Deadpool isn’t like your average super hero. Whether in his comics or any other media, he has a tendency to deny all forms of reason, logic and rules. He’s practically invincible, completely deranged and now he has his own game. The people at High Moon Studios have digitized Deadpool’s best pyjamas and programmed a stream of faceless baddies to meet his arsenal, but can they keep him in check and avoid going over budget?
Deadpool (the game, not the merc) is a third-person action game that puts you in control of Deadpool (the merc, not the game) as he strives to get his own game (this one’s a given), meet the adoring fangirls and convince Wolverine to let him fly the Blackbird. Yeah, the story itself feels a little loose and scraped together, but it’s passed off by pointing out that even if Deadpool had a story to follow, he’d just end up making his own script.
Deadpool’s tale is pretty much flatout with action and insanity for the entire length of the game. Without spoiling too much, there’s a moment where he decides his best option is to fly (only to be reminded by the voices in his head that he actually can’t fly), attempts to hook up with Rogue, repeatedly slaps Wolverine, gets dismembered, dances with Death (literally),breaches a room (Call of Duty style), and both flips off and assists the X-Men… Simultaneously… While flying through the air on a bike.
Most of your time on the game will be spent making your way through levels that require a fairly standard range of platforming and baddie beating though. The platforming isn’t really anything extraordinary and will usually just have you moving from section A to section B via a variety of running, jumping, double jumping, teleporting, wall jumping and sneaking. All of which is broken up with an ample supply of baddies to fight and defeat along the way.
Combat allows you to use an arsenal of guns and melee weapons, including swords, sai, pistols, shotguns, bear traps, and even a plasma rifle. You can combine combos between the melee and ranged weapons, but the combat never really gets too complex. The downside is that there’s not a great deal of variety in the combat itself, but it does what it aims to do. You can take out bad guys effectively and some of the execution animations are both gory and glorious.
Throughout the game you’ll have the pleasure of listening to conversations between Deadpool and 2 of the voices in his head. There’s actually plenty of witty dialogue, and it makes for an entertaining way to reveal relevant information to the player. Of course Deadpool will also have to deal with a handful of villains and heroes, including Wolverine and Rogue (of the X-Men). These encounters often have humorous and ridiculous outcomes that you’re never going to see in other superhero titles.
While some of the combat and platforming mechanics never truly prove to be more than standard action / platforming fare, it’s overshadowed by the actual experience of the game. While I’d never usually recommend a game purely because I think it’s funny, Deadpool has sections that are so utterly insane and unique that I can’t even begin to explain them. The lack of a fourth wall allows Deadpool to act independently of player control, and creates a setting that ensures you’re never truly sure what the next twist will be.
In all honesty, this isn’t the best game I’ve ever played, and if I was presented with a similar style of game for any other character, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. However, Deadpool manages to make itself a must play with its utterly insane humour and moments of brilliance. I’m not saying that you have to play Deadpool just because it’s funny, I’m saying you have to play Deadpool because it truly feels unique. The elements where it fails to excel are still functional and manage to do what they set out to do, and the budget price point helps a long way in eliminating any reason you might have to not pick a copy up.
Developer: High Moon Studios
Release Date: June 25th 2013 (Xbox 360, PS3 and PC)