Friday, 12 July 2013

Deadpool: The Video Game – The Review

So after some unpleasantness (see previous post) recently I decided to say “Fuck This” to things I really should have gotten down but felt too miserable and angry to do to play a game I’d barely gotten through because of everything that was happening up to and including Supanova, and hadn’t even touched it afterwards because I felt too crappy *breath in*.

Before I start the ranting and raving, just a little forewarning that this game is probably not for... well anyone really. Certainly not for children (lots of swearing, blood, “Sexual Situations” and yet sadly no nudity), and would definitely not appeal to anyone who doesn’t know a single thing about Deadpool or his characterisations. Personally I prefer the earlier issues of the first ongoing and most of the current stuff with Deadpool kinda reminds me of Wolverine back in the nineties, where he had to be in everything and the writing quality of the character just plummeted, but I think Deadpool is the character that can work with that as any lame writing or canon breaking can be typically explained to part of his particular breed of insanity.

For clarification I’ve played it through on the Xbox 360 and not on either the PS3 nor the PC (which is only $30 but I’m unsure if the controls will translate over too well for mouse and keyboard, as other games usually fail on this issue). I've heard grumbles from a PS3 owner about issues that I never personally experienced so I just don't know if there is a problem between platforms or not.

If it isn’t already apparent this review will be spoilerific, so I think I’ll finally use that page break device that I keep hearing about, so read on at your own peril.

