Giant Bomb Review

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Deadpool Review

2
  • X360
  • PS3

The Merc with the Mouth is accurately realized in this otherwise clunky action game, though that might be more curse than blessing.

I can't think of a Marvel Comics character more immediately polarizing than Deadpool. You either love him for his highly sarcastic, psychotic, fourth-wall-breaking antics, or you can't stand him for the very same reasons. That isn't to suggest there isn't room for nuance with the character. Though at times he's been presented as little more than a attention deficient 12-year-old boy in an adult murderer's body, there have been cases where the character has been presented as a bit more than a simple collection of crass one-liners and hit-or-miss slapstick gags.

Deadpool's problem isn't that it fails to capture the character's essence. It certainly does that. Maybe too well...

High Moon Studios' Deadpool is not one of those cases. This is the puerile Deadpool we've seen time and time again, a motor-mouthed maniac who acts like he might explode if he stopped talking for even a second. Plunked down in his very own third-person action game, Deadpool acts as a sort-of-parody of third-person action games, with its hero regularly commenting on various video game tropes, his displeasure with High Moon's script, and even you, the player, when you aren't performing to his expectations. There's nothing inherently wrong with this concept, and handled with a bit more care and craft, Deadpool could have been an enjoyably ludicrous romp. Instead, Deadpool's various technical problems, coupled with a script that can't get out of its own way, sour what little enjoyment there is to be had.

Deadpool opens with so much fourth-wall breaking dialogue that you'll be forgiven if you're utterly exhausted with it before it even hits the 30-minute mark. Deadpool explains that he has been given his own video game, and he's pretty excited about this. He talks about this a lot, because that's what Deadpool does. Nolan North, who has voiced the character in other Marvel games, goes for a kind of scenery-devouring mania throughout the game as he voices Deadpool, the dual voices in his head, and even Nolan North as himself. It's a performance that will delight those who adore Deadpool for his most addled dialogue and flagrant sexual jokes, and completely alienate anyone who isn't totally on board with having an ADHD-fueled psycho constantly screaming half-funny lines whether they belong there or not. It's a terrific performance of a nearly intolerable character.

Understand, I don't hate Deadpool as a character. There have been multiple comic storylines I've quite enjoyed his presence in. But the versions of Deadpool I tend to enjoy are the ones that dial back his absurdity a notch or two from the shrieking nonsense this game so gleefully wraps itself in. Which isn't to say there aren't funny bits in Deadpool, but none of them really hit until later in the game, when the story relaxes into a bit more of a traditional progression and lets the level designs do the gag work, rather than making North beg for laughs by screaming the words "chimichanga" and "fuck" strictly for their presumed hilariousness. An early bit featuring X-Force leader Cable, and an extended sequence featuring Deadpool's on-again/off-again love interest Death are of particular note, though these moments of goofy inspiration seem almost alien compared with the rampant idiocy and braindead gameplay throughout the rest of the game.

There are moments of inspired violence in Deadpool, but most of the combat just revolves around button-mashing and dull shooting against constant waves of dumb bad guys.

I think I might have been able to stomach some of the lousier comedy moments a bit more if Deadpool played better. Unfortunately, this game is all over the place. Unsurprisingly, Deadpool's primary mechanic involves wanton murder--he is an assassin, after all. You'll start out with his trusty swords and a pair of pistols, and over time you'll be able to upgrade those weapons, as well as add more stuff (shotguns, sais, giant hammers, and so on). Yet while there is some variety to the weaponry you're given, the core fighting mechanics are hopelessly dull. Most battles are just protracted arena fights, with scads of enemies blindly running at you in place of any kind of thoughtful challenge.

There's nothing inherently wrong with the occasional brainless kill-'em-up, but Deadpool's clunky controls do it no favors. Basic combat is fine, if a bit unwieldy when trying to fight off groups of larger, more attack-heavy enemies. The camera tends to box you in if you're anywhere other than the most open space the game is capable of giving you, meaning you'll find yourself trying to dodge and teleport around just in the hopes of staying out of a bad guy's way, usually only to find yourself getting blasted from another enemy somewhere entirely off-screen. The platforming sequences are markedly worse, marred by a woefully imprecise jump that results in a lot of missed ledges, and the occasional bout of getting stuck in the scenery.

There's probably a totally decent Deadpool game to be made eventually. But this Deadpool game? This ain't it.

