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Deadpool Review (Rated 18+)

Not your conventional superhero…

Through the years, licensed games have become something of a tainted chalice in the video game industry. Be they movie tie ins, comic book adaptations etc they have always had that one common trait; they’ve been pure and utter garbage. There has been some diamonds in the rough for sure, but until Batman Arkham Asylum in 2009, things looked like they would never change. Arkham City followed two years later and a half decent Wolverine game appeared in between and for the most part it looks like licensed titles are getting a bit more care and attention (see the last two Transformers titles, the non-movie tie in Spiderman games and more). The latest licensed game to come along then is the curious beast that is Deadpool and to be honest, it’s a tough one to call.

Coming from High Moon Studios, who brought us the aformentioned Transformers titles, this should have been the perfect playing field for a game that could poke fun at multiple genres and provide a breath of fresh air for gamers. Deadpool is a character famous for his tendancy to break the fourth wall. In comic form, he regularly adresses the reader and is fully aware that he is a comic book character. When it came to the game then, the decision was taken that this would be a principle trait of the design. Voiced by the unrivalled in his field Nolan North, Deadpool is exactly the immature, foul mouthed Merc With A Mouth any fan would expect and is constantly making reference to how cliched the various levels and setups you are sent through are. Hell, the “plot” of the game is that he wasn’t a fan of High Moon’s script and so is writing his own , that you as a player play through.

The problem with all of this is that it doesn’t take long to see and realise that whilst High Moon started off by throwing knowing nods and winks at various genres, there comes a point in the game when parody has left and in fact you are just playing through yet another run of the mill action title. Sure, Deadpool continues to mouth off about how obvious and stupid all of these tried and tested elements are (pull this switch, shoot this weak spot, knock over this barrel etc. etc.) but this is taken by the developers as a license for laziness and come the end of the game, you will realise you have been slightly duped into thinking you were playing something vaguely intelligent, when in fact it was just another generic title.

It’s not all bad though. First of all, the character of Deadpool has been nailed. North is excellent, the dialogue is sharp and the combat fits the character. The cameo appearances from the likes of Cable, Wolverine, Rogue and more are great too and all in all there is lots of fan service paid here. What there isn’t however, is gamer service. We are treated to snippets of truly great ideas such as the 8-bit dungeon portion and the turret sections are commented on brilliantly by Deadpool. But there just isn’t enough of these out and out parody moments and that is where the game falls short. There is also a serious ramping up in difficulty for the final boss and it could near break the more novice of gamer. It’s pretty horrible.

Deadpool isn’t terrible, but it certainly is disappointing. My best advice is to pick it up cheap and that way you can play away happy. As it stands, for forty to fifty quid maybe give this one a miss for now.

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