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Dead Pool XBOX Game Review
Three personalities are better than one
Deadpool. The post-modern comic book character that knows he's a comic book character, with multiple personality disorder and a perverse desire for mayhem. It should be obvious by now he's batshit crazy. If it's not obvious, please, seek help. Deadpool isn't for the sensitive, or for those that hate it when characters break the fourth wall. The thing is, this is Deadpool's game; he knows it is too and aside from phoning up Nolan North and High Moon to have a go at them, he's constantly referencing the player and commenting on how badly they're playing.
The problem is that the best thing about High Moon's game (following on from the relative success it's had with the Transformers Cybertron series) is its cutscenes, as well as the many asides that litter the experience.
Deadpool is nuts and that means nothing is off limits to what he can do. He's a bit like The Mask in that respect. He's able to manifest his own reality around himself and, despite the undercurrent of violence and puerile humour, he's here to have fun. It's almost impossible not to get dragged along for the ride no matter how moronic it all actually is.
There is a script, but Deadpool continually changes it, and the basic premise involves Mister Sinister, the X-Men and Genosha, which if you don't know was the location of a huge mutant battle with Sentinels that saw thousands killed. Deadpool is involved in the plot by accident as Cable attempts to manipulate his manic ramblings and simply point him in the direction of things to kill. If anything, this feels more like an X-Men story seen through the eyes of the titular hero. High Moon once again proves that, when it comes to revered licences, its more than capable of creating a world that's thoughtful, fleshed-out and true to its original vision.
It managed to do this with Transformers, but the difference here is that Deadpool's gameplay isn't anywhere near as accomplished. It's really rather bad, in fact, and is the sole detractor of an otherwise well-put-together package. Deadpool has twin guns, whether they're pistols, shotguns or whatever, and swords, which can also be swapped out for other melee monstrosities. Swapping between the two on the fly in combat is incredibly messy. The camera's unsure what to do at the best of times, but it becomes as schizophrenic as Deadpool when you try to mix and match your attacks.
Dead Pool Game Trailer
There's a stilted, staccato pacing to the combat that isn't helped with Deadpool's teleportation 'get out of jail free' defensive manoeuvre. There's a partial nod to Batman's counter-heavy gameplay, too, but it neither works as well Rocksteady's nor shows any understanding to how combat should flow. This is button mashing of the most mundane variety with no real skill required of the player throughout the majority of the game. When it finally does ramp things up, High Moon spams you with seemingly endless waves of enemies and if the combat wasn't fun before, it really isn't fun when this happens. Things aren't helped by a choppy frame-rate and though there's admittedly an element of organised chaos that's attempting to capture Deadpool's anarchic frame of mind, it creates a messy experience. We suppose in some ways you could say this is entirely reflective of the character but it never results in gameplay that's more than just surface filler. As much as there is here that's more than ridiculous it often feels like an idea - a state of mind really - that only extends to certain elements of Deadpool's crazy.
The enemies you face, for example, don't feature the same level of imagination as anything else in the game. Just the same bog-standard variations (disregarding the mutant-powered boss characters) and just to spice things up, occasionally one will arrive that buffers those around him with a shield or fire abilities. Guess which one you should take out first? For a game that shows such care and attention in its recreation of one of Marvel's cult favourite characters, it's jarring to see such little effort put into arguably more important areas.
Deadpool is all show and while its a fun ride, you'll be happy when its over. This year alone, and at the end of console generation to boot, we've seen so many games that have combined gunplay and sword attacks to devastating effect. We only have to point you in the direction of Devil May Cry and we're sure you'll agree, this sort of fuzzy mechanics and shallow gameplay just isn't good enough. Deadpool's gameplay never matches the highs of the Transformers series (make of that what you will), but equally, it never hits the lows of the truly worst games out there. It just sits there, below the average line making dick jokes and laughing at flatulence.