That last bit happened to me a couple of times, and each time I had to reset to the last checkpoint. That's not even the most obvious technical issue the game suffers from, either. Certain boss fights refused to trigger; various enemies would often stand perfectly still, frozen in some half-animated pose while I pumped bullets into them sans resistance; at least two cutscenes simply cut off part of the way through without any button pressing on my part; and dialogue has a terrible tendency to cut itself off. That last part is especially bad during gameplay, where story dialogue and in-action one-liners will essentially overlap and obliterate whatever element of comic timing there may have been.

Combine those problems with the game's generally chuggy, unattractive visuals, generic-as-hell soundtrack, painfully obnoxious late-game difficulty spike, and breezily short campaign (I beat most of it in a single afternoon), and you've got yourself a game that really doesn't offer much to anyone, outside of the most dedicated fans of the Merc with the Mouth. While I can usually get behind forgiving some problems in the face of quality fan service, Deadpool's fan service is highly specific to those who want the character taken to the most hyperactive extremes imaginable. Maybe that particular subset of fans will be able to look past the game's issues more easily, but anyone else will likely find Deadpool intensely grating and largely frustrating in equal measure.

Alex Navarro on Google+
106 Comments Refresh
Edited by Mooninaut

"It's like a weird buddy cop piece, but without cops or buddies."

My pick for sentence of the day, right here.

Posted by S3kShun62

I know everyone will have a different experience, but I didn't have the same problems Alex pointed out in the review. Sure, there are moments in this game that are frustrating, such as the poor camera angles and platforming, but otherwise it has been enjoyable. If you like when Deadpool is acting like...Deadpool, pick it up and try it. The comedy actually helps drive you through the generic combat.

Posted by D3adend

@s3kshun62: You sound like you are saying "aside from the fact it totally sucks, it's not terrible."

I ran itno tons of issues with being knocked out of areas and stuck on geometry. In the blockbuster fight I'd get stuck in the air. The game is technically shitty.

The platforming sequences suck, and they gave the teleporter.. and then never really used it except for when they did, and some ledges are mantable, some aren't, some are highlighted as mantable, some aren't. It's a mess.

The hammers are the best weapon because of the slowdown effect, but the camera is the worst and just.. so much of the game is just stupid.

I feel like it's a 1 star game but with 1 star given for Nolan North.

I'm glad I was able to stop playing it. I just gave up utterly on the game being good during the Blockbuster/Arclight/Vertigo fight. Because having that annoying sound and visual effect is the worst, and the actual boss fight was annoying and boring, wait for one to do a counterable move, counter, beat on them unless the other is near, which they will be. So the fight is basically a test of boredom and not skill while annoying sounds and visual effects keep going.

It's also not funny 90% of the time it's trying to be funny.

Edited by Etryus

Besides Deadpool's humor, there isn't much to see in this game, I am a bit dissapointed...

Posted by GNCD

I agree with the 2 stars but those are awesomest stars you can give. Deadpool was spot on with his silliness and antics. The gameplay was repetitive and the ending is silly. The dialogue kept me entertained though. Buy it if you are a Deadpool fan.

Posted by Scotto

@djcmep said:

I laughed a couple times during the QL. The gameplay looked very similar to SR : The Third and the gameplay wasn't great in it but I liked the story and the jokes. I think I'm gonna pick this one up when the price goes down a bit.

The gameplay is nothing like SR3.

The humour in this game has it's moments, but it's the occasional great hit in a sea of misses. If you think talking about chimichangas or bacon is hilarious in and of itself, then the humour in this game will have you in stitches the whole way. Otherwise, I'd skip it -- or just watch the cinematics on YouTube. The gameplay, to be frank, is boring as fuck. The animation is also really herky-jerky.

Posted by Pudge

Having bought this game for $20 during the recent Steam sale, I honestly have NO idea what Alex is talking about throughout most of this review. Granted, I love really stupid Deadpool, but beyond just the character, I'm finding that the combat is at the same level as something like X: Men Origins Wolverine or some of the earlier Spider Man games this generation, and once you buy some of the upgrades and figure out how to rack up points with the combo system, it's really rewarding to tear through massive groups of enemies and get 100,000 DP. I'm to the Death part mentioned in the review, and I've had nothing but fun with the title, minus the slightly annoying platforming sections. All this talk about "worst game this year" or whatever, I have no idea where that is coming from.

Posted by ATLFalconsfan

I was hoping for a good game, kinda disappointed...

Posted by hunterzolomon

for the 10 bucks i payed on steam for it, i love it yes it clunky but the humour is awesome