Today we’re taking a look at Activision and High Noon Studio’s action game based on the Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza character Deadpool, who after all these years since making his debut in 1991 he gets his own video game.
There’s a lot to like about this game with its basking in innuendo and flirtations with adult suggestive themes. There’s a very simplistic combat system that’s easy to play and just allows gamers to get on with enjoying the dark and perverse humor. Yet something is amiss when you strip away the game to its bear bones. It simply lacks any complexity to take it beyond being a showcase for how crazy the Deadpool character can be. Whilst cut scenes aren’t too invasive, there are a lot of moments where Deadpool shows off.
So the gameplay itself revolves around a central theme of moving through linear environments slicing away with melee weapons, guns and grenades at two main types of AI opponents. The game switches up the need for using guns versus getting in up close for combos using ranged and close quarters opponents. Whilst not complex or deep in any way bar simply aiming to not get hit to retrieve XP from the combos – which can be spent on upgrades – there’s little more to the fighting than having a decent aim and tapping away at two button attack moves and using the odd power up attack once in a while. It’s quite dull and although at times tries to throw in some “challenging” moments, there’s perhaps too much reliance on the craziness of the scenarios and Deadpool himself taking all the room on center stage. There are some variations throughout the game including a throwback 8-Bit era moment, riding shotgun and an interesting fairground shooting gallery to name but a few out there sections which inject a fair dosage of variety. However, with all the bells and whistles, varied moments and deadpan wisecracks, the game does nothing more than entertain on a basic level.
Graphically, the locations let the game down as we’re stuck in dark dimly lit uninspiring dwellings, save for a few finer moments above ground and wandering the city. The game looks pleasant, but there’s no interactivity with the environments making the combat areas feel bare. Animations are fluid capturing the movements of Deadpool well; there’s solid frames throughout regardless of how many enemies litter the screen, and the only real glaring issue is with the camera when in tighter spaces being a royal pain.
Audio is the best part of the game with some fine moments of comedy from start to finish that suit the comic book version of the character. Deadpool is definitely the star of this game, and you get to see him in all his glory, acted superbly by Nolan North proving that he can go way beyond Nathan Drake from Uncharted. The rest of the audio is a fine mix of uptempo beats and sound effects typical of an action game.
Sadly Deadpool’s reign is short lived as the campaign at least can be beaten in a less than a day’s play and offers nothing more than increased difficulty as an incentive to replay again. There are challenge modes including which stretch out the fun for some time, but ultimately, there’s not a lot of content on offer here.
Deadpool finally got his own game, and on its own merits is likeable for a quick, non taxing entertaining ride. If you’re a fan of the character, then this is a game for you to love and cherish, but anyone else would be wise to simply rent or at least wait for a price drop at some point. The game is simply an average offering, big on laughs, but shallow on the content and gameplay.
Score 5.5/10 – review by Robert Cram