“…the rare game that plays with you while you play with it.”

In Deadpool, the “merc(enary) with a mouth” gets his own third person action shooter/action game and goes up another number to break the “fourth wall” into several video game genres and various jokes/references. This review covers the PlayStation 3 version of the game.

Deadpool has action and comedy plus this main Marvel comic character talks to the audience constantly throughout the experience developed by Marvel/High Noon and published by Activision.

This “merc with a mouth” constantly breaks the “fourth wall” (think theater reference where the plane is between the audience and the performance) and even dishes out trophies just for starting up the game.

This one player game centers on an 8-chapter story with a main campaign and separate challenges under three different difficulty levels with a top-level of “ultraviolence”.

The extras are nice and players can buy special moves in the game’s store (press the select button any time). Deadpool can gather coins for the store for more moves, weapons, explosions or powers.

Deadpool’s blade is sharp while the humor is noticeably more blunt. Veteran Deadpool writer Daniel Way pens the entertaining script. Deadpool veterans will get even more satisfaction from the gameplay and references, but video game fans also get a treat as the game expands references into many famous franchises.

The cutscenes provide endless entertainment. Players can skip through them (using the start button), but would miss out on memorable moments and entertaining laughs.

Nolan North handles the voice acting very well. The gameplay combines melee attacks and weapon use with a character progression system and great character cameos including Wolverine, Cable, Rouge, Death, and Mr. Sinister.

The humor elements begin immediately as players are oriented to Deadpool’s apartment. Soon player enjoy other Marvel character appearances, genuine surprises, and video game references/parodies including some 8-bit beauties.

The Deadpool character was created by Rob Liefeld in 1991. This game missed the opportunity for more character development, especially during the slower paced sequences among an overall fast paced fight fest. For example, the massive scar tissue damage that requires Deadpool wear the full body suit is only used for shock humor and educate any newbies.

Players can choose to follow Deadpool’s dual personalities and even North himself and look for a deeper meaning, but basically must succumb to the fact that the game producers are just trying to entertain. They succeed enough if players enjoy immature jokes, sexual content, gratuitous blood and gore, relentless quips, crazy antics, and sexist jokes.

The playful fight sequences are expanded due to unnaturally long enemy life, so Deadpool can really show his skills while players can score bonuses by mastering the game’s combat system.

The basic movements work well while jumping can be a challenge. Players can easily perform counter moves by using the button prompted by icon shown above enemy. This same icon indicators system would have been helpful on navigation and movement objects as well. The ammo icons are also very helpful and keep the game moving at a fast pace.

Camera issues and the checkpoint systems need the most improvement in the short campaign. Stealth kills and the varied level designs mesh well with the different weapon types that are upgradeable and unlockable. Stun grenades, swords, bear traps, sais, shotguns, and, of course, giant hammers provide imaginative ways to dispatch enemies while entertaining players.

Getting good? Post the challenge mode scores then get hidden items. Button mashing is an effective technique throughout the game, but combo moves get the rewards. Long range attacks can soften enemy groups thanks to a decent lock and aim mechanic, but players get limited ammunition. The bosses do not pose a high challenge while the basic baddies get repetitive.

Ammo low? The melee attacks are light or heavy plus Deadpool can throw gadgets, perform his teleportation move or use momentum (L2 and X button). The environments and color schemes can get bland and more destructive environments would have been nice.

Deadpool leaves the bodies on the floor while levels that overwhelm with enemies basically just amp up the violence. The musical score overshadowed by dialogue/voice work. The one player action and antics would be great in an expanded online or multiplayer mode, but the game’s uniqueness contains enough appeal for a recommendation (*** out of four stars). A must for die-hard Deadpool fans. Also available on Xbox 360 and PC.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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