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Deadpool review

Solid
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AT A GLANCE
  • Genuinely funny comedy
  • Brutal, satisfying combat
  • Hilarious short videos detailing Marvel lore
  • Uninspired boss battles
  • Repetitive encounters
  • Little replay value

If you're reading this, then High Moon Studio's Deadpool was made specifically for you. No, this isn't some misguided attempt to match the meta, fourth-wall-breaking nature of the titular Merc with a Mouth--Deadpool is a game very obviously made for the kind of gamers that read this site. The kind of gamer knows who Nolan North is, and finds jokes about his voice being in everything funny. The kind of gamer that would appreciate Batman-style "BAM!" and "POW!" sound effects whenever you hit the Batman-style counter button. The kind of gamer that's reading this review, right now. Deadpool was crafted with a love and respect for the character, and the result is something that should make fans of the crass, rude mercenary very happy.

Deadpool starts the game on the phone with the president of High Moon Studios, discussing the details of the game you're currently playing. It's not the only time he calls High Moon, either--whenever he finds a glitch in the world, or wants to yell about a boring section, he whips out his cell phone and dials their president to complain. Other games have attempted fourth-wall shattering comedy before, but none have pulled it off as successfully as Deadpool, which leverages an acute knowledge of its fanbase to create a consistently funny experience.

"Deadpool was crafted with a love and respect for the character..."

Video game and pop culture references are sandwiched between comic book jokes, which are explained well enough that even someone with only a passing knowledge of the Marvel universe should be able to navigate the story without a problem. Sometimes it simply abandons comic canon in favor of better gameplay, openly acknowledging any plot holes it creates with funny dialogue that chastises you for questioning the story. It's playful and amazingly self-aware, consistently defying expectations with crude jokes and shocking laughs.

Sometimes, humor is established with well-animated cutscenes; other times, it's Nolan North's voice over (of three characters: Deadpool, and the two voices in Deadpool's head) that sells the zany, disturbed hero's presence. High Moon did a great job of pacing the humor, ensuring that un-interactive segments are bookended with fast gameplay.

"High Moon did a great job of pacing the humor..."

Combat is bloody and frantic, giving you access to three melee weapons, four guns, and four thrown items, all of which can be mixed and matched on the fly. Knocking an enemy into the air with a sword and then blasting him into pieces with a shotgun is fulfilling, and learning the different combos helps keep the encounters enjoyable for a majority of the game. But while it's fun, you'll likely wish it was a little more complex, or that you'd be able to swap weapons mid-combo (as you can in some other games in the genre) to allow for more fluid combat.

Things do start growing tedious in the later stages of the six-to-eight-hour game. Though upgradable weapons help, they still don't fully compensate for the lack of enemy variety. There are new foes from time to time, sometimes bringing new skills or weapons onto the battlefield. But they're always killed in the same way, infrequently requiring any changes to strategy. This is most apparent during boss battles, which could've been a highlight, as they provide easy moments for poking holes in video game and comic book tropes alike. Instead, they all play out the same, tasking you with strafing in circles while pumping your foe full of bullet holes. They're tedious, and it's a shame that encounters with signature villains are less interesting than the cutscenes that follow their deaths.

"Things do start growing tedious in the later stages of the six-to-eight-hour game."

But while you might not be interested in finding excuses to continue after you've finished the story, you'll undoubtedly be happy that you experienced Deadpool's ridiculous journey. High Moon Studios has created not only one of the best superhero games, but one of the funniest games you'll ever play--period. Sure, it's low brow and a little heavy on the dick and fart jokes, but... wait, actually, that's not a bad thing. It's a great thing.

This game was reviewed on Xbox 360.

More Info

Release date: Jun 25 2013 - Xbox 360, PS3 (US)
Jun 28 2013 - Xbox 360, PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3
Genre: Action
Published by: Activision
Developed by: High Moon Studios
ESRB Rating:
Mature

