Deadpool Reviews

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Neo Ethereal
314,244 (174,210)
Neo Ethereal
TA Score for this game: 2,409
Posted on 21 September 19 at 00:41
This review has 1 positive vote and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Ridiculous, absurd, obscure, and infectiously fun: it's Deadpool's game

I can hardly say that there is any demand for this review at this point, but I was skimming along my backlog of both games and writings, and decided to kick the dust off my thoughts on this tremendously weird title.

I am at best, a casual fan of Deadpool. I have enjoyed reading most of his comics that I have come across, even the ones that are so absurd as to defy explanation (read the Deadpool Kills Deadpool series if you don’t believe me), though I don’t have any of them in my collection. I enjoy his cameos in various other comic continuities, as well as appearances in films like Wolverine Vs. Hulk, but before this game or Deadpool's first movie, I can’t say that I have ever felt compelled to own anything in which he has appeared. Deadpool is one of those characters that I have come to appreciate more and more over time, especially as a writer, as he really embodies a sense of creative freedom and the ability to throw curveballs at ideas within geekdom that have grown somewhat stale. But, even with that appreciation, it wasn’t until I played Deadpool’s video game that I finally acquired a genuine affection for the character, one that rivals my fondness of other favorite comic book heroes such as Iron Man.

I knew about the game's release back in 2014 but didn't pay it much heed. There were scant few reviews making the headlines (for good or ill), there was talk of antagonism between game developer High Moon and publisher Activision, and the game was quickly buried. I assumed that this was because Deadpool was yet another bad comic book tie-in that was destined for the bargain bin at the local evil empire game store. This assumption was exacerbated when Deadpool (along with other Marvel-licensed Activision games) was pulled from the digital marketplaces of Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network. But at the behest of a co-worker at the time, I found myself wanting to give the game a fair chance. After procuring a reasonably priced copy online, I took the plunge into Deadpool’s crazy world…

The sense of humor in Deadpool is infectious, and it begins from the time you select ‘New Game’ from the menu. The fourth wall doesn’t stand a chance, and right from the outset Deadpool himself begins interacting with the player, and establishes that he (in his mind) is the true creative force behind this video game. The least confusing way that I can describe it, is that you are playing a video game about Deadpool playing through his own video game (as High Moon is developing it on-the-fly). The story isn’t supposed to make any sense, and it is just a glorified excuse to bring Wade Wilson and the X-Men together, and more importantly, for Deadpool to be as Deadpooly as possible.

This is a tale of guns, guts, babes with big assets, and ultra-violence turned up to the nth degree. It is all at once brainless, juvenile, and yet completely brilliant. I laughed, I grinned, I cheered, I cursed at this game, but no matter what I may have been feeling toward it in a particular moment, I was having fun. Having the video game, comic book, movie, and entertainment industries turned on their head, hearing internet culture get torn to shreds with jokes that had me roaring, all of these things made the game and its ludicrous excuse for a premise insanely fun.

But how does Deadpool’s first solo game actually play? The most apt way I can put it, is that the gameplay is effectively a hybridization of Batman: Arkham Asylum’s melee combat, along with Gears of War-esque stop-and-pop shooting, albeit minus a working cover system. It doesn’t do either style of combat as well as the aforementioned games, but it manages to be adequate in all the ways that count. You could also compare it to Devil May Cry I suppose though it also is not as solid as that title. Deadpool doesn’t feel like quite the badass that he should at times (especially when playing on Ultra-Violence difficulty), but by the same token, I rarely felt cheated in combat. Aside from some camera issues and odd enemy spawn patterns, most of the time any deaths I encountered, I felt were legitimately my fault. When Deadpool criticizes your lack of gaming skills for dying (or letting him get too beat up), it’s a nice reminder to chill out and just enjoy the game, even if you are stuck on a tough part. Some might find Deadpool’s knocks on the player’s skill to be obnoxious, but I found it refreshing and hysterical. Deadpool’s gameplay will never win any awards, its not terribly deep, but it does exactly what it needs to where it counts, and its shortcomings are never enough to derail the game’s manic sense of frenzied fun.

Deadpool is not exactly a showstopper in the graphics department, but like the gameplay itself, the graphics accomplish what they need to, and they don’t detract from the experience. The level of detail is solid, but not mind-blowing. The graphics have a good comic vibe to them despite not using cel-shading. The best part of the visuals is in the variety. High Moon will have you in a sewer, an 8-bit world, a dungeon, a carnival ride, a mine cart, sometimes all within minutes of each other. I experienced no slowdown, pop-in, texture clipping or tearing, and aside from a couple of wacky instances, the game physics worked well and didn’t get me stuck in the environment. Every aspect of the graphics, like the gameplay, is there to service the game’s wanton sense of humor. In that respect they deliver, and in fact do so a degree better than the gameplay proper.

I can’t sing the praises of this game’s voice cast enough, most especially for the man who brings the “Merc With a Mouth” to life, the great Nolan North. I was consistently blown away by North’s performance, and at every other turn his voices had me laughing like an idiot. Comedy is one of the hardest things to pull off in any sort of acting, and what Nolan North does here is, in my book, worth any and all awards that a voice actor could earn. I really can’t do the performance any further justice here, you the player just need to experience it for yourself.

Special mention also goes out to the legendary Steve Blum, whose unmistakable voice is once more called upon to bring Wolverine to life.

