After years and years of playing nothing more than second fiddle to Wolverine and his band of X-men, or nearly every other character in the Marvel Universe for that matter, the Merc with the Mouth finally gets his chance to shine in his own game thanks to the team at High Moon Studios. In an absolutely remarkable piece of fan service they give us a game that might not be the most innovative or revolutionary you’ve ever played but is so chock full of crassness and inappropriate humour that you just won’t care. With pop culture as his ammunition Wade Wilson says fourth wall be damned and guides the player through his own game with often hilarious, always ridiculous candor. Buckle up bitches, Deadpool has arrived!
First and foremost let us drop some knowledge on ya and fill you in on Deadpool’s background. Wade Wilson, a former merc for hire, went through the same secret weapons program as everyone’s favourite adamantium infused X-man Wolverine. The ‘Weapon X’ program infused him with a rapid healing ability but with a nasty side effect of him going 100% batshit crazy. Between conversations with himself and fourth wall crumbling pow-wow’s with his readers Deadpool has become a beloved, but somewhat cult favourite character in the Marvel Universe as the anti-hero you can’t help but love.
The route that High Moon has chosen to go in regards to plot fits in perfectly with the antics that Deadpool is known for in his comics. Deadpool is fully aware he’s starring in his own game and he takes charge like a boss. Right from the get go Deadpool takes the script he’s been given and defaces it with crayon boobs and Wolverine drawings. The script entails Deadpool chasing down Chance Wilson, a greasy reality show producer, as his mark but Mr. Sinister gets involved and in turn becomes the new mark. HILARITY ENSUES. Whether it’s phone calls to the producers at High Moon when things go bad or lively conversations with the various Marvel U characters he encounters in game the whole experience screams Deadpool.
When you jump into the gameplay you can immediately draw comparisons to a lot of other games in the market. It’s fairly obvious right away that High Moon isn’t breaking any new ground when it comes to third person, button mashing chaos. Is this necessarily a bad thing? I don’t think so! Despite being fairly tried and true methods I found myself enjoying every frantic combo piling stab. Essentially Deadpool mixes up a combination of sword and gunplay into high kill count combos that are great fun to pull off. The mix of melee and ranged combat is surprisingly fluid aside from the odd camera malfunction as you’ll find yourself spinning in circles at times to get a lock on your enemies. Luckily it seems that these hiccups in the camera work aren’t the norm and that things generally work out for the best. As well I found that the target lock while attempting ranged attacks doesn’t always work out like you planned either but I managed to adjust fairly well. Piling up high hit combos helps you stock up DP points that the player can use to expand Deadpool’s arsenal of weapons and traps as well as upgrade various abilities. DP points can also be found in game as pickups and are essential to success. Throughout successful attack strings you also build up various momentum attacks that Deadpool can use to unleash high damage on his foes. One of the biggest downfalls unfortunately is that the variation in bad guys is fairly limited. Quite often it’s just wave after wave of the same clone so as much fun as I had playing Deadpool it very occasionally gave way to boredom. If there were to be a sequel of any sort my first request would be better stabbing dummies for sure.
There is a minor replayability factor with eight challenge maps to attack but apart from that not much else. There’s no collectibles or costume unlocks that will have you coming back again and again either. A minor downfall in a way and possibly something for High Moon to consider if they wanted to look at Deadpool 2.
Where Deadpool really succeeds is in the writing department. Particular attention has certainly been paid to make sure that every line you hear is authentically Deadpool. It’s offensive, it’s immature, it’s occasionally misogynistic (this should be expected if you know the Deadpool character at all), it’s frequently about his private parts and it’s almost always gut-bustingly funny. Making things even better is having Mr. Video Game Voice himself, Nolan North, deliver every one of these lines perfectly. In all honesty I found that I would keep playing just to hear what would come out of the merc’s mouth next. Despite being a 35 y/o man I’ve got my teenage boy sense of humour firmly intact so I can safely say that I haven’t laughed this hard playing a game EVER. At times when the gameplay became repetitive the dialogue is what kept me playing so it’s fairly safe to say that the comedy carries the game. Again, not necessarily a bad thing if you ask me but something that you need to be aware of.
As a whole everything is pretty easy on the eyes. Cut scenes steal the show for sure due to the high quality visual being coupled with the stellar voice work mentioned above. Gameplay visuals looked decent but, as with the combat, there certainly isn’t anything groundbreaking to speak of. In fact I did notice the odd glitch in the framerate or scenarios where Deadpool would be floating in midair but none so much that it pulled me out of enjoying the game. Worth mentioning but hardly game breaking in any way.
Admittedly my expectations for Deadpool going into it weren’t exceptionally high. Considering the overall lack of hype gearing up to release day I half expected a rush job that had the odd shining moment but not much more than that. I’m more than happy to report that I was wrong and that High Moon gave Deadpool the treatment he deserved. As long as you’re fully aware going in that the real reason you’re playing this game is to laugh harder than you’ve ever laughed before while playing a video game you should be able to let the minor slip ups in gameplay slide. Personally I’d like to see more from the Merc with a Mouth as he’s easily one of the best characters Marvel has to offer and this first attempt at giving him the spotlight is a solid step in the right direction.