Of late, comic book heroes have been given a lot of media time. Both DC and Marvel appear to be turning out films and games as if they were newspapers. So, inevitably, some of these will be hits and others will be misses. Deadpool, however, sits somewhere in the middle. It had the potential to be a real hit and to reinvent the superhero genre of games, and in some aspects, it has done that. But, for the most part, the game fails to live up to its full potential. In no way is this a bad game; it just stands as a bit of a shame – it could have been so much more.
For those who have not heard of Deadpool, or know little about him, then he’s probably best described as one of the more eccentric superheroes around. In essence, he’s an anti-hero who’s slightly unhinged, loud-mouthed, chauvinistic, violent, childish … the list goes on. He’s been described as ‘The Merc with the Mouth’, ‘The Guy Who Won’t Die’, and the ‘Crimson Comedian’, but most importantly, he’s a fantastically entertaining character. In truth, the best feature of this game is Deadpool himself. This character is a fan favorite for many, but not for the easily offended. High Moon Studios have really done justice to his character, making him as eccentrically entertaining as he is in the comic books. Deadpool is well known for his tendency to break the ‘fourth wall’; he’s a superhero who is aware that he’s a fictional character – in that he’s fully aware that he only exists in a comic book. The story for the game itself resembles very little of an actual story, the concept being that Deadpool has pitched the story as an idea for a game featuring himself. In essence, it’s a satire of a superhero game, and it’s been done relatively well. The story is fun, much like the character, with some really wacky and ‘out-there’ levels thrown into the mix. However, these fun little levels are not a constant; they flit in and out of an otherwise repetitive level structure which feels unimaginative and stale, specifically when compared to the character of Deadpool andthose little gems of highly entertaining levels.
The gameplay is simple, but in its simplicity, it can become disappointingly repetitive. Combat is based on the Batman: Arkham City archetype in that fighting is all about the combos. For Deadpool, these combos can be racked up using anything from hand-to-hand combat, melee weapons in the form of katanas, hammers, and even bear traps, to machine guns, shotguns, and pistols. Combat has the potential to be exciting, but it really falls short of its potential. When it comes to the average grunt, the enemies are pretty dumb – they either stand in the open and shoot, rarely seeking cover, or they run at you like headless chickens – it really sucks the fun from combat. Even boss fights aren’t overly challenging, as the best tactic is often to stand from afar and pepper the bad guy with bullets. It’sthis repetitiveness in combat that makes the game feel a little stale at times. It is possible to earn DP, which works like XP, enabling you to unlock new combos and better weapons, but in all, this does very little for the game – it only revitalizes the combat for a few minutes until it reverts back to its repetitive nature.
There is very little replay value – completing the game unlocks a challenge mode, but this is more of the same: fighting against waves of enemies in the same settings as before. There are no collectibles and very few unlockables in the game, so it leaves very little for the imagination once the initial ten to twelve hours of gameplay have been completed. But, for all of its faults, the character of Deadpool is more than enough to keep you entertained. This game will not be a blockbuster, nor will it change the face of a genre, but it’s still enjoyable, and if you get the chance to give it a play, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re already a fan of Deadpool, then you will probably love the game; if you aren’t, then there’s a good chance that you will be by the end of the title. There’s a lot of potential here for a series of games based on one of the lesser known Marvel superheroes, and if the developers listen to the complaints posed by gamers the first time around, the next title could be something quite special.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Deadpool by High Moon Studios distributed by Activision. New Gamer Nation did receive a review copy of the game.
- Deadpool Himself
- Little Replay Value