|Genre: Action | Hack n’ Slash
|Platform: PS3 | Xbox 360 | PC
|Developer: High Moon Studios
Deadpool has lead me to ask a semi-philosophical question; can humour make a good game? Because you can perfectly craft and pace a toilet joke, but it is still a toilet joke. This is Deapool’s biggest problem for me. Humour is actually quite hard to do in a game, the basis of humour is how a joke is paced but in a game the player moves at their own pace making jokes work in this format difficult. Titles like Fable 2 and the Borderlands 2 have also experimented with this formula with mixed results. So how has it worked out for Deadpool?
Deadpool is your basic 3rd person hack n’ slash game akin to Devil May Cry and God of War, complete with all the gore and violence you would expect in this genre. When I use the term basic here, I really mean “basic”, it rarely extends past the formula and doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre. This is a shame as you would expect a Deadpool game to go really over the top and do something crazy to spice things up gameplay wise.
The combat suffers from this genericness as well, you have two forms of attacking, swords and guns (of varying degrees of size and power) but none of the weapons have any real sense of being upgrades, just variations. You can still rack up decent combos while ploughing through the game just upgrading and using the basic pistols and Swords and still not really have that much trouble. Granted, later on you may have to invest in something like the shotguns for extra damage or differing types of grenades but even then, you don’t need to use them all that much.
Why fix what isn’t broke? Deadpool is already awesome from the start!
Even the enemies are generic, there is little to no variation on the three to four dudes you will fight throughout the game. The game tries to pass this off by explaining them away as being all clones, which is fine, but even in this case the lack of variety, is disappointing. This also applies to the boss battles which, again, are nothing special. They just feel like fighting the normal grunts except they have more health which is very underwhelming. That and the fact there are only five or so actual bosses makes this stand out even more. But the biggest sin is rehashing all the bosses in the game for the final fight. This just screams laziness and was perhaps the worst part of the game. Just fighting off hoards of the same enemies and engaging in the same boss battles got very dull very fast.
The games overall length is also a shame. Playing on normal difficulty, you will only find yourself playing this for around 6-7 hours. This combined with the obvious padding (Shown by the repetitive enemies and drawn out boss fights) means that the actual meat of the game is very lacking. Challenge mode can increase your playtime but not but a substantial amount. It also does not get you any real extras which is odd and just makes the whole mode just feel like more padding.
The narrative is also off as well, you don’t really have a goal other than killing Mister Sinister for killing your assassination target. There is something else going on because Cable and the X-Men make appearance but you will not remember or care why as the story sidesteps this and decides to focus more on Deadpool and what he is doing. While this is in his character, the effect of Deadpool ignoring what is going on around him would hit home more efficiently if we knew what he was ignoring.
Yes, this is the perfect time to take a whizz…
I have been very negative about Deadpool so far, so you may be wondering what good could the game hold. This may surprise you but its Deadpool. The character (voiced by the amazing talent that is Nolan North) is spot on what you would expect Deadpool to be, a funny, psychotic idiot that you can’t help but laugh at. Surprising as well is the journey Deadpool takes as a character, specifically the parts with Death. It is here you can explore Deadpool’s psyche for a bit and realise the true tragedy behind the character which is impressive for a game which shows your protagonist scratching his balls in the first minute of playing.
That being said Deadpool is still meant to be an annoying character and players unfamiliar with him could end up getting really irritated with him very fast. This also applies to Deadpool’s, and subsequently, the games humour. It flies back and forth from being really amusing to just outright off and therefore missing the mark. Average players will find themselves snickering throughout but a lot of the bigger and more character specific jokes will fall flat such as his interactions with Cable.
If you are a Deadpool fan, feel free to ignore this review and pick Deadpool up. You will love every second and all the humour and quirky character traits will hit home every time. However, if you are a hack n’ slash fan or just an average gamer you will want to be wary on getting this game. Like Deadpool himself, you just cannot predict how this title will resonate with people. Some people may see it as chauvinistic and immature; others will see it as comedic gold. It really does just come down to taste.
That being said however, Deadpool is not a bad title at all. It ticks all the super hero/hack an’ slash boxes, but just fails to utilise them in any interesting way and falls back on explaining away flaws and questionable design choices by actually explaining them away in game. If you have 6-7 hours to burn and always wished that Devil May Cry had a few more sexual innuendos and toilet jokes, then you should pick this up. Otherwise, you may want to give this title a miss.
Can be really funny
|Can be really un-funny
|Repetitive and Dull gameplay
Lack of variation