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Video games have this way of taking you off into these worlds that become something of an experience for you: the player. Maybe it’s a fantasy RPG, a war-style shooter, or a horrific game that tugs at your spine chills but games usually have that way. Well, that’s not the case for this round. This is Deadpool’s world and he isn’t going to be shy about reminding you of that fact. Welcome to his world of insanity that makes sense to him alone; you’re just along for the ride.
In this video game starring the famed Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool is tasked with the duty of taking down a corporate media big shot as ordained by his script from High Moon Studios. However, Deadpool never finished the contractual duty of murderlizing this guy because Mr. Sinister and his Marauders get to him first. Very much P.Oed about the lack of cash he will receive, Deadpool seeks out to turn Mr. Sinister and his group of lackeys into something that’s dead, but on the way he finds out that something more is at stake than just his money-angry issues.
The first thing that always comes to mind when people think of Deadpool is 4th wall-breaking and random acts of humor. This is something that Deadpool gets down wonderfully. As I said before, this is Deadpool’s world you’re swimming around in and you’re in for a lot of insanity, crudeness, ultra-violence, and vulgarity. Did you ever think you’d see a floating Cable taco? What about a pool party with Domino on the dance floor? A rocket bike powered by bananas? I sure didn’t, but it all was very welcome. Deadpool’s incessant talking may not be everyone though. People who enjoy the current iteration of Deadpool in the comics may possibly be used to it, but if this is, somehow, your first foray into the world of Deadpool then just keep in mind that you will hear Deadpool talk–a lot.
As per his nickname, there is quite a bit of dialogue all throughout; it’s almost astonishing in some ways how much dialogue was fit into the game to be placed at specific points. Numerous actions will garner reactions from Deadpool where he gives you praise, chastises you, or comments on the world around him. Of course, the voice acting itself is really well done. With the exception of Nolan North (he gets enough praise; mine will only be a little blip on that radar), Keith Ferguson portrays Mr. Sinister with the cold, harsh tone that I’d expect; Fred Tastacoire’s Cable is the perfect foil to Deadpool with his military-style seriousness; Melissa Disney, Gewndoline Yao, and April Stewart also do a fantastic job as the roles of Rogue, Domino, and Death.
Enough about dialogue though. What about the gameplay? Deadpool utilizes the roles of two different genres: hack n’ slash and third-person shooter. You’ll guide Deadpool through the stages equipped with melee weapons, firearms, and gadgets (which are more secondary weapons like bombs) and face waves of enemies. Defeating enemies will usually result in power-ups being dropped, like ammo or fuel for your Momentum meter, and points that you use to shop for other weapons and upgrades on the Upgrade menu. Upgrades are rather plentiful and pretty expensive so you’ll probably spend awhile trying to obtain them all.
As a hack n’ slash style game, Deadpool manages to follow most of what you’d find in those types of games, however it misses the mark on some elements. For one, the combat in Deadpool is not as fluid as other hack n’ slash games. This is due mostly to the fact that weapon changes are very awkward to perform. Whereas games like Devil May Cry and God of War utilize shoulder buttons to change weapons in the course of battle, thus keeping the flow going, Deadpool makes use of the D-pad. Often times, I’d have to stop myself for that brief moment to switch to a new melee weapon or firearm and in those brief moments, combat really seems to come to a stop in a way.
Another point is the lack of combos. While there are combos that you can unlock, they are sparse in comparison to other games of this relation. Most of the upgrades you can unlock are more along the lines of weapon augments like added strength, additional bullets, or rate of fire. There are attacks known as Momentum moves that you can utilize. As you battle, your Momentum meter (or meters if you have more than one move unlocked) will fill and, upon filling, you can press the Interact shoulder button along with the appropriate face button to perform the skill. However, these don’t add too much of a dynamic to the combat–especially since you don’t have access to the moves at any given moment. With a lack of additional combos to perform, this makes the combat in Deadpool less interesting to other games of this particular genre. You do also have the ability to perform stealth kills in the game which are quite comical and the kind that you perform depends on the weapon, but I found them to be pointless to use as, in most cases, Deadpool would just alert surrounding enemies to his presence. This may be for comical effect, but as a gameplay element it was unnecessary.
Despite the fact that combat isn’t as fluid and polished as other titles, the game does place you in situations where you have to think a bit before going gun-slinging and sword-slinging. Part of this is due to how fast Deadpool can be torn down–especially by enemies wielding guns. Don’t think correctly and you might wind up turning into a bullet pin cushion in a matter of seconds. This is a nice change from the hack n’ slash norm and deserves some praise.
As far as graphics go for the game, they aren’t outright beautiful but they also aren’t horrible either. The game did suffer from a couple frame rate slowdowns during my playthrough; this usually happened during battles involving squads upon squads of enemies. The game, however, does rely on a color palette that seems a bit dull to look at. Even some of the colors that you’d imagine being brighter have some of the luster sucked out of them. Despite the lacking of background beauty though, character models are actually quite impressive and fluid in their animations. Probably the more impressive example of this is seeing Deadpool after he’s suffered a large amount of damage. With pieces of clothing ripped off, hanging off, and wounds scattered all over his body, this is a great example of how much care was placed into character models. All the character models though share this level of detail to their design and it truly is praise-worthy element.
Probably the deadliest bullet to the head of this game is the replayability and the lasting appeal of the title. The only unlocked content Deadpool offers is a Challenge mode that includes arenas where you fight enemy waves in a time limit. You’re awarded points based on how fast you complete the challenge and your combo stylings. Your score then is posted on the leaderboards, so if you wish to go back and try and win top scores, there is always that option but the game doesn’t offer you too much else outside of that upon beating the game. Take that on top of the game’s length (about 6 hours) and the game doesn’t have the lasting appeal that other games out there can offer.
Deadpool, as far as bringing our famed manic Merc with a Mouth to a big media outlet, manages to portray our character and his insane world quite the way one would expect and the game is a hilarious romp because of it–if you can handle it that is. While the game is a decent action game, there are still areas in which it falls flat when compared to other games of its caliber and the lack of any special content after completing the game plus the length of the title may not bring people back to the game on a constant basis. For what it’s worth though, Deadpool is still a fun adventure while it lasts.