There’s something melancholy when you play Deadpool. On one hand it’s a relatively competent third person shooter game but on the other hand some of his ridiculousness is just a little too excessive. You expect that though when playing a Deadpool game. While I can’t say that I read a lot of the Deadpool comics I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that I knew what his whole shtick. For those who aren’t in the know, Deadpool is Marvel’s anti-hero darling, the merc with a mouth. Endowed with powers from the Weapon X program, Deadpool has a wealth of powers include superhuman reflexes, a short range (and temperamental) teleporter, and most importantly his healing factor (which he practically took from Wolverine). However all those Weapon X upgrades left him mentally unstable which is the root of his iconic fourth wall comments. Does Deadpool have what it takes to host his own game or is it “Dead” in the water? Read on to find out!
The story outrageously funny yet low brow. Highmoon Studios has sent Deadpool a script about his own game. Frustrated at the garbage that was given to him, Deadpool throws the script out the window and starts making his own script. First things first, Deadpool calls up Nolan North to voice Deadpool in his own game. Ironically he’s already voicing himself already which seems awkward at first but expected coming from a Deadpool game. Next Deadpool is hired to kill Chance White as per the script of the game. Things take a turn for the ridiculous as Mister Sinister comes into the picture and kills Chance. The game then revolves around Deadpool exacting revenge on Sinister while being wrapped up in a bigger story to which he just doesn’t care for. That’s all black and white but the overarching story isn’t why you play the Deadpool game. No, you play it because of the sheer amount of fourth wall breaking stupidity that’s written in the game. Moments like when Deadpool literally wastes the entire budget of the game in the first level with explosions and helicopters leading to an 8 bit rendition of a Zelda-esque level which leads into Deadpool calling up Daniel Way of Highmoon Studios asking what the hell happened. Some of the other subtle nods are just as funny, such as Deadpool giving the players a thumbs up as he sneaks behind a bad guy to show that the player is doing the right thing or Deadpool’s snide remarks to the player if you’re playing poorly.
To show off his mental insanity the developers wanted to truly put the player into Deadpool’s shoes by establishing his mental bi-polar personality. Throughout the course of the game Deadpool’s two inner personalities will be jousting back and forth to him much like how people have the angel and the devil over their shoulders, but in Deadpool’s case they’re both just equally insane in their own ways; one is crazy, psychotic, and possibly constantly horny, and the other side tries to be sophisticated but is just is always ignored by Deadpool and his other crazy personality. What makes this funny is the inner monologues that he has with himself while the rest of the cast is having a serious conversation which showcases his short attention span.
Visually this game is pretty bland, especially in the later levels where you have your choice of grey, dark grey, brown, or dark brown. Luckily though the character models actually look pretty decent. All the X-Force and villain models look great (albeit some interesting villain choices which Deadpool makes note of really early on). But the environments look extremely dated and there’s no uniqueness to it even though you’re traveling to some pretty iconic Marvel locals. As Deadpool gets shot up, sliced, and beat up you’ll not only see his outfit get damaged, you’ll also be able to see his insides pretty clearly. It’s almost like Highmoon Studios took a page from the X-Men Origins (what movie?) game and put in a copious amount of body damage. Thanks to his healing factor though Deadpool will heal up his battle wounds if left alone.
Gameplay is on par with the graphics as the weakest points of the game. You have your basic weak and heavy attacks. You also have a dodge mechanic which is tied in with Deadpool’s teleporter. Also if you press the teleporter when prompted you can counter enemy attacks as they come in. You also have access to Deadpool’s guns which I find isn't as useful come in the later sections of the game just because enemies start getting more armor and it takes more than three shots to the head to drop them. It’s much easier and flashier to just get in with your melee weapons and make mincemeat of the enemies. Deadpool Points, or DP for short, is the currency you use to buy new weapons and upgrade Deadpool as a whole. While the combat in the game isn't broken, it just doesn't have the fidelity that other third person beat em up games have. There’s a lock on mechanic but it only exists for shooting and not melee combat. As you beat up enemies you build up a Momentum mechanic which powers up one time use attacks which are useful in crowd control or getting yourself out of a tight jam. Throw able items like grenades and bear traps offer a little breathing room in the combat but are not entirely needed though I did find a lot of use in the Flashbangs as they opened up enemies for melee attacks. Unfortunately Deadpool falls into the category of games which fails at stealth sequences. As some of you may know, my biggest pet peeve in action games is when they shoehorn stealth elements in an action game and Deadpool is no different. I found myself in many situations which it was just better to draw all the enemies in to kill them that way rather than to waste time trying to make due with the action mechanics in the stealth section. There’s even a part of the game which you have to stealth. Thankfully it’s short but it still doesn't excuse it.
In short is Deadpool a good game? It’s not bad. Like most of these superhero games (not including Spider-man 2 or Batman: Arkham Asylum) it’s just not great. Some of the awesome moments of the game come in the narrative and the execution. The intricate weaving of the Deadpool moments are what you’re really here for. It just so happens that the rest of the game is marred with uninspired and poorly designed game mechanics. Deadpool is not worth the $50 in store but if it ever drops to around $20 you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth.