Hello Moar Powah! New writer ArcGunner here bringing you the first entry in my column titled “The Longbox Fortress of Solitude,” where I will focus on comic and game reviews. This week, I’m bringing you a review of the recently released Deadpool video game, which was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con last year.
First off, some history. For those not in the know, Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, is a fourth-wall breaking, one liner spewing, and wisecracking mercenary from the Marvel universe. He was first created by Rob Liefeld and made his first comic book appearance in issue #98 of New Mutants back in 1991. Since then, Deadpool has earned several mini series and on-going books through Marvel publishing, but has remained a very low-key background character. He would remain this way until he shared a book with longtime X-Men fan favorite character Cable in 2004.
The character’s next big break, and the most likely cause for the mercenary’s boom in popularity, was through his portrayal by actor Ryan Reynolds in the 2009 movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Despised by critics and fans alike, the film still served to introduce a new generation of fans to the smart mouthed mercenary, causing a drastic rise in the sales of his THEN on-going comic book series. Since 2009, Wade Wilson has been the center of much fan love, and has thus, quickly risen in fame and popularity in the eyes of the comic book community. Naturally, with this much hype behind the character, a movie was put into the works, and has also been stuck in development hell since 2010. Luckily the creative team at High Moon Studios decided to take a swing at it and went about creating what we have before us today the, Deadpool video game.
High Moon Studios, now famous for their PHENOMENAL Transformers video game franchise, took a swipe at creating a game based on the eccentric mercenary. And while I must say that this was quite an undertaking for the company, the end result was… less than perfect.
Daniel Way, famous for his most recent run on the Deadpool comic, writes the game’s comedy and storyline. While his writing on the Deadpool on-going series was hit or miss at times, he still seemed like a good choice to get the job done. Sadly, the story falls flat as each of the levels seem very loosely strung together to form a cohesive narrative.
The story centers upon Deadpool, as he plays through the game he pitched to High Moon Studios. We begin with a standard Deadpool story setting, Wade’s been hired to kill a scumbag, but not everything is quite as it appears. Said scumbag appears to be working for the longtime X-Men villain Mister Sinister, who proceeds to kill Wade’s mark. Now Wade is on a journey to finish his game and kill Sinister for killing his target.
What follows this is reminiscent of a long string of loosely connected set pieces, repetitive dick jokes, and zany perverted Deadpool antics. While that’s not to say that the comedy isn’t enjoyable, the story is practically non-existent.
Thankfully, the same cannot be said for the game-play. It’s a standard Devil May Cry style beat-em-up with a third person shooting elements thrown in for good measure. There are three variations of melee weapons: the katana, sai, and dual sledgehammers. As for the guns, players are treated to dual handguns, sub-machine guns, shotguns, and LASER RIFLES.
The music throughout the game is fun, upbeat, but overall, unmemorable. You’ll be paying more attention to the one-liners Wade randomly spouts mid-combat, along with scripted dialogue that pops up throughout the various portions of the game.
If I have one major complaint with the game, aside from the storyline, it’s the underuse of Marvel characters. The cover art for the game features Wolverine, Psylocke, Rogue, Domino, and Cable. While Cable plays a significant role during several set pieces of the game, the same cannot be said for the rest of the cast. Wolverine, voiced by Steve Blum, appears several times in throw away scenes to help further advance the plot, while Psylocke and Domino LITERALLY appear for about a grand total of 1 minute of screen time throughout the whole game, and of that 1 minute, Psylocke doesn’t even speak. Basically, if you’re going to include a character on your cover art, have the decency to actually INCLUDE them in your game.
All in all, while I applaud High Moon Studios for their extremely fun game, I can’t help but feel this is something of an unfinished product. High Moon Studios created a game with fun gameplay and gut busting comedy, and I feel this can be the first of a successful series of games for the company, so long as they spend a bit more time on the storyline and level design and less time on the jokes and one-liners.
-solid writing, especially the humorous scenes
-fun overall gameplay
-good way to introduce new fans to Deadpool
-looks like a decent start for a franchise
-limited enemy types
-rather blatant misuse of X-men characters (limiting awesome characters to mere cameo appearances, as opposed to integrating them into the game for a full experience.)
Developer: High Moon Studios
Available on: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Release date: June 25, 2013