Deadpool is the game that Duke Nukem wanted to be; action-packed, hilarious, and as erratic as Deadpool's personalities. With a great mix of humor, bloodshed, fast-paced combat, and customization, the game came out much better than I had personally expected. With that said, the game mixes a pretty generic combat style with an erratically funny, and somewhat confusing story. With the game being as multifaceted and crazy as Deadpool himself, if you love crude humor, jokes that really shouldn't be funny, killing things, and hack 'n slash combat, then Deadpool is the game for you!
Deadpool surprised a lot of people by being fun and enjoyable, something that is not commonplace in the world of comics-to-games. The hack-and-slash genre is one that is done in various ways, depending on the game as well as the style of the developer themselves. Many of these games have gameplay that is 100% hack and slash, to their detriment, as well as to the lack of enjoyment of the player as well. Deadpool, while not perfect, took a character from the Marvel universe and made a gameplay experience that was easy to enjoy. We all know, love, and hate Deadpool (the character), but High Moon gives us a fun-to-play character– with all of the skills that he has in the comics themselves. Let's break down what we thought of Deadpool.
Deadpool - Gameplay
In-game, you have a wide range of weaponry as well as combos to play with, and the ability to upgrade both of them. You have a slight RPG element to the game, with the ability to upgrade weapons with Deadpool Points for more damage, bullets, DP point gain, and more. Deadpool Points are earned by completing tasks, killing enemies, and getting high combos. With three melee weapons, such as swords, knives, and hammers, you can cut, stab, and smash your way through enemies. You also have four guns at your disposal; pistols, machine guns, shotguns, and pulse rifles. Each weapon has an enemy that it works well against or will be better for combos (the knives are super fast and help to get long combos, and the pulse rifles give 3 “hits” per shot.) The combat system flows incredibly easily from melee to ranged combat, with few flaws.
Deadpool is an incredibly fast-paced game, with a ton of enemies to smash, stab, and shoot. With the emphasis in combat primarily being getting as high of a combo as you can without being hit (which you can prevent with counters) before you kill all of your opponents. The higher the combo, the more Deadpool Points you will receive, allowing you to upgrade your skills and be even more deadly. Upgrade your weapons to make them more powerful, have more ammo, unlock new combos, and more. You can also upgrade Deadpool himself, allowing for better health regeneration.
Now you might be thinking that the combat must be one-sided and boring, with only hack 'n slash fighting, but it's not. Instead of being just a plain hack 'n slash, you can mix melee and guns to chain combos and defeat enemies. With grenades, bear traps (yes bear traps!), mines, and stun grenades, you can diversify combat by blowing up, stunning, and trapping your enemies. When is it not fun to trap an enemy in a bear trap, and while they struggle to get free, finish them off with a headshot? On top of that, you can fire your guns mid-combat in a style called "Gunkata" which allows you to shoot your enemies mid-slash to integrate gunfire into your combos.
The one downside to the game is the repetition. Most of the fights are almost identical but in different scenery. The AI is sometimes stale and not so great at getting into cover, and the "boss battles" aren't really boss battles at all. You essentially are fighting waves of clones before you even really fight a boss. The final boss battle, while very tough, is just you fighting Sinister's clones and once you defeat them all, comes the cutscene where Deadpool hilariously defeats him (it will make sense when you get there, and is actually pretty funny). All in all the combat is very fun, so long as you can get past the somewhat repetitive nature. The real selling point of the game comes in its humor.
Deadpool - Graphics/Audio
Deadpool has some pretty good graphics throughout the game. Everything is styled in a "comic book" way, making the game style fit where Deadpool is coming from. With little-to-no graphical glitches, the game is easy to look at without noticing any major flaws. Unlike a lot of games, I didn't manage to get "stuck" anywhere while I was jumping around exploring every nook and cranny of the game. The game shifts smoothly from gameplay to cut scene, with the cut scenes looking no better than the game itself, which is a really great thing.
The game audio was awesome. With the game's music primarily being a heavy rock style, it fit everything really well, blending into the background when you weren't fighting and coming back for your battles with a great ambiance. The voice acting was superb as well, with the voice actor for Deadpool being perfect for the role. In the style of the game itself, he even starts talking to his own voice actor, Nolan North, over the phone. Overall, the audio/visual features of this game fit it incredibly well.
Deadpool - Story
Deadpool is one of the most erratic and insane characters in the Marvel universe, with be back story of Wade Wilson being experimented on with the abilities of multiple mutants. Having developed a few personalities, and being absolutely nuts, we are put in the shoes of Deadpool himself, as he plays himself in his own video game (which he basically writes as he goes). For those not familiar with the one and only “Merc with a Mouth,” the spandex-clad Deadpool is a parody of an anti-hero. Deadpool knows that he's a video game character and makes a point to...point it out. The majority of the game is meant to be humorous, and it very much is so, but the “story” is pretty hard to follow, but that seems to be the whole point of it all. The story is as erratic and nutty as the character you play, and even if you can't quite follow along at times, it's still fun to play. The basis of the story is that Deadpool forces High Moon Studios to make a game about him. And honestly, it's an insane approach that’s true to Deadpool’s character, even if it doesn't make for a strong story.
You get to see a few more of Deadpool's "friends" throughout the gameplay, with appearances from Wolverine, Rogue, Cable, and various smaller heroes/villains. Each interaction with other characters is always funny, with Deadpool usually making a fool of himself. In all honesty, the whole point of the game doesn't seem to be the story. It's an action RPG shooter that focuses on the comedy of Deadpool himself. Even with a lacking story, the game will keep you laughing from start to finish. Personally, it appealed to my immature twelve-year-old self immensely!
If you are a fan of Deadpool, Marvel, or both, this game isn't one you should miss. Even though the combat isn't overly innovative, the game is still easy and fun to play and will provide you with a good amount of playtime and fun. The challenges that are unlocked as you complete each level also offer a good number of extra hours of stab-and-kill gameplay. If you don't know much about Marvel or Deadpool's back story(having recently been rebooted), most of that is provided with the informational snippets you unlock as you play the game, allowing you to learn more about why Deadpool is so unbelievably insane! Overall, Deadpool is an enjoyable game that, while not recommended for kids, will keep you laughing all the way through.
This review was originally published on 07-15-2013. While care has been taken to update the piece to reflect our modern style guidelines, some of the information may be out of date. We've left pieces like this as they were to reflect the original authors' opinions, and for historical context.
- Simple, but fun gameplay
- Lots of extra challenges to unlock
- Keeps you laughing all the way through
- Gameplay doesn't do too much new