Deadpool: Asinine, Redundant, Delightful
Deadpool is an anomaly. It’s repetitive, has poor level design and has a very been-there-done-that feel to it. It also happens to be tremendously fun, and surprisingly addictive.
For those of you who don’t know: Deadpool is a comic book character from the Marvel Universe. Deadpool (A.K.A Wade Wilson) started out as a snarky mercenary who was eventually experimented on in order to obtain Wolverine’s healing ability. Unfortunately this also made him a schizophrenic lunatic with no filter. He knows he’s part of a comic, he talks to the reader and he says some pretty outlandish stuff.
Deadpool the game, from High Moon Studios, takes several pages from the comic when creating the character (see what I did there? Pages – comic? Get it? Okay let’s move on). He’s aware he’s part of a video game and that he is also in a comic. He has dialogue with studio executives from High Moon, and even his voice actor, the incomparable Nolan North. This is the most important part of the game.
Deadpool truly shines in the voice acting and complete lack of story. It’s really just about Deadpool being Deadpool. This is a true testament to Nolan North as a voice actor, and an artist. Every line out of his mouth is delivered with finesse and his comedic timing is spot on. North even does the voice of the other two personalities that live inside Deadpool’s head, with whom he talks to throughout the entire game. There comes a point in many successful careers where people will either cash-in on any project to make a buck and completely phone it in, or will take any roll out of desperation; this is not Nolan North. He is the character, and he kills this roll. This is why some of the other aspects of the game are so disappointing.
**I sure wish those environments looked bet-OHH bouncy castle!**
Deadpool is no serious looker. Sure, it looks fine; it’s what we would call “serviceable.” Deadpool’s character model looks pretty good, and all of the secondary character models are okay, but there is a serious issue with the environments. They all look bland and flat, as though they could have been taken out of a game from much earlier in this console generation.
On top of this, the cliché environments like sewer, office building and weird jungle facility are all packed in here. I feel like this is a missed opportunity in that Deadpool’s character really should take note of this and crack a joke or two about it. Unfortunately the character really only mentions it in a line or two such as, “Okay, no more sewers High Moon,” when he’s nearing the end of the sewer level. I feel like they could have done a lot more with this and made it at least seem more intentional. Save for a brilliant 8-bit Zelda-type section everything is pretty predictable.
**There is a LOT of this.**
The gameplay in Deadpool is fairly straightforward. Take your average God of War or DMC and then dumb it down a little and loosen up the controls: Think of is as a DMC light.
The settings are redundant, and the bad guys are kind of all the same. It’s really just walk into a room, kill, rinse and repeat. The combat is the standard heavy attack, light attack and shoot affair, with a teleport button thrown in for good measure (more or less a dodge function). For some reason the teleport button is also the counter button, which functions much in the same way as the counter system in the Arkham games. A circle appears over the enemies’ head, you push circle and the enemy is no longer an issue. The caveat with this being that sometimes you’ll want to counter, and you’ll end up teleporting instead. You still avoid damage but it’s frustrating.
The gunplay in the game relies on a sort of crosshairs “snap”; if you’ve ever played Call of Duty you know what I mean. You’ll target the vicinity of an enemy and the crosshairs will more or less be magnetized to that specific bad guy. Most of the time this works fine, but every third time or so it either won’t snap or it will snap to the left of the enemy so you miss every shot. Again, not a deal breaker by itself, but obnoxious nonetheless.
There’s also an upgrade system for the character. Here you can unlock new weapons, new combos and new “momentum attacks,” which function much like finishers. It’s certainly nice to have some progression here, but the points used to purchase the upgrades are really simple to acquire, so it’s not much of a challenge.
I would have to say the worst part of the combat comes into play with the mini-boss style enemies. These enemies usually knock you off your feet with one hit, so the use of the gunplay is imperative. The problem here being all you have to do is kite the bad guy and essentially wear him down. It makes me wish there was a more comprehensive melee system that would allow me to dodge or counter without the use of the teleportation mechanic.
There are also some small platforming sections, which operate exactly as you would expect. I would have loved to see more implementation if the teleportation mechanic in the platforming instead of just mashing the jump button over and over.
The game isn’t all bad though. As flawed as the combat is, for some reason it’s still fun and I didn’t find myself getting overly frustrated or bored at any given moment.
**Thanks for saving this game Mr. North!**
Honestly the biggest draw to Deadpool is the many quips spewed forth by Mr. North throughout every combat sequence. They are rarely repeated, and always entertaining.
North delivers a grating, hilarious depiction of Deadpool, and that is exactly what the character should be. He’s sophomoric, dumb, foul-mouthed and misogynistic. Needless to say if you can’t take a joke - don’t play the game.
The script (or as Deadpool so often mentions in the game, the lack there of) is impeccable ad truly delivers the character we expected to see in the Wolverine Origins film from a few years back.
Just a disclaimer, this is not what you would call “smart” humor. If you’re looking for a Royal Tennenbaums brand of humor here you’re going to be disappointed – it’s really more of a Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. So if you love the poo jokes, there are plenty in here for you.
**If he weren't so busy with the damn pizza maybe we could have more stuff.**
Kind of none. Yeah, there are a few difficulties and you may have to play through a couple of times to max out all of the upgrades, but the game is kid of what-you-see-is-what-you-get. There are no collectables to speak of aside from tacos dropping all the time and little Deadpool coins so there aren’t any nooks and crannies to explore. I would have loved to see some alternate costumes or unlockable characters, but alas, there are none to mention.
Deadpool is a game that relies nearly completely on the voice acting. The combat is functional but wonky, and the controls are imprecise. If it weren’t for Nolan North’s perfect improvisational timing and twisted insight to the character the game may actually be a total wash. Fortunately it’s not though.
I wouldn’t recommend going out and spending $60 on the game, as you’ll feel ripped off. But I absolutely recommend picking it up when it gets a $30 price cut in a few months. You’ll have a few good laughs and probably enjoy the game for what it is.
What did you think of the Deadpool game? Does it rely to heavily on the voice acting, or is it more than acceptable? Sound off in the comments down below and maybe I’ll take you with me to get experimented on so we can both lose our minds together!