I have to admit that I was skeptical at the beginning. There were so many ways this game could have gone wrong, I mean “catastrophic-level” wrong. But at High Moon Studios they were able to nail the focal point of a Deadpool-centric experience: the writing of the main character.
The game starts with the very script of the game being delivered at Deadpool’s apartment. Of course almost everything is wrong for him and the recurrent theme of the game will be his intolerance towards decisions made by the developers to stay in the budget or to give a plausible continuity to the story. Deadpool will do everything to make things his own way, screwing up in different and hilarious ways.
The main source of humor is the fact that Deadpool asks directly the player to help him in his insane ideas. This leads to the most hilarious moments of the game, where you will find yourself laughing at the screen like a lunatic, for the benefit of those who are in the room with you.
The main villain, Sinister, is set to destroy the world by building his own army of mutants using DNA obtained by the corpses buried on the isle of Genosha. And given the known inclination of Sinister of using clones for his purposes and Deadpool’s regenerative powers this is one of the few video games explaining the nature of the extremely high amount of foes who stand in your way together with an auto-refilling health bar. Ah, the irony!
The gameplay is a hack and slash with swords, pistols and grenades. Later on you will be able to purchase new melee weapons and new guns, with various respective upgrades, from new combos to damage boosts. You have a light and an heavy attack and you can swap between those and your guns to make full advantage of the “gun-kata” style, smoothly chaining together various attacks. Build up your combos and you will gain momentum to unleash four devastating moves. If this is not enough you can counter enemy’s attacks or teleport away.
The game is based heavily on combat, with rooms after rooms full of bad guys and the eventual famous-boss battle. These battles are not really much of a variation on the principle counter/dodge the attacks and then strike back until the health bar is empty. This is very evident with the final boss, just more of what you’ve been doing to arrive to that batlle. You can enjoy the combat, the big mouth of the protagonist, and at the same time recognize a little bit of repetitivity. But there is a balance in the whole game. You have various and differentiated environments, an irresistible main character, and a story and narration that fit him very well. The breaking of the fourth wall makes you tolerate some expedients that in other games wouldn’t work.
The nature of the character can portray some aspects of the video games industry that are very sensitive, like sexism and violence. There are a lot of boobies and blood in this game, but the way Deadpool acts towards them it’s a way everyone can consider wrong. Deadpool is a schizofrenic mercenary assassin, an understandable character, not a relatable one. No one wants to be him; or imitate him. In this way I think this character is the only one that can “get away with it”. I don’t know if the writers were counting on it and aiming exactly at this kind of attitude, but it works.
At the end, the combat is enjoyable, different and melts down nicely melee combat and gunplay. It can be repetitive and the overall game has little replayability value when the story is completed but it is a fun experience and fans of the character will find what they like. If you’re new to this corner of the Marvel universe you should prepare yourself for what’s to come and approach the character with the proper filter of his intrinsic nature.
+ Varied and satisfying combat
+ A script true to the main character
– Boss battles
– Low replayability