Saturday, September 13, 2014

Deadpool (Xbox 360) Review

Deadpool is probably more popular than Wolverine right now. He's everywhere. This is sort of unfortunate, because Deadpool seems to be an especially difficult character to write. Too much Deadpool is a bad thing. Take a look at Deadpool Corps. Don't get me wrong, there are some funny bits in there but overall, it's not great. A lot of writers seem to interpret Deadpool as Family Guy humor, which is the absolute worst incarnation of Deadpool. The best is easily in Cable and Deadpool. This was written by one of the creators of Deadpool, Fabian Nicieza. I cannot recommend the series enough. Cable's messiah complex balances out Deadpool's insanity and the series manages to have some incredibly poignant moments. We're not here to talk comic books, though.

You could say Deadpool has a bit of a rocky track record in comics. The game doesn't veer from that much. It follows the basic beat 'em up formula that I've mentioned before. Strong attack, weak attack. Deadpool adds guns to the mix, and I think it's probably the best integration of guns into a primarily weapon based game. Devil May Cry has this as well, but it never seems to go into the mix very well. They're just too weak and break the flow of the action. Guns are effective in Deadpool, and easy to use.

Combat feels appropriately hectic; there's a lot of action but you'll never feel too overwhelmed or swarmed. The problem here is that the difficulty level is very uneven. Sometimes you'll breeze through enemies, other times you'll die in seconds. A big part of this problem seems to be in the larger enemies sprinkled through the game. It's hard to stay away from them as they usually still move quickly, and they do huge amounts of damage. These enemies are mostly just annoying, and they're used pretty liberally. It seems to be there to artificially pad the length of the game. 

This is another problem with this game. This is the type of game that should have been about 4 or 5 hours long. Of course that brings up the debate of what a game is worth and if that's worth a $59.99 brand new price point, but this game just shouldn't have been as long as it is. It's about an 8 hour game, which doesn't seem much longer (and it's not) but the game just sort of drags. It has some serious pacing issues. I didn't sit down and play this through a weekend, either. I came back to it every so often over the course of a couple of months. Spacing it out like that didn't help either, the game just does not flow well. I'd feel the same fatigue coming back to it weeks or months later.

Definitely a PC screenshot.

The plot is sort of weak and doesn't do much to drive the game forward. Deadpool is just doing what he's doing because the game script says so, and then Cable needs his help to stop Mr. Sinister. I was overjoyed when Cable showed up, but there's not really any Cable and Deadpool-type moments here. Deadpool gets bored with Cable's bullshit and decides to kill himself, which is one of the funnier moments of the game. Since I mentioned it earlier, this is a good time to talk about the Deadpool characterization of the game. Overall, it's okay. The plot seems to come from self-indulgent Family Guy style Deadpool; the bad. The humor doesn't follow this type of self-indulgence, but it's never as clever as Nicieza writes it. It's not bad, it's not great.

Not a Nicieza moment, but excellent nonetheless.

I'm not much of a graphics person (I'm not going to complain as long as they're competent and work for the game), but they're worth pointing out here. I'm really not sure what's up with the graphics here. They're just... not that good. They look unfinished. They look like they're half cel-shaded or something. It's not an attractive game. I'm not going to knock it for that, but they're distracting.

This game is a mixed bag, and there's no better way to put it. It's an okay interpretation of Deadpool, the combat is okay with some good gunplay, the plot is okay, the humor is okay. There's nothing here that rises above and makes it impressive. It's worth a pickup if you see it cheap, but it's nothing to freak out over.

The Score: 7/10

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