Nolan North should just voice every character in every game ever made from now on; he’s that awesome. I just felt I should get that out of the way.
Judging by the comment above, it should be clear that there was much that I enjoyed about Deadpool. I love that it had me in stitches for nearly the whole game. I love that the story was pretty cool, definitely fitting of the character.
I did NOT love a bunch of technical hiccups, camera issues, and some fairly repetitive gameplay, but overall, I enjoyed my time with Deadpool. If only there was more to bring me back other than a few challenge maps.
Deadpool is a hilarious game. Written by Daniel Way, the story has no shortage of WTF?? moments, including starting the game out with a blowup doll, a bounce house, and a visit to High Moon Studios itself. No joke. There’s a bevy of Marvel cameos, and even cooler than that, keep your eyes peeled for a number of gaming references. They are pretty damn funny, and it’s clear that nothing is safe from Deadpool.
I haven’t played a game this funny in a long time, if ever. I’m not typically a fan of sophomoric potty humor, but take the character of Deadpool into consideration, and you have a humor style that works with the source material. It doesn’t stop; even if you’re faced with some pretty gnarly odds while fighting, Deadpool will most likely have a wise-ass quip ready to go. It makes for a much lighter experience than many action games today, which is odd when you consider just how brilliantly violent and bloody this game is.
As far as the gameplay goes, it’s pretty hit or miss. As expected Deadpool deals out his pain with both swordplay and gunplay; very Dante-esque. However, unlike the Devil May Cry games, Deadpool’s gunplay element could have been done a lot better. The swordplay is fast and fluid. You have a quick attack and strong attack, with the B (or O) button serving as both a Nightcrawler-like teleport button and also a counter button, similar to the Batman Arkham games.
If you stick with swordplay, the game is awesome. Deadpool flies around the level with fluidity, and mashing out combo after combo is a cinch. Switch between light/heavy/and counters is simple to do, and before long you’ll be slicing and dicing like you’ve been playing this game for months. Actually, it becomes almost a little too easy very quickly, but that’s not really a big deal since you’ll be blowing through the game at such a breakneck pace to begin with.
The gunplay is where things fall apart. While slashing around with swords is fast and furious, switching over to the guns slows the game almost to a screeching halt. Remember in DMC how smooth the transition between melee and guns was? Remember how FAST the guns were? It was so easy to use both methods within even the same combo stream without even thinking about it. In Deadpool, as soon as you pull the left trigger to pull out your guns, the game switches to a third person, over-the-shoulder, shooting game. It completely breaks the feel of the melee portion of the game, and feels like a completely different mechanic entirely. Actually shooting the guns is a sluggish affair as well, as they fire at a really slow pace…even after upgrades. It just seems like two completely different elements cobbled together, and I found myself missing the smooth transition between the melee and guns of a DMC game.
The difference in the two mechanics also brings up another issue: the camera. To put it bluntly, the camera was probably my least favorite part of the game. If you sit down and play Batman: Arkham City, the camera will swivel around Batman as he’s taking out thugs, always attempting to give the player the best view of the action. Sure, it’ll produce more than a few fair share of headaches, but for the most part, it works really well and I rarely ever found myself manually readjusting in the middle of a fight. In Deadpool, you’re screwed as the camera rarely is able to keep up when action gets hot.
I found myself fighting an “invisible” enemy a lot as the camera gets stuck against a wall or something. I also found myself really disoriented after countering (which often just leads to teleporting since they share a button), since the camera will not readjust itself afterwards, and you’re stuck with a Deadpool facing you, the player, with all the enemies “behind” you, the player. Remember those sequences in the Uncharted games where Drake is running TOWARDS the TV, escaping from either a torrent of water or a flaming jeep? Picture that camera view but in a third person action/melee game. It doesn’t really work, and the action is often too heavy to manually readjust the camera.
Graphically, the game looks….ok. It certainly isn’t the most texture heavy game out there, but at the same time, it’s not ugly either. It just didn’t impress me all that much. I understand that graphics aren’t everything and that good gameplay can trump graphical prowess, but what happens when neither of the other features is particularly exceptional? Perhaps I’m spoiled, but we’re getting near the end of this console generation. Shouldn’t all games look pretty awesome at this point?
The best way I can describe Deadpool is that it’s not the best game, and it’s not the worst. It’s definitely a lot of fun, I’ll give it that, and fans off the character will most likely find much to like about it. While there are a number of issues with the gameplay, I did enjoy ripping through waves of enemies, camera issues or not. It’s not really something meant for multiple playthroughs, since there really isn’t anything to unlock. You get some character bios in the extras menu, but those are already ready to go from the game’s start. There’s nothing else, other than some challenge maps.
I don’t feel like High Moon Studios cared too much about AAA production quality, and that’s fine. Not every game has to be the scale of a Halo or Skyrim; I get that. High Moon looks like they just wanted to have some fun with Deadpool and give fans of the character a game that pays tribute to their favorite Merc With a Mouth. In that, they succeeded. Sure it’s got its issues, but damned if Deadpool wasn’t a hell of a lot of fun from beginning to end and left me with a grin that looked like I had been hit with Joker’s laughing gas.