The sound effects, on the other hand, merely fill the role of “adequate.” The guns sound okay, but could’ve used a lot more punch. Most of the other effects are serviceable but hardly stand out. Also unfortunate is that Deadpool doesn’t have much of a worthy soundtrack. I dug the industrial/heavy metal title screen music, but the rest of the soundtrack was fairly forgettable. Some more rocking, heavy music would have been nice to hear, and would have been a better complement to the action.

The game’s weaknesses almost become strengths when you embrace the whole idea of meta-gaming and abandoning the fourth wall. The premise is absurd and doesn’t pretend to be anything but. The humor can be juvenile at times, yet for me it is so infectiously charming that even the shallow end of the joke pool can elicit a smile. Deadpool is a gamer’s game, and is a pile of fun in a box. Why Activision would pour the money into licensing this popular Marvel character, and why they would invest the time and advertising into a game only to almost immediately abandon it is beyond me. It doesn’t make good business sense to me, especially after Activision purportedly forced High Moon employees to work brutal overtime hours in order for the game to make its deadline.

Critically and commercially, Deadpool is effectively a forgotten game. I find it to be underrated and criminally overlooked. It may not be for everyone, but it is a ridiculously fun ride that deserves a lot more love and success than it currently has to its credit. As to the Xbox One port? Maybe I'm lucky or perhaps by the Xbox One iteration I purchased (the model S), the game was able to run as it did on the Xbox 360, as I didn't notice any real differences in gameplay between the two versions. The One version looks a tad better but I would go with whichever one is less expensive when making a purchase or rental, as the game is almost completely identical either way.

Bonus: the achievement list is ridiculously fun and has a nice mix of comedy and challenge. It's a doable completion for most but do be prepared to run through the story more than once.
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Archer Spense
922,919 (466,680)
Archer Spense
TA Score for this game: 2,409
Posted on 06 January 16 at 19:52, Edited on 18 March 16 at 23:47
This review has 13 positive votes and 34 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
updated March 18, 2016

played PS4 version. changing review to include impressions. review also getting lots of down votes, so making a meager attempt to defend my 2 star rating...

preface

Before you go further, be aware I am reviewing Deadpool as a port to the XBONE, not the actual game. If your instinct is to downvote this review because you like the Deadpool game or you don't like how this review isn't reviewing the game, you are defending a shoddy and inferior version of Deadpool that deserves to be trashed.

The Xbone Version

If you're familiar with the last console generation, and you aren't a fanboy, you are probably aware the PS3 tended to have inferior ports of popular games. This had to do with how the system was designed. It was not easy to develop for. The quality of games not designed around the hardware tended to suffer when ported to the system.

The reverse was not true. PS3 games could easily be ported to the 360 with minor or no impact on performance.

Things seem to have flipped this console generation. Different reasons, but same results. Deadpool the game is a good example. The XBONE and PS4 versions are not equal. The XBONE version has distinct issues the PS4 one does not.

Matter of fact, the XBONE version has a lot of problems that aren't present in the last gen versions.

issues with the XBONE version

you can say, think, believe whatever you want, but I have played both PS4 and XBONE versions. The XBONE has the following issues whereas the PS4 one does not.

AI issues: enemy AI acts differently. Even on the hardest difficulty, it seems the enemies never block. Tend to be less aggressive in some parts of the game as well. I was able breeze through areas that are supposed to be difficult because of this.

more AI issues: Deadpool makes random quips to the player as they play. Deadpool's repertoire is skewed in the XBONE version and he tends to repeat the same handful of lines like a broken record. I don't know why, but he liked repeating "But is it big ENOUGH?!?" to me. Its not supposed to be this way. Deadpool is (somehow) less annoying when this feature works correctly.

frame drops: occasionally has random and very noticeable frame drops.

enemy animations: some enemies like tubby fat guys and Blockbuster don't animate correctly. These issues get way more obvious when either of these two enemies jump in the air. They don't move through the air in a normal natural smooth motion. Its more herky-jerky and sped up a little.


issues with all next gen versions of Deadpool

what is new to this version of Deadpool?: like 2 or 3 new challenge maps. A graphical face lift that is basically the equivalent of changing graphic settings in the PC version. That's it. Its literally the same exact game as the last gen version f-ed up obvious unfinished/rushed bits and all. Hell, even the disc art is exactly the same. Definition of lazy.

the weird disappearing mask revealing a zombie face when Deadpool uses the sink in his apartment? the sometimes shaking/spontaneously disappearing Deadpool in the game over screen?: all those problems and more are still there. Iron Galaxy didn't fix or correct anything.

lock-on feature: they did change this for some reason. where the last generation Deadpool game had a different cross hair that grabbed onto enemies and wouldn't let go when you locked onto them, is now a really tiny cross hair that kinda sorta locks on and frequently breaks its lock. its really screwed up in the next gen version. You can be locked on an enemy and still miss because the lock is lazy and not completely on the enemy for whatever reason.

is there anything good about the next gen version of Deadpool?


yes, the textures are touched up. Anti-aliasing is way better. resolution is higher. frame rate is improved (excepting when it poops its pants and drops to like 2 fps randomly). And that's about it.

the in-game cut scenes look amazing.

BUT! the actual game has that undeniable last gen ported to current gen visual feel to it.

Most important part of the review: how easy is it to 1k?

not too bad. can be done <24 hours if you aren't a scrub. 11/10.

If XBONE port is so bad, why not give 1 star?


Saving grave is its a decent game that is made better with Nolan North's performance.

the port itself is awful. Personally, would only recommend renting or buying if its on clearance.
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