the upgrade system. More bullets…faster shooting…more damage and so on…
The plot centers around Deadpool trying to get his own videogame created and then the story goes on to follow the game’s script…well at least the parts he didn’t rip out. Along the way he will meet up with several of the X-Men as well as Cable and face off against the game’s main protagonist Mr. Sinister and several minor league baddies like Vertigo, Blockbuster, and Arclight. Most of the levels are fairly standard and don’t show much inspiration but there are exceptions…Genosha is fun and Deadpool will also find himself trapped in an 8 bit, Legend of Zelda type of dungeon that makes for a fun diversion. The campaign will take about 10 hours to run through and you can run through it as there’s not much in the way of hidden items to find.
Nolan North voices Deadpool (and also Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series) and he is the star of the game. Not all of the jokes work but they come so fast that you’ll hardly miss the bad ones. Despite its many flaws Deadpool still manages to be entertaining, if only for a short time.
Mania Grade: B-
Rating: M (Mature)
Platform: Playstation 3