I’m going to break from my normal pattern of a story-telling introduction and move immediately into a direct comment about the game being reviewed: If you haven’t purchased or played this game yet, DO NOT access the Extras menu until after you have completed the campaign. The only thing it contains is a collection of character bios for characters that appear in the game., but the way they are presented in-game as you play is far more entertaining (though they are definitely entertaining enough in their own right). When you come across a character, and the “Press X” or “Press A” (I can’t recall which, now) marker appears, press it immediately; the in-progress cut-scene will restart once the bio has run its course. And whatever you do, make sure you do NOT miss Cable’s bio. I can say without reservation that it is the most entertaining 30 seconds I’ve experienced in a video game (and possibly outside of a video game) in a very long time.
Ok, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
I am a Deadpool fan. I enjoy reading a well written Deadpool story more than any other story in comics. The wisecracks, the smooth transitions from menacing to mischievous, the voices in his head, his interactions with other members of the Marvel Universe, and the absolute disregard for the fourth wall (and often for his writers, artists, and readers) make him an inimitable delight. With a Deadpool story, the plot is secondary to the character and his interactions; a lesson that must be learned before transitioning him into other mediums.
Written by Danny Way, and voiced by Nolan North, Deadpool finally has a feature video game that hits almost all of the right spots.
Deadpool (the game, not the character) plays loose with the fourth wall, and with the concept of video game development. Deadpool knows he’s in a game, and he constantly addresses the player with direction, beratement, and things of a more nonsensical nature, as fits his character. He also has an interesting conversation with Nolan North on ideas about how to play Deadpool and many conversations with Peter Della Penna (High Moon Studios) about the game’s budget and direction. All this, and we’ve barely scratched the surface of just how unbelievably well Deadpool (the game, not the character), Deadpool (the character, not the game), and his supporting cast were all written.
I won’t spoil any of the brilliantly written and performed moments in the game. Just know that they are many, and they are magnificent.
Now, Deadpool isn’t all sunshine and daisies. It has a few mechanical and design flaws that really do get frustrating. The gunplay, specifically the targeting system, is mediocre and oftentimes highly obnoxious. The camera, especially during gunplay but also during hack-and-slash gameplay, can be wild and reckless, resulting in some major setbacks. As a hack-and-slash, it should come as no surprise that gameplay becomes highly repetitive in certain areas. Finally, the game is built on upgrading the character and his arsenal. There is most definitely a right way and a wrong way to upgrade, which can heavily affect the difficulty curve of the game. The upgrades could use some more balance and player guidance to maximize efficient use of earned upgrade points.
As for the rest, all of the basic hack-and-slash/upgrade based gameplay elements are there. You’re not playing anything terribly new as far as the mechanics are concerned, other than the self-aware character, so don’t go in expecting anything groundbreaking and visionary. You’re buying and playing Deadpool because of the writing and performances. You’re enjoying the everloving shit out of Deadpool because of the writing and the performances. There are definitely things that happen in the game that won’t happen in other games, but that’s not gameplay, that’s, again, writing. Seriously, it’s worth buying and playing (multiple times) just for the way it’s written and presented.
[learn_more caption=”Review Results”][one_half]Pros:
- It’s Deadpool…in a game
- Great hack and slash gameplay
- Cable’s bio
- Challenge mode with wave-based combat and leaderboards
- In spite of mechanical flaws, it is unequivocally entertaining
- Gunplay isn’t great
- Camera control during fast-paced gameplay is poor
- Some areas become repetitive
- Poor choices when upgrading can result in an incredibly high difficulty curve – there are right and wrong upgrades
To see where this review score falls in our scoring range, please read our review scale guidelines.[/learn_more]
I know, that’s a lot of cons, especially considering that most of the cons are mechanical issues, for a “FANTASTIC” rating. The game is just that entertaining, though.