Deadpool is an experiment in how ridiculous a title can be by dragging together the psychopathy of this Marvel Comics fan-favorite with the scripting you can only unfold in a videogame within a video game. Brought to us by High Moon Studios (Transformers) and published by Activision with Daniel Way at the helm writing the story, we experience this beat-em-up adventure where Deadpool kidnaps one of the High Moon Studios employees to create his own video game. Ironic, I know.
The overarching gameplay follows the standard beat ‘em up style which blends together third-person hack and slash with his spirited swordplay that has you dashing across the screen and slicing enemies up in the never-ending hunt for tacos. If that doesn’t suit you, you start the game with Deadpool’s favorite handguns and 36 rounds which plays as a third-person shooter in which nearly every enemy drops ammunition to keep you going. You’ll often find yourself blending together both styles of combat, particularly when there are more enemies on the screen than you can count.
Aside from the expected slashing of a thousand enemies, the collection of tacos (collectibles) and the shooting mechanics there is little else to do but the occasional boss fight that engages you in various strategies of hacking, slashing, and crashing. It’s straight-forward and unapologetic about it’s expectations.
One of the greatest redeeming factors of the game is the voice acting from legend Nolan North (also heard in just about every video game, ever) who continues to embody the spirit of Deadpool as he perpetually harasses the player, taps at the screen, and instructs you on what to do. It’s clever, and it’s a mechanic that works well. In addition the rockstar staff includes April Stewart who is known for her role Corvo’s Heart in Dishonored, Fred tatasciore who takes on the role of Cable (also known for Hulk in various other games), Keith Ferguson who plays various roles (also known as Kargon in Darksiders II), Steve Blum who takes on the role of Wolverine (he is also known as Starscream in Transformers), Melissa Disney who takes on the role of Rogue/Psylocke/Spirit (also known for Vivi Orunitia in Kingdom Hearts and her distant relationship to the Walt Disney family), and Gwendoline Yeo who takes on the role of Domino (also known for Meilin Mao in Fuse, Lola Chong in Batman Dark Knight Returns, and Shiala in Mass Effect).
With a voice acting team like this you expect quality, and you receive quality.
The game itself takes a leap away from the comic feel and imposes the rendering that can only be described by the detail put into Deadpool’s legs when he drops his pants to lay a stink pickle and mysteriously pulls his phone out of his back pocket … while not wearing pants. There are certain elements that make me question what is going on, until I realize 3 seconds later that this is Deadpool we are talking about – and the voices in his head tell us that everything is alright.
I find it hard to argue that this is a contender for game of the year, but what I can state is that this is simply a damn good time. Deadpool is one crazy son of a bitch and this is the style of game that does his character justice. Whether you’re shocked or in awe at the disgusting options afforded to you at the very beginning of the game, or whether you find pleasure in creating a thousand pancakes for the sake of an achievement, the design is what you would expect and hope out of Deadpool.
That being said the greatest gift this title affords us is the opportunity to experience what it is like to be Deadpool and have the voices in his head talk to us – constantly. There’s a war being waged inside his head and we’ve been invited to the party, whether its the internal dialogue of who Deadpool wants to see naked, the philosophy of a bouncing castle, or whether or not a rocket launcher is of appropriate girth and stature.
Everyone is now welcome into Deadpool’s madness. Not everyone can escape it.