It’s time to put your money where your mouth is, Merc.
Deadpool isn’t a character that I’ve followed very closely over the years, but I am a fan of High Moon Studios and what they’ve done with the Transformers franchise, so I was interested to see what they would do with their first non-Transformers game since 2008. Can they find the same success when they don’t have Optimus Prime and the gang to work with? Let’s find out.
Deadpool starts off with the Merc with a Mouth hanging out in his apartment when Domino calls with a new contract, which of course he can’t turn down. As he makes his way to the target, he soon finds out that there’s more to this contract than meets the eye, as Mister Sinister comes in, kills Deadpool’s target and ruins his day. From there, you’ll set out to find and kill Sinister and collect what’s rightfully yours: piles of money. The story won’t blow you away, but there are lots of Marvel character cameos, funny one-liners and Deadpool making fun of video game clichés every chance he gets, to help make up for the flimsy story.
Being a Third-Person Action game, Deadpool plays very similar to High Moon’s previous Transformers games, with combat being a good mix of both guns and melee weapons. Whether you’re using Swords, Hammers or Sais, Deadpool has both heavy and light attacks, which you can combine to create more powerful combos. You can zoom in when shooting and lock on targets, although the latter doesn’t really work as good as it could. To lock on a target you have to hold down the left trigger, but you can’t move while you do it or your target will break and you’ll have to lock on again. Having to stand still wouldn’t be so bad if the lock on worked as expected, but it can be very picky and it can take few tries to actually lock onto the target.
Deadpool can also teleport over small distances, which is very handy to escape enemy attacks, especially in boss fights. The only issue with teleporting is that you use the same button as you do to perform counter attacks and if your timing is off, you’ll teleport instead of countering. All they had to do was put them on different buttons and everything would have been just fine. Clicking the left stick does nothing as it is, so that could have been used to teleport and the whole issue would have been avoided. Overall, the combat is fast, furious and quite bloody, as you cut off limbs and decapitate your enemies quite frequently. The enemies can get a little repetitive at times, and some of them can take an annoying amount of damage before they die, but overall the AI works pretty good technically speaking.
Chaining together your attacks and racking up huge combos will reward you with momentum, which is used to pull off more powerful special attacks. They also reward you with extra DP points, which can be used to purchase new skills and weapons and then upgrade them as well. You’ll start off with dual 9MM handguns and two swords, but you can purchase Sais, Sledge Hammers, a Shotgun, SMG’s, a Pulse Rifle and explosives like Grenades, Flash Bangs, Land Mines and Bear Traps. You can also purchase extra Player Upgrades to increase your health, increase ammo capacity, increase your critical hit chance and earn bonuses to momentum as well. Upgrades can get extremely expensive, so you’ll need to pull off large combos as often as you can if you want to unlock the really good stuff.
I didn’t find any major technical issues with Deadpool, and aside from the lock on issues I mentioned earlier, Deadpool is a fairly well-built game. I played the PC version, which looked quite nice, even if the generic environments didn’t add anything to the experience. The characters themselves look good, but some of the enemies can be hard to tell apart. High Moon did such a great job of bringing the Transformers universe to life in War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron, that it made the uninspired Deadpool levels that much more disappointing.
Deadpool’s main problem is that it’s not very long at around the 6-8 hour mark and there aren’t many reasons to want to play the campaign a second time. The only other mode to play is Challenges, which requires you to kill waves of enemies before the time runs out. Each time you beat a level you can then play it on a higher difficulty and earn more DP. It’s an ok distraction for an hour or two, but not something you’re going to play long-term. Used games are a hot topic right now and Deadpool is a prime example of a game that doesn’t offer gamers many reasons to want to hang on to it for very long.
There are no multiplayer or cooperative modes in Deadpool. I don’t really know how either of those would have worked, but High Moon have shown that they can pull them off properly in the Transformers games, and even just adding in another player for co-op would have gone a long way to increase the replay value. Deadpool is always talking to the voices in his head, so maybe the second player could have taken on a physical version of that or something. It’s a missed opportunity to keep their game in the hands of the player for longer than a weekend.
Long time Deadpool fans will more than likely enjoy every minute of this one, but I don’t see it winning over the casual fans. It’s not like the Batman Arkham games that were just really good video games, whether you liked Batman or not; this one is for the group of fans that have been craving a Deadpool-centric game. If you’re not one of those fans, but you still thought Deadpool looked interesting, I would recommend renting it or waiting for all of the copies to start piling up in the used game bins.
Price: $49.99 on consoles, $39.99 on PC
Release Date: June 25th, 2013
Available On: Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC via Steam