Early on in his very first video game, comic-book mercenary Deadpool insults gamers, lambasts the script and hands out achievements for simply doing nothing. It’s pretty clear that this isn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill superhero game. Yet humour can only get you so far, and with many superhero games continuing to soar to new heights, does Deadpool make a triumphant leap from the pages of the comic to gaming consoles?
Penned by regular Deadpool scribe, Daniel May, Deadpool’s self-aware narrative sees the irrelevant hero teaming up with developer High Moon Studios to create the most awesome game ever made. Sent off to eliminate an evil media mogul named Chance White, Deadpool’s mission is complicated when nefarious X-Men baddie Mister Sinister invades the story and complicates the plot. Heading to the Magneto ruled country of Genosha, Deadpool finds himself running into various familiar faces as he seeks revenge on Sinister. Voiced by Nolan North, Deadpool remains the core focus of a convention shattering storyline, in which Deadpool frequently reworks the script on the fly, resulting in plenty of unpredictably deranged set-pieces.
With its meta storyline and frequent breaking of the fourth wall, Deadpool certainly makes a unique first impression. Sadly, when it comes to gameplay, fewer surprises are contained within its familiar hack-and-slash gameplay. Repeating the combo heavy action of such comic-book games as Batman Arkham Asylum and X-men Origins, Deadpool’s gruesome combat is fast and fluid but quickly repetitive. A perfunctory upgrade system adds some value, with new unlockable combos and weaponry, but Deadpool’s gameplay never excels beyond being average. It’s left to the inspired moments of surreal humour to elevate the short campaign, and with such bizarre moments as the game transforming into an 8-bit dungeon crawler due to alleged budget restraints, it’s hard not to be impressed by some of the zanier risks taken by High Moon Studios.