Deadpool is awesome. Deadpool is great. Deadpool is hot. Deadpool is a badass. That’s what one would say about the Marvel anti-hero Deadpool, right? So why not give him a video game where Deadpool himself can show you why all of the above are indeed facts. Out of the comic books and into your video game consoles, High Moon Studios and Deadpool bring you… Deadpool.
For those unfamiliar with the character Deadpool, known by many as the “Merc with a Mouth”, he is an un-killable former villain now turned anti-hero who is a product of the Weapon X program. One of his key features is that he is self-aware, he is a comic book character within a comic book world and he knows it. So of course being able to break the fourth wall no matter the situation, he would know when he’s in a video game.
The story begins with Deadpool forcing High Moon Studios to create a game starring himself, and after sending over the script he sets off to begin his game. Without knowing how or why, Deadpool has accepted a contract to capture Chance White, a wealthy media owner who produces crazy reality tv shows. After capturing and extracting his target, White is rescued by Mister Sinister, who then kills him after getting what he needed from him. Deadpool realizes that Mister Sinister has stolen his contract and chases after him. Needless to say, comic book stuff happens afterwards. You meet up with other Marvel heroes along the way, mainly from the X-Men, and hack/slash your way to the end. The story to Deadpool isn’t much of a story as it is Deadpool just being Deadpool and improvising along the way, which is really what happens.
Combat in Deadpool is where the game quickly feels generic and dull.
Deadpool comes equipped with 2 swords and 2 pistols, though later you unlock sai, hammers, shotguns, grenades, etc. There’s variety to your weapon arsenal but it really does nothing when you feel like all you’re doing is just mashing buttons and waiting until enemy encounters are over. You unlock weapon upgrades the more enemies you kill with each individual weapon, and although you do earn extra combos, each weapon shares the same combo button input: X,X,X or X,Y,X. Another issue is that one would assume Deadpool would be able to mix attacks between his swords and guns, à la Devil May Cry. Instead what you get is a repetitive melee mess with awkward third person shooting that locks the camera in an uncomfortable position until you either wait for him to put his weapons away or until you use a melee attack.
It wouldn’t be so bad except you fight the same enemies in every level. The explanation is that Mister Sinister has an army of clones to throw at you, so all that changes is the scenery. Add to it that the game doesn’t really require much strategy, you attack enemies until opportunities open up where you can counter attack enemies and resume your mindless slaying. It doesn’t help that enemy encounters get thrown at you so frequently and at random times. Instead of challenging you, the game throws tests of endurance that come in the form of giant hulk enemies that take an eternity to take down. I never felt rewarded or a sense of accomplishment after enemy encounters, only fear and dread that more enemies would show up to stop me from making progress.
One thing I did find enjoyable and entertaining was seeing Deadpool just being… Deadpool. The game does an outstanding job bringing the character to life, throwing in sexual references and juvenile gags all over the place. The voice work for Deadpool provided by none other than Nolan North is really the highlight of the game, there’s even a scene at the start where Deadpool calls up Nolan North to hire him as the voice actor. Comic book fans will quickly notice that it’s still the same Deadpool from the comics.
It’s a shame that a game starring one of Marvel’s most insane iconic characters falls incredibly short. When I mentioned that Deadpool forces High Moon Studios to create a game starring himself, this is kind of what the game ends up feeling like: a forced unfinished cookie cutter hack and slash game. Sure, you might get a cheap thrill here and there and plenty of laughs, but for the rest of us there’s definitely much better out there. Just because Deadpool is insane doesn’t mean we should be as well.
This review for Deadpool was played on the Xbox 360.