Deadpool Review: superhero romp takes a sledgehammer to the fourth wall in style

High Moon Studios, the developer behind the recent batch of Transformer titles, has taken the Deadpool license to create one of the funniest hack-‘n-slash game of the year. For those unaware, the game’s eponymous lead is a Marvel superhero was has the ability to regenerate from wounds due to being experimented on in the weapon X program. In addition, he also suffered from very severe form of cancer, which had spread around his body giving him a grotesque appearance, though due to his healing capabilities he cannot die from it. On the flip side, it’s this disease that has caused him to go insane. Deadpool’s real name is Wade Wilson, a Mercencary for hire by trade who typically goes for the job with the highest pay. Nonetheless, he does possess something of a conscience, as he normally screws over the bad guys in the process.

The main storyline starts off with Deadpool receiving his script for the game. Being a character who loves to break the fourth wall constantly, Deadpool decides to edit his script, because only he know’s what makes him so awesome, after all. The problem with this is he doesn’t really pay any attention to what he is doing, so even to him the entire game is a confusing mess, though the studio occasionally phones him to tell him he has maxed out the budget thus causing havoc with the company. Outside of this, the game follows a pretty standard story with Deadpool chasing after Mr Sinister who had killed his mark that he was after. You will also meet up with other Marvel heroes as you progress through the storyline, from the X-Men to Cable; for those who haven’t heard of Cable, he is an old team up buddy for Deadpool from the comics, though if you need a refresher on the characters the extra section on the main menu will tell you their backstory. As you progress through the game, there are new abilities and weapons to unlock via killing enemies in chains combos to acquire higher deadpool points. The amount you need to unlock all the skills will take you a few playthroughs which helps add to the game’s overall replay value.

However, even with all these combos, the fighting system isn’t as deep as most hardcore titles and this may put some players off. And, while there is a decent amount of combinations on offer, some gamers may get bored or frustrated by the lack of depth available. Deadpool himself is voiced by the amazing Nolan North (Uncharted’s Nathan Drake, Assassin’s Creed’s Desmond Miles), who gets to grip with his role perfectly and nails his character’s thought bubbles just right. Amusingly enough, if you spend enough time in the first level, you can get a phone call from him in the game, talking about how he will play the role.

As you go through the game you will notice a lot of callbacks and references to other games including a small 8-bit parody of Legend of Zelda, as well as a hilarious Xzibit meme joke thrown in, which fits the story perfectly. He also breaks the fourth wall on many occasions including complaining when the player is performing badly, or calling you a noob if you spam the shotgun all the time. There is one point in the game which doesn’t just break the fourth wall, but smashes it, puts it back together again then breaks it.

The visuals have a certain comic book charm to them, and though they are not the best you’ll see on PS3 large margin, they’re still pretty solid. However, I would prefer a bit more variation in terms of locations to better show off the graphics. The 8-bit parody area looked spot on and the detail on Deadpool’s face is also pretty impressive as you can see some of his old scars and more deformed features.

Elsewhere, Deadpool also offers a challenge mode, which allows you to play arenas. These unlock new costumes though sadly they can only be used in the infinite arena mode, which sounds cool until you realize that all the arena mode levels are just pulled straight from the main campaign. Despite being fun in their own right, it would’ve been nice to have seen some new locations for the arena or at least the ability to use the costumes in the main campaign even if its only in new game+. Your high score is submitted online as soon as you finish a match, which can be used to compare with your friends to see who is kicking the most amount of butt.

Overall the game has its flaws, the camera angle caused me a few deaths and there seems to be a slight issue with the lock-on system, which sometimes doesn’t actually pick up the enemy but the space right next to them. Regardless, due to the humour and addictive gameplay it’s easy enough to see through these flaws and enjoy Deadpool for what it is — a fun, irreverent, light-hearted hack-‘n-slash.



The Final Word

It's not without its flaws, but overall, Deadpool is a decent, light-hearted hack-'n-slash game.