Despite the fact that Deadpool has been running in Marvel comics since 1991, this is the first time that he gets a video game starring himself. Sure, fans have been clamouring and demanding for a solo movie for a while now, but a solo video game has got to be the next best thing. Insane and completely off the wall, Deadpool frequently breaks the fourth wall with inane jokes and holds the well-deserved title of ‘merc-with-a-mouth’. Also, he’s not Spiderman. He’s Ryan Reynolds crossed with a Shar-Pei. Or rather, looks like one.
Guns and katanas are atypical of Deadpool’s repertoire, and gameplay is fairly easy. Combat is largely hack-and-slash, and when stuff dies, or rather, when you kill them, Deadpool coins are dropped to buy upgrades, which can be made at any time. The game is straightforward, though one frustration that can be noted is that the game is pretty easy. When it does want to challenge you, it simply swamps you with a great horde of enemies.
Unsurprisingly, attacks can be chained to create combos, and mashing different buttons will create different combos. Combos build up to fuel the big attack that throws off enemies surrounding you. Frankly, actual gameplay can come across as being rather run-of-the-mill.
Various plot points also have you doing a nice range of stuff to get through the story, such as punching an unconscious Wolverine. That’s definitely a crowd drawer… what? You’ve never wanted to punch Logan?
On top of that, the player can also pick up weapons left behind by enemies, and it’s usually big guns. In fact, Deadpool would pretty much comment on wanting big guns whenever he sees them. Funny also comes in the form of breaking the fourth wall here. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Deadpool would “call” up people from High Moon Studios to complain about a glitch or bug in the game, or even about budget cuts when the game takes the player through an 8-bit styled run. Frequently addressing the player, Deadpool would call out to the gamer when there’s a point of interest, and I suppose there’s a much missed charm in having a character telling you you’re doing things wrong.
The graphics aren’t much to boast about, but it’s decent enough. It’s nice that the sewers are sufficiently lit and comfortable to walk through, since most games like to keep their undercity dark and dingy and almost impossible to see further than three meters ahead.
Weapons and Skills
Deadpool might not have mutant powers like the X-men, but his healing factor and teleportation abilities come in handy. If you’re low on health, it’s not difficult to run about avoiding melee enemies until the healing factor kicks in and restores Deadpool to full health.
Meanwhile, teleportation is pretty much the only method of dodging, and it’s less of avoiding an attack and more of building up a surprise attack. And then again, this is pretty much in line with Deadpool’s fighting style in-comics.
Plot & Characterisation
While not much can be said about the plot, there’s no doubt that having Deadpool star is pretty much a sure-win way to make the game appealing. The reason is simple; by combining self-deprecating humor, sly, crude remarks and unexpected turns in dialogues, the audience is kept entertained and amused. The essence and core of Deadpool is definitely here, and writers have written him well within character.
The other characters that show up are also true-to-comic, such as Wolverine and Cable all making an appearance, and knocking off well with Deadpool in absurd humour. Quite rightly, Cable and Deadpool seem to play the tsukkomi and boke act, and they do it well.
On the down side, Deadpool is in fact a complexity beneath a facade of ridiculousness, and the game barely grazes the depth that the comics have presented, so it may not fully resonate with hardcore-fans of Deadpool. In fact, the game focuses less on story-telling, and more on running around to kill things recklessly.
The Final Word
Deadpool seems to border somewhere between “a game for gamers” and “a game for Deadpool lovers”, though it would fall easily into the latter category with a flick. Gameplay itself is not very exciting, and almost leans toward disappointing. Perhaps the only saving grace here is the humor and dialogue that we’ve come to associate with Deadpool. Without him, the game would probably have been a C-list flop. Would I buy the game again? Absolutely, but there’s no denying that it’s probably due to my fondness for the character. Is it a good substitution for a movie, in the meantime? Pretty much, yeah.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
by Chua Yuxuan
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