We Recommend

21 comments

  • Fireninjastar - July 9, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    It's "eh" at best. Even though it's a "one and done" kind of game.
  • Danomeon - June 27, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    Yeugh. Gave it a rental, but I think this deserves something lower than the rating you gave it. Here are my criticisms. The environments are really drab. Usually a lot of browns and greys despite there being a lot of really cool locations could have looked very interesting with some more colorful graphics. A lot of the environments also have wide open spaces occupied by nothing but enemies, resulting in this empty "Warehouse" feel. Combat gets repetitious as well. New varieties of enemies don't significantly change up anything, instead just adding more hit-points for you to monotonously whittle down through repetition. It starts to feel less like frantic swordfights and more like a war of attrition as you slowly break the juggernaut enemies down. I think this game could have been fantastic had they done something more like Lollipop chainsaw: That game had some mediocre combat as well, but it became an awesomely fun game to play through because of the wacky setpiece moments being spawned by the comedy. Deadpool does have a few setpiece moments to speak of, but most of them are pretty uninspired, like the turret section. Blech. Here's how to improve future Deadpool games: Make it more colorful, add enemies that are different in more ways than just 'more health to slowly drain', and make it as nuts as Deadpool himself!
  • spawnofspike - June 26, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    Enjoyable combat? Are you mental? The whole game is just blugh, fails as shooter, the platforming is a mess, the controls are some of the worst I've ever grappled with (especially the mouse and keyboard on PC ( 360 pad doesn't fare that much better) The only thing this game has going for it is Nolan North
  • MeanwhileGuy - June 26, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    Thank you guys for actually getting the point of this game and liking the humour. I'll probably wait until it goes down in price a bit before playing it, as I still have to get The Last of Us. And it actually feels like Hollander gave it a fair chance and addressed *why* fans of Deadpool like him. I read the verdict from Official PS Magazine earlier, and their review actually insulted us fans for liking toilet humour, purely because their reviewer didnt. So, I'm inclined to say "Screw their biased opinion, I'm going with GR's review."
  • Danomeon - June 27, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    Game reviews are the act of expressing a reviewer's opinion, so if the humor of a game is considered tasteless by the reviewer, wouldn't it be reasonable for a reviewer to put that down? So, for example, if a game were to be released in which every joke was that the main character peed his pants, it would be 'biased' for the game reviewer to say, "That's not funny"? I don't know if I agree with that, I think reviewers should be able to put down a game for its comedy writing. Especially when it's an integral part of the story like it is here.
  • MeanwhileGuy - June 27, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    It was basically because the reviewer said "The humour is the X factor, it either elevates the game for a few, or renders it nigh on unplayable. I call it nearer the latter, and, for the sake of your taste, hope you do too." That just sounds like an insult to people like me who find Deadpool hilarious, because, to me, that says "Your taste is bad, and you should feel bad." Umm, no? Who do you think you are to tell what video games to find funny?
  • rob619 - June 26, 2013 6:44 a.m.

    Games are meant to be for fun, it seems you cant have more fun then this title. Looking around I have seen some poor scores for this, which is sad. Gamesradars review seems far, cant wait to play this.
  • Fox_Mulder - June 25, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    Pretty good so far, I'm enjoying it. Being a Deadpool fan helps me look past the things that aren't so great about it.
  • rob619 - June 26, 2013 6:44 a.m.

    what is not so good about it?
  • Spaidio - June 26, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    Pretty much what he said in the review. Boss fights are a little boring and there aren't very many enemy's which you can fight. The game it self also only last around 7 hours. But anything else in the game is fantastic. The humor, oneliners, the two crazy voices and the break in the gameplay as deadpoll gets annoyed. Plus all the gore and blood isn't bad either :)
  • rob619 - June 27, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    Thanks. Yeh seems promising, if is fun then why not. Deadpool joking while killing fools? Yes please :)
  • Fox_Mulder - June 27, 2013 8:53 p.m.

    Yeah exactly what he said, combat is very fun, but simple and repetitive, enemies could be more varied, and I feel like they could have made Deadpool more fluid when fighting/shooting. But it's a great game so far, really funny, they nailed DP's tone.
  • Rub3z - June 25, 2013 5:46 p.m.

    Did they have the foresight to set this up for an amazing sequel that does everything better than the original? Was there a joke about that somewhere? I'll give it a go, and likely enjoy it, I'm just hoping for a totally awesome sequel.
  • avedon-arcade - June 25, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    Definitely a rental. Even being a fan isn't going to make me want to keep this around if it's as repetitive as they say.
  • Shinn - June 25, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    I'm a huge Deadpool fan, and I'm at the 6 hour mark. I have to say, I'm really enjoying this game. High Moon has done a great job of capturing the atmosphere and feel of the older Deadpool comics, and each supporting character will make you grin as they're introduced. Definitely worth $40, even if you're not a fan of Activision, consider buying this game to show them that High Moon deserves better. We need to let Activision know that they can expect us to support these more original endeavours, otherwise all of the talent under their boot will disappear.
  • shawksta - June 25, 2013 7:20 a.m.

    Not bad, good to hear it atleast serves deadpool justice
  • Swedish_Chef - June 25, 2013 6:49 a.m.

    The gameplay probably would've turned out a lot better if Activision didn't lay off the entirety of High Moon studios as soon as they finished the game and instead gave them more time to refine it. But on the bright side at least this didn't turn out to be the Duke Nukem Forever / Aliens Colonial Marines of comic book games like many feared it would be, instead what we get is a passable hack and slash / third person shooter game with tons of Deadpool's trademark humor and lots of fanservice for comic book fans which in the end is all we really wanted the game to be at least.
  • BladedFalcon - June 25, 2013 6:44 a.m.

    Sounds like a rental then. And not a single penny more for Activision.
  • StrayGator - June 25, 2013 6:35 a.m.

    fanservice: the game, you say. seems like a fair exchange for 40$. especially considering one mr. sinister. always a value-add for me.

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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