For every game that actually does the license justice, such as Batman: Arkham Asylum there is usually a Catwoman or Superman 64 to drag comic book games back down the drain. Things have been better in recent years but there is still enough cheap cash-ins around that I approached Deadpool with some caution.
Marvel’s “Merc with a mouth” is the perfect candidate for his own video game and it turns out that he feels the same which is why High Moon Studios find themselves “persuaded” to take on the job. Along the way Deadpool also ropes in Nolan North for voice-over duties and does his best to completely ignore the script. If this sounds a little bizarre then you are probably not familiar with the character that is known for frequently breaking the fourth wall in comic books by directly addressing the reader.
The story is penned with the aid of comic book writer Daniel Way which makes for an authentic experience but to be honest there isn’t much of a plot. Or to be more accurate, if there is more of a plot Deadpool doesn’t bother to follow it. The game opens with Deadpool setting out to assassinate media mogul, Chance White but after a run in with Mister Sinister and a few B-list villains he goes on a clone killing spree. Other Marvel favorites such as Wolverine, Rogue, Psylocke and Cable also show up occasionally but it is mostly Deadpool doing what he does best, killing and cracking jokes.
In case you are not familiar with the character, Deadpool was imbued with accelerated healing powers by the same shady organization that provided Wolverine with his adamantium claws. He also has the ability to teleport short distances and is an expert at martial arts. His most distinguishing feature however is the fact that he is certifiably insane and frequently has discussion with the various voices in his head.
The game follows a similar template to titles such as Devil May Cry and God Of War with Deadpool dispatching of foes using a mixture of long range and melee attacks. Deadpool starts off with dual katanas and a gun but you are soon able to purchase more goodies such as sais, hammers, shotguns, machine guns, bear traps and grenades which increase the violence and gore exponentially.
Items and upgrades are purchased with Deadpool points which are scattered around levels and provided as rewards for pulling off combos. Chaining together combos also increases your momentum meter which enables you to pull off some crazy special moves, provided you have the required upgrades.
The combat is decent enough but is not quite as decent or fluid as the aforementioned titles. Deadpool can also counter ala Arkham City, but this move is mapped to the same button as your teleportation skill which can be a bit problematic during hectic combat. Overall I enjoyed the combat although the camera sometimes has trouble keeping up with the action. I definitely recommend playing the game with a gamepad however if you want the best results.
Apart from the hordes of cloned enemies that attack you there are some platforming to be done as well as Deadpool traverses the sewers, prisons, catacombs and ruined buildings that make up the game. You can perform a double-jump as well as wall jumps but later in the game you will face multiple enemies taking potshots at you while you jump across some platforms which is a bit annoying. Deadpool also has some hilarious stealth attacks and I use the term” stealth” very lightly. There are no quicktime events which is a blessing considering how popular this feature is in action games these days.
The visuals are decent enough but the environments tend to be somewhat bland compared to the detailed characters. There are some very funny scenes where the budget for the game runs out and Deadpool stumbles into some retro looking areas. Being the star of the game he is not impressed by High Moon Studios skimping and wastes no time phoning them to complain. It would have been cool to see more of these “retro” sections and more interesting levels overall.
Nolan North does an excellent job with the voice acting which is no surprise as he has lent his vocals to Deadpool before in other media. Deadpool has some very funny comments and observations that he makes during gameplay and isn’t afraid to berate you if he feels that your lack of skills is making him look bad. I honestly can’t remember the last game that had me laughing out loud as much as this one did. The humor is a bit juvenile but that is what the character is known for. The other voice actors also do a great job and there is a rocking soundtrack to back everything up.
The game is not very long, which is quite a pity as there is not much replay value. You can take on a few challenge rooms but there is no “Game+” mode, multi-player or even any unlockables to keep you coming back for more. Levels are fairly linear and considering the character it is surprising that there aren’t any secret areas with Easter eggs about the Marvel universe.
Overall I had a blast with the game and once I completed it I definitely wanted more. If you are not a fan of the character the game will probably not have the same impact on you. There is nothing wrong with the gameplay but if you take away the character and humor there isn’t much here that hasn’t been done before and done better in other titles. High Moon Studios have done a good job with the Transformers license in the past and they definitely did justice to the Deadpool license so hopefully this is not last time that the mentally unstable merc bursts on to our screens.
*Review originally published 2013.
- OS:Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP
- Processor:Intel Core 2 Duo E8200 @ 2.66 GHz or AMD Phenom X3 8750
- Memory:2 GB RAM
- Graphics:GeForce 8800 GT series with 512 MB RAM or ATI Radeon HD4850 with 512MB RAM
- Hard Drive:7 GB HD space
- Sound:DirectX® 9.0c or later
- Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
- Additional:Internet connection is for Steam only. No online MP.