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Deadpool Review (360)

DeadpoolRemember when licensed games were something to be deathly avoided? It was bad enough that we had to watch the bloody film, but now we were being subjected to someone’s bad interpretation of a bad film. Anyone who has played or even seen screenshots of E.T. for the Atari 2600 will know what I’m on about. And it wasn’t just movie games we had to be careful of; our comic superheroes were not safe from this mindless cash in craze too. We wizened up pretty quickly though and learned that a movie tie in or comic book game meant a fast buck for the developer and heartache for us.

But then something happened. Perhaps some of the disappointed children became game developers, swearing that future generations would never know the angst of buying a crap licensed game and that our superheroes would be treated with the respect they deserve. Whatever it was, developers like Vicarious Visions, Rocksteady and NetherRealm appeared and made games like the excellent Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Batman Arkham City and Injustice Gods among us. These games captured the essence of their subjects and made it ok to like licensed games again. The guys behind High Moon Studios must have been given every bad licensed game ever made for Christmas as kids because they created the last three Transformers games with relative success and still seem determined to keep the heroes coming as they have just released Deadpool.

Deadpool 1Deadpool’s first foray into the world of videogames is the same as his comic books – nucking futs. The game starts off with Deadpool at home and he’s bored. He decides to “ask” (i.e. threaten with dynamite) High Moon Studios if they will help him make his awesome videogame. From here we move into the story of the videogame which involves Deadpool chasing Mister Sinister down after he interferes in Deadpool’s attempted hit on a television executive. Like the books, the game breaks the fourth wall regularly with Deadpool’s trademark humour in tow. A good example of this is where Deadpool phones Nolan North (who does Deadpool’s voice) to see if he is available for the videogame. Another early scene has the Merc with the Mouth arguing with the games achievements as they pop up. The game is also laugh out loud funny. “What’s the sound of a lone robotic arm clapping” Deadpool asks himself as he mucks around with a sentinels arm. “Dubstep?” is the tongue in cheek reply.

Deadpool is for the most part a third person hack and slash game. You control Deadpool as he tracks down Mister Sinister armed with his trusty ninja swords. You control these via various combinations of the x and y buttons. Some of the combinations are very impressive and satisfying even though you are just button mashing. Deadpool also has a set of guns at his disposal that change the game into a bit of a third person shooter. This works rather well with you firing with the left trigger and aiming with the right. There are various upgrades and weapons available for purchase throughout the game using DP points. These are awarded for killing bad guys and achieving combos. There are also points littered throughout the levels for you to pick up along your way. There are times where the game style changes completely – normally when Deadpool is being a horse’s ass and breaking the fourth wall AGAIN. An example of this happens when Deadpool blows the entire games budget on explosives and the only way to complete the level is to turn the game into a Zeldaesque dungeon crawler. These scenes are not only hilarious but also help give Deadpool a rich and very enjoyable gameplay environment.

DeadpoolHigh Moon have went out of their way to ensure that Deadpool was going to be a game worthy of both the character and the fans hard earned money. The story has been written by Daniel Way who has previously worked on the Deadpool comics. This gives the story a little more believability as the tone of the game tends to match its source. The humour is also spot on as Deadpool mocks various things in pop culture and even has a go at Ryan Reynolds performance of him in Wolverine Origins. There is also a substantial supporting cast of characters from the Marvel universe who show up at various points throughout the game. Particularly memorable are the appearances from Cable, Rouge and Wolverine; the conversations between them and Deadpool are fantastic. Other well written parts of the game are the character bios. These are normally little text boxes with stats and facts about the characters you come across. In Deadpool these are little videos that have comic covers and a little narration (normally by Deadpool) about the characters. Some of the bios even have theme song. Cable’s is particularly catchy. “Who the F#@k is that? It’s f#@king Cable!”

The other part of the production where it seems no expense was spared is the voice acting. Deadpool is wonderfully acted by Nolan North whilst Steve Blum brilliantly reprises his role of Wolverine. The rest of the cast are no slouches either. Marvel voice regulars April Stewart, Melissa Disney and Fred Tatasciore all report for duty and turn in excellent performances to help bring the world of Deadpool to life.

DeadpoolAs well crafted, fun and enjoyable as Deadpool is, it’s not without some flaws. Some of the boss battles seem a little unbalanced. For some of them it seems that the best strategy is to land one or two hits, get battered to near death, run away until your health regenerates then repeat until the bad man dies. This also leads to the fact that there is no block button in the game. Deadpool can avoid attacks using his teleport move but this has limited use and needs to recharge. It would have been nice to have an old fashion block button available as it may have added to the combat experience. Another issue is due to the way that Deadpool fights and moves when using his Sais. There is nothing wrong with the animation, it is fast and fluid – sometimes it is so fast that the camera fails to keep up and you lose track of where Deadpool is in relation to the enemy. It can then be a bit of a  struggle to get Deadpool back into the action.

Now, I have come across all of these issues in various other games before and they have been enough for me to stop playing the game and not complete it. This time, however, I have found myself being able to look past these as I have been so engrossed in the story, humour and general feel of the game. Whilst Deadpool is not the best game of the year so far, it is definitely one of the most enjoyable hack and slash games around and an absolute must have for any fans of the Merc with the mouth.

4 fourth wall breakages out of 5

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    07/04/2013, 6:00 PM

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