punkxblaze's Deadpool (PC) review

Deadpool is a game that's very sure of what it is, but is what it is very good?

Superheroes have a tenuous spot in the annals of Video Game history. The recent Arkham games notwithstanding, most comic book inspired video games have ranged from terrible (see: Superman 64) to simply middling (see: any given Marvel game from the past five years). Deadpool doesn't do much to buck this trend, though it leans more on the middling side of things than the terrible. Functionally, it's a basically functional low-rent God of War with some basic platforming and shooting, but the story is a your-mileage-may-vary affair where fans of the 'Merc With a Mouth' will probably get more out of the game than anyone else.

Deadpool's story is pretty simple: Deadpool is contracted to kill a guy, Mr. Sinister kills that guy instead, so now Deadpool has to get his revenge on Mr. Sinister for taking his mark. This is all punctuated with cameos from other characters such as Wolverine, Rogue, and Cable, usually with jokes at their expense. What are all these names, you might wonder? Don't worry about it, pretty much none of that is actually important.

This is all couched in the actual narrative that Deadpool and his two erratic inner voices have coerced High Moon Studios in to making a video game about him. It's about as fourth-wall-breaking as you'd hope and expect a Deadpool game to be, with Deadpool making tongue in cheek references to the game's script and budget, becoming agitated with the player when they leave the controller for too long, and even having a conversation on the phone with his own voice actor. To their credit, High Moon really commits to all of the above weirdness, though what they're committing to can be pretty hit or miss.

The humor is... well, as I said in the beginning; your-mileage-may-vary. Its mostly reliant on sexual innuendo, pop culture references, and poop jokes, which are occasionally funny, but more often just worthy of a hearty eye rolling. The game's highest moments in comedy are usually the aforementioned jokes at other, more serious characters' expenses. It's all at moderately entertaining for the first hour or so, but by the end of the game it's a tired shtick, and you'll probably just want Deadpool to shut up already.

Mechanically the game serves as a button mashing hack 'n slash in the styling of God of War. At the best of times, it feels pretty good to hack same-y enemies apart in ridiculous ways. At the worst of times, though, it can get pretty monotonous and even frustrating as new enemy types are introduced that, rather than introduce new challenges to work around, are usually just damage sponges that take longer to kill. Luckily, there's an upgrade system that lets you purchase new weapons and abilities, and that keeps the combat fresh for most of the game.

The game is split in to several individual levels throughout the campaign that seem to take place entirely in sewers at least 50% of the time. It's a pretty rote cycle of corridor, corridor, corridor, big open area to fight dudes in, rinse, repeat. The odd platforming sequence shows up as well, but it's usually pretty clunky, with some imprecise jumping, poor camera angles, and sometimes no good indicator of where to go next. It is, to put it briefly, not the game's strongest element.

So that's Deadpool; a game that's at least very sure of its identity, if nothing else. It's decent run of the mill hack n' slash with humor that will play better for some than others, and a story that's mostly inconsequential and acts more as a frame for Deadpool's self aware antics. There's some fun to be had with this game, for sure, but unless you're a die-hard fan of the character, it's fun that you can probably afford to pass on until it's available at a lower price than 60$.

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