- + Decent button-mashing combat
- + Classic Deadpool humour
- - Bland level design
- - Floaty gun gameplay
Want to look beyond the score? Check out the full review below…
Start Replay: “Dead ‘Average’ Pool”
Licensed games often are often short on time and are constrained within the limits of their budget, all of which results in a half-baked product. Deadpool the game isn’t going to win any awards, but instead of taking itself too seriously it embraces its shortfalls and ends up becoming a mindless button masher that offers a bit of fun in the process.
If you’re reading this thinking that you’ve seen it before, it’s because you probably have. Deadpool was met by mild review scores when it was originally released in 2013, but that hasn’t stopped Activision taking advantage of the films’ impending release. It isn’t related to the movie, though getting to control the joke cracking, wise-ass that is Deadpool has made me more hyped for the upcoming Ryan Reynolds-starring flick.
One of the few things this game does right — if only just a little bit — is combat. I dipped into its eight-level campaign on the highest difficulty and still enjoyed dismembering enemies with ease. I can sit back and turn off my mind whilst mashing my way to victory. There’s not a lot to it, all you’re tasked with doing is moving from one area to the next as you deal with groups of enemies. It’s relatively easy to build up combos and earn Deadpool points (in-game currency), making upgrading your arsenal a synch.
Three weapon categories stock your equipment: guns, swords and projectiles. To start you’re given the basic sword, pistol and a handful of concussive grenades, but it’s up to you whether you choose to upgrade these individually or branch out onto more elaborate weapons. Personally I preferred to stick to my starter set, upgrading them further and increasing their lethality. Lastly there are “Player Upgrades” which, as you’d expect, advance Deadpool’s personal stats. These include increased health, damage output and combat skills.
Battling against enemies with melee attacks is fun, but when it comes to dishing out punishment to people with guns it gets a little frustrating. If you get shot in the middle of a fight then it’s a battle to stop bullets being shoved into Deadpool’s face. Control over any weapon feels flat and takes you out of its fast-paced combat immediately, which is pretty jarring to begin with. It’s marginally saved once you fully upgrade a weapon, but that takes a while to accomplish and guns still feel like they’re attached to balloons. Those wondering how good it all looks, this title’s conversion to newer hardware hasn’t done much for its visuals. What’s presented is a bear-bones upgrade, re-released simply to satisfy fans before the film turns up.
Deadpool is one of the funniest superheroes around and it’s hilarious to see him poke fun at not only himself, but also the situations you, the player, get him into. He even complains about gameplay and the low budget, referencing its developer, High Moon Studios, and taking calls with the studio director to make the game more awesome. That’s why this game works, no matter how basic everything might be, being judged on my progress by its lead character makes me forget about its low quality and laugh out loud instead.
Deadpool’s revival on newer consoles offers a pick up and play experience that’s also quite humorous, but doesn’t travel past anything more than average. If it wasn’t for half-decent sword combat and the excellent Nolan North voicing the merc with a mouth, this wouldn’t come close to fun.
*Deadpool was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by Activision