Thursday, June 27, 2013

Second Opinion - Deadpool

After getting control back over this blog from Deadpool's brief takeover, I decided it would be a good idea to play his game for myself, having played and enjoyed High Moon Studios' previous Transformers output. Like my brother, I am also a fan of the Merc With a Mouth, having gotten into the comics through the Daniel Way run, the same person who also wrote this game. I have read other Deadpool releases since then, my favorite at the moment being the current Marvel NOW! run written by comedians Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan. After seeing my brother play through this game, I gave it a go on the easier setting and found myself enjoying the game overall despite its flaws.

As Deadpool tries to negotiate with High Moon Studios over making an awesome video game about him, the script he is given by the studio (altered by him in crayon) says he has a contract to kill a media mogul named Chance White. Before the mercenary can get the chance to kill him though, the villain Mister Sinister does the killing for him, causing Deadpool to try and get revenge on him. A visit from the future from Cable, however, proves that Mister Sinister not only has bigger plans than Deadpool realizes, but also that the Regenerating Degenerate is the only hope for stopping him (not that Deadpool really cares all that much). The main and meta plots are mixed together in a way that gets the most humor out of it being a video game storyline (and it being about Deadpool), but there is at least some restraint in that it doesn't get too carried away with just making jokes the whole time. The other characters featured in this game, mainly the X-Men in particular, don't get as much screen time as the title character (as he emphasizes, it is his game after all), though they have just enough to add some variety to the Deadpool-flavored mix.

As for the characterization, it seems (based on what knowledge I have of the Marvel Universe) that everyone's character is intact, most especially Deadpool's. His humor is a little hit and miss, but overall his dialogue is very witty and hilarious, which is an important aspect of the character, and I ended up laughing about some of the stuff he said even when I wasn't playing. I don't have enough experience with the other characters to tell how true they are (though I have maybe some with Wolverine), but fortunately for newcomers, there are some helpful bios within the game that attempt to summarize what each character is like to familiarize the player with who they are (in my opinion, Cable's is the most hilarious).

In terms of gameplay, I would say it's fairly solid. You have a multitude of options for slaying your enemies, by way of a variety of guns, melee weapons, and throwable explosives (plus a teleporter for dodging attacks or just plain goofing off). Killing enemies and exploring levels earns you Deadpool Points (DP), which you can use to buy upgrades, some of which are special Momentum moves, which you can activate after filling up a respective bar on the left side of the screen (done by striking your foes and consuming tacos). When you have enough of these upgrades you can spice up your gameplay a bit, though you will probably end up sticking to a regular set of weapons; despite this, while there are some hilarious moments of the game changing up a bit, the gameplay overall gets a little repetitive, though Deadpool's one-liners help to avoid it becoming outright stale.

Stealth kills are also an option, allowing you to put your Metal Gear skills to work.
While not exactly on the level of Fall of Cybertron, the graphics are very good, even with some minor texture loading, with a mixture of bright and subdued color palettes that makes everything stand out from each other nicely. The voice work is excellent, with each voice actor doing a good job portraying their respective characters; as for matching how each character "should" sound, the only ones I was fully aware of were Nolan North as Deadpool and Steve Blum returning to voice Wolverine, which I liked hearing despite his limited screen time, otherwise I'm not all too familiar with previous portrayals of any of the other characters, but even so I thought the voices matched the characters from what I knew of them. The music, while not entirely memorable, was also done well and was pretty entertaining for the type of game this was, as it helped enhance the tone of the game whenever it was there.

While I didn't expect it to be an epic game, Deadpool is really fun to play in spite of some minor issues. It may be a little short (you can beat it in about a day), but I fear that if it were padded any, it would be the equivalent of a long and stale joke; the current result would be one that doesn't get old. If you are a Deadpool fan you should definitely have this in your collection (if it isn't already), while fans of other Marvel properties should weigh their options a little more. I think Daniel Way (and of course High Moon) did a good job putting his version of Deadpool in video game form, and I hope this game gets a sequel so we can see Posehn and Duggan's version at work someday.

No comments:

Post a Comment