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PlayStation 3 Review: ‘Deadpool’

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Hard at work!

Hard at work!

It is a great time to be Deadpool. The merc with a mouth is enjoying more popularity than ever before. Movie rumors abound, a plethora of successful comics are out there, and women practically throw themselves at D-Pooly (or so he says).  It is only natural that he’d set his sights on conquering the world of videogames. Thankfully, Deadpool called up High Moon Studios and put them to work on a massive, action epic encapsulating an unforgettable story about love and overcoming all odds to save a world in peril… Actually, it’s just a game about boobs, explosions, and fart jokes. It also happens to be one of funniest games to come along in years and you’ll struggle to find any game that pays homage to its source material as faithfully as Deadpool.

Created by Rob Liefeld in 1991, Deadpool, aka Wade Wilson, has spent the last 30 years making a name for himself in the Marvel universe by combining extreme violence with off-the-wall humor. Coupled with his unique attribute to speak to readers and break the fourth wall, Deadpool has seen his street-cred skyrocket. Fully aware of his escalating awesomeness, Deadpool calls up High Moon studios and puts them to work on creating a massive action epic starring yours truly. He begins on his quest to “follow the script” of his game when Sinister appears and screws everything up. Naturally, Deadpool is none too thrilled with Sinister’s intervention and sets out to give him the business. Assisting you on your travels are the X-Men. As Deadpool you’ll slap Wolverine 100s of times, hit on both Rouge and Psylocke and make Cable wonder what he did in his past life to know someone as annoying as “The Pool.”

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High Moon Studios brought former Deadpool-comic writer Daniel Way to pen the script. Those familiar with Way’s handling of Deadpool know the merc is in good hands and Way weaves a tale that had me laughing out loud almost the entire time. The real star of this game is the charm that Deadpool brings to the table. High Moon could’ve taken the easy route and cashed in on a generic, cookie-cutter superhero game. Instead, they have gone all out in making almost every facet of the game feel like it’s straight out of the comic. Early in the game, Deadpool gets a call from the developers at High Moon letting them know they’re running low on budget. As Pool walks into the next room, the view transforms from your standard 3D action game to a top-down, pixelated version reminiscent of the early NES Zelda. Screaming at the developers to fix the budget, the graphics magically revert back to 3D. It is clever moments like these that are found throughout the entire campaign and it’s easy to see that High Moon had a blast playing with Deadpool’s ability to break the fourth wall.

Unfortunately, not everything in the game exemplifies Deadpool’s comic persona perfectly. Combat is set up much like the Arkham games, mimicking the caped crusader. There are your light and heavy attacks, with a button to counter any attack that can be seen coming with a prompt over an enemy’s head. Even though the action is similar to the Batman games, the combat lacks those titles’ fluidity. While throwing together big combos can be done easily, it’s just not as satisfying. The Arkham games reward you for making smart decisions and pulling off combos that dazzled by mixing acrobatic moves that are difficult to pull off. Deadpool’s combos almost feel like they’re on auto-pilot most of the time. This becomes painstakingly evident on the more difficult levels where I had more success button mashing then linking specials together. On a game that gets so many things in the Deadpool universe right, it’s frustrating to seem the game slip up on the combat.

While level design is fairly varied, most enemy types feel the same. Even the bosses, while some have flamboyantly different looks, play in familiar fashion. Luckily, the game doesn’t overstay its welcome and its short campaign should help from keeping the familiar enemy types growing old.

Once the single-player campaign is over, players will have a chance to test their skills in challenge areas that, again, mimic the challenge rooms in the Arkham games. How much fun you’ll get out of these challenges depends on your love for the source material and your level of patience with the combat’s controls. Posting high scores in the challenge mode will net you hidden costumes and little else. So, only the biggest of fans may feel the need to traverse these challenges.

It is too bad Deadpool’s combat misses the mark, because everything else is clearly a labor of love for the merc with a mouth. Controls aside, I had a blast with this game. If you’re a fan of Deadpool, comics, or even if you just like boobs and explosions – this is the game for you. High Moon clearly cares about the Deadpool brand and it shows. Deadpool may be an obnoxious, annoying teammate to those in the Marvel universe, but give this game a try and you may find yourself a new BFF.

Deadpool is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Sexual Content and Strong Language. This game can also be found on: PC and Xbox 360.

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About Nathaniel Nehrbass

I've been covering the gaming industry for over 5 years, blogging for various sites and covering gaming tournaments nationwide. I am more excited than ever to be a part of the industry and am looking forward to the next gen of consoles and the possibilities they hold. You'll find me on the PSN most of my days under the moniker of NatX7. Drop me a line and let's conquer the world!