Deadpool is first and foremost a hack and slash, beat ’em up game. You blend between melee weapons with the standard combos and then guns. The shooting plays out like a 3rd person shooter but still requires some combos which keeps it in line with it’s hack and slash brothers. It’s worth noting that it’s a solid hack and slash game, beat ’em up game, but it doesn’t bring much new to the genre. At this point all of these games are starting to blend together as far as gameplay goes, and Deadpool is no exception. It relies on story, humor, and other little challenges to set it apart from the other games in the genre. The end result is solid fighting, but you won’t get much new.
The other thing that Deadpool throws in (that many hack and slash games do) is platforming. This makes sense as Deadpool is an agile character with abilities that make him built for that play style. That being said, some of the platforming is poorly executed. Deadpool has a tendency to over jump with double jumps and under jump with single. This doesn’t feel like an intentional challenge so much as poor execution though. There are a few frustrating moments of missing very easy jumps simply because the distance of the jumps seem to fight you the whole way through.
On the other hand, Deadpool makes up for the average combat, and annoying platforming with fun little moments thrown into the game. As with the Deadpool comics this game has a lot of really random moments. It also destroys the 4th wall, as the player is creating the Deadpool game (by playing it) while going through. This means randomly the game will switch from hack and slash to an entirely different game. Towards the start there is a brief moment where the game goes into an old school adventure game (like Legend of Zelda). Later it gives a throw back to old side scrollers, and even has a little carnival shooter that is pumped up Deadpool style. These moments are brief and I wish there had been more of them, but they are very enjoyable and a nice break from the rest of the game.
This game is short though, since it does get pretty repetitive this is not the worst thing. The game being short but sweet kind of prevents the game from getting too repetitive. However it also kind of kills the desire to replay the game over and over since it means you will repeat the same things over and over in a short period of time. On the easiest setting the game can easily be beaten in a few hours. Bumping up the difficulty does give you a chance to continue to unlock powers and keep going through the game, but the combat is no less repetitive and you have to sit through the same cut scenes all over again, after only seeing them a few short hours before. This game cries out to either be longer or to have cut scenes that can be skipped for follow up play throughs. Either one of these would make the second and third time playing through the game (for unlocks and achievements) much more enjoyable.
There is also challenge mode which sadly doesn’t add a whole lot. In challenge mode you pick a map then are given x amount of time to defeat waves of enemies based on the difficulty you set. The maps are the same as the levels and the combat doesn’t change so it just feels like a slightly longer part of an already existing level. It’s nice that they tried to add a bit of difference into the game, but ultimately by the time you are finished with the game itself this just doesn’t add much to the game.
The graphics in the game are nothing breathtaking. They are solid throughout, but there is no real moment of “wow that looks so amazing”. It sort of fits with the overall theme of the game though. Because it tries to maintain a certain comic book feel to it, the cartoonish graphics fit with that. This isn’t really a game that calls for super realistic graphics. Deadpool looks good, as do the other comic book characters that you meet throughout the game. Where the game really shines though is the cut scenes and random breakaways. Watching Deadpool interact with the other characters looks like it’s straight out of the best of Deadpool comics. Also randomly Deadpool will go off on a crazy rant and the game will pause and cut to colorful and over the top little cinematics. They are colorful and hilarious and add to the over all feeling that this is a living Deadpool comic. Another area that adds to the “living comic” is occasionally you will be prompted to get more information on various characters. If you choose to see the information it actually has a small scene that shows various comic book pages from the career of the character.
The major issues with the graphics are really the enemies and the levels. While each of the levels is unique and different in comparison to the others, they are extremely underwhelming and repetitive. Once you get a general feel for each level expect to see the same thing over and over while playing. It’s rather disappointing to see such underwhelming levels especially in comparison to the colorful cut scenes and crazy breakaways. Even the little moments where Deadpool is put into side scrollers, etc are pretty flat. It’s not that the over all experience is not bad looking so much as it’s just pretty flat. It is a moment in the game that really feels it could have gotten more work.
Also the basic enemies. There are a few named villains that have pretty decent looks like the other heroes in the game, however the basic enemies are very disappointing. In fairness most of the enemies are clones so there is a built in explanation for why they all look the same. However, this just feels lame. There is a certain expectation that when playing hack and slash games you are going to cut through a lot of very similar enemies because they throw so many at you. That being said a little variety would have been appreciated, and probably would have helped the overall look of the game.
Not unsurprising for a Deadpool game, but audio is where the game really needs to stand out. Deadpool is called “The Merc With The Mouth” for a very good reason. The game really does deliver. The man that voices Deadpool has three different voices for the character, all of which are done well. The more insane and silly side of the hero, the slightly calmer and more reasonable side, and then somewhere in the middle is the actual character of Deadpool. The voice acting is done really well and helps deliver the jokes and one liners beautifully. Cable also has a wonderful voice actor. Fans of the recent comic book with Cable and Deadpool will be happy to hear the back and forth between the two, and please at how well it’s done. The other voice actors that mostly lend their voices to other more famous heroes and villains do a solid job as well. There is no one voice that stands out as being horrible.
The audio struggles with the rest of the game though. The soundtrack on the one hand is wonderful. Hilarious little songs (including a made up theme for Cable) are thrown in and add to the over all humor. On the other hand though there is a lack of creativity as far as the music is concerned. Each level pretty much has one song and it’s easily ignored or even entirely forgotten.
The sound effects themselves are also kind of a low point. They are all fairly solid, guns sound like guns. The melee weapons have a few satisfying sound effects with slicing and breaking bones. That being said there is no variety. As with all hack and slash games the player will be hearing the same sounds over and over. Deadpool throws in a few little quips in order to help with the repetitive sound effects, but those get extremely repetitive as well. This seems to be an overall problem with all hack and slash games, sadly none of them are really giving a solution.
The end result is some really excellent audio blended in with fairly average audio. The excellent moments really shine though.
Deadpool is a hack and slash, beat em’up game. It is solid in it’s gameplay, graphics, and audio but doesn’t really do anything new. Where Deadpool shines is the same place the character shines in his comics, and that is his unique brand of humor. This game focuses on the more lighthearted and crude aspects of Deadpool allowing the gamer to experience this crazy character. The game is extremely humorous but the actual gameplay can get a bit repetitive. Fans of the comic will enjoy it, but new comers won’t feel overwhelmed. It’s not the best game, but enjoyable from start to finish.