So anyway, first impressions; Right off the bat the humour of Deadpool reminds intact, he’s a forth-wall breaking, pancake cooking, taco craving, multiple voice inhabited, mentally unstable, and ultimately just fucking whacky nutjob with an almost too perfect ability to murderify the whole world. The character is (deservedly) overblown in many contexts, and that just tells you that for the most part this isn’t like many other game worlds you may have inhabited, although in all honesty it plays very much like most games in the genre.
The plot(?) is that essentially Deadpool “persuades” High Moon Studios to make a game based around him, and after messing around your apartment for a while exploring some easter eggs and some pretty funny tasks you are able to do (trust me and go sleep on the couch and wait through the dialogue because it’s an absolute riot) and the occasional fourth wall breaking like phoning Nolan North the voice actor who plays Deadpool. When Deadpool finally answers the door that’s been banging for a while, he gets delivered a copy of the game’s script for his approval... which of course not only bores the hell out of him but he decides to rewrite the thing himself, in true Deadpool style. When you finally jump into “The Game” is where you finally start to engage in actual combat and progress (at some point reluctantly on Deadpool’s part because of High Moon either sticking to the original script or the budget cuts which directly affect the game as it goes along).
This is something that I haven’t done in a while, but I used to do on my old blogs that are lost in the ether; here’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
The Good:
  • On the whole the game is just really funny if you’re a Deadpool fan. Even though I haven’t caught up on a lot of what’s been going on with the character for the last few years, it doesn’t really matter because the core of the character still remains. The ludicrousness of the character is nicely transposed against the ‘real world’ where there is only a few real times where his insanity directly changes the environment and always for the better.
  • Deadpool's fourth wall breaking is handled incredibly well and works great when there is the old game trope of the character talking to themselves throughout the level (with at least one of the voice boxes being useful at times as a guide in some circumstances), with the player themselves even becoming something of a character at one stage when Deadpool runs off to do something behind the scenes leaving you wondering what to do (he even runs off at one point and calls you to follow him).
  • Even though this game has the obligatory Wolverine cameo (because heaven forbid you have anything even remotely X-Men related without him in it), it’s handled so incredibly well that it doesn’t take anything away from the game. Cable’s appearance and banter with Deadpool is great for that they read their crossover series, but once again he doesn’t dominate the game.
  • The other great thing is that whilst it may appear to have the dreaded Quick Time Event syndrome, the only times when a button is needed to be pressed it is either a) a multiple choice (not unlike a morality but let’s face it it’s a Deadpool game) or b) for comedic effect and typically it’s for both.
  • One thing I love about the game is the close-combat fighting is fair simple and usually can be reduced to simple button mashing. This might not be something your usual gamer might enjoy but I personally don’t want to mesmorize fifteen thousand button combinations just to hit someone for over nine thousand damage. Pretty much all the combos just come down to pressing either the ‘X’ or ‘y’ button anyway so you typically can pull of some pretty neat tricks just constantly changing your button mashing. Later power-ups you can purchase enable you to pull of execution moves against stunned enemies, which used in combination with the flashbangs are a nice way of stopping yourself from being overwhelmed at times.
  • One little side thing that never fails to make me laugh is just how much the enemy cannon fodder praise Deadpool’s sword welding or attacking skills even when you’ve just butchered everyone in the room.
The Bad:
  • The game does suffer from some of the classic camera problems that most (if not all) third person perspective games have. For example: you’re fighting a bunch of bad guys and you turn the camera hits a wall and suddenly you’ve got a close up on Deadpool’s butt and your can’t see who you are fighting. Again it’s not a game specific thing but it can be problematic at times, although you do have unlimited continues and at least your health regeneration does kick in occasionally when you need it.
  • The game features a currency system within the game with unlocks power-ups and weapons, pretty standard fair as you gain currency by finding it within the game and you can more by beating up more thugs and stacking up more. The only reason why this is in the ‘bad’ section is that sometimes it takes ages to gain enough points to dump it into anything and on one playthrough on the normal difficulty I was unable to purchase the majority of the weapons, although truthfully I focused on powering up my starting weapons as they are what you typically used throughout most of the game. That being said even the weapons I did purchase I was unable to buy any power-ups because they only get unlock through combat. Towards the end some of the more powerful but shorter ranged/slower weapons are almost essential and I hate to think what going through the hard difficulty would be like without some of them on start up... but I suppose that’s for the “HARDCORE” people to deal with.
  • One of the biggest problems in this game deals with the gun mechanics, because for the most part the guns are essentially useless. You start off with limited ammo (you can purchase upgrades for this obviously) and over long distances the accuracy and damage sometimes isn’t worth as much as just running up to the shooter and stabbying them to death. Later on you have to learn to use the auto-targeting system to defeat the one recurring aerial enemy, and then later on you should try to learn to target lock shot you enemies, but the amount of bullets it takes can be annoying sometimes. Oh and you know how in most games since possibly the early 2000s when an enemy has a body part outside of cover you can shoot him and potentially kill them with a well placed headshot??? Well not here. I’ve had shooters “hiding” and I’ve moved to view them out of cover and point blank shot them for absolutely zero damage multiples times, it just screws your gaming sensibilities sometimes and another reason I just stopped using the guns for the most part. Later on in the game they become more useful and gaining the Gunjitzu helps taking down some of the hordes.
  • Most of this is pretty much excusable but there is one thing I hated more than anything in this game and it’s one of the enemies, and it’s technically I suppose a mini-mini-boss. I can’t remember what they are called, they are referred to as the Tubbies by Deadpool, but they are big pale lumbering giants that pound the floor and do some ridiculous amounts of damage. One of the problems is that close quarter combat is pretty much out of the question as they pretty much ignore even your strongest attacks and knock you away for a huge chunk of health. Essentially running away and trying to shoot the hell out of them is a decent strategy except of course for the whole “Guns suck balls” problem mentioned earlier. Thankfully they are not a commonly occurring enemy but subsequent encounters increase they numbers and you find yourself having to run away from the most part. Even when I finally was able to get the hammer weapon (which is supposed to be the heavy weapon) I quickly found my close attacks were still ineffective and it was only the shotgun that was able to do any kind of damage. Even by the time of my last encounter with them I still wasn’t able to upgrade the heavier weapons or purchase something that maybe would have done more damage, and ultimately I had more trouble with them then the damn end boss! I think I focus too much on this but it was at these points where I generally had to quit the game for a while and come back later. 
The Ugly:
  • Wade Wilson... See what I did there? Seriously? Anyone?
  • Okay so if there is one word to describe the environment within this game it has to be “brown”. Apart from a couple of levels you’ll be spending the majority of this game in sewers or the demolished island of Genosha, which is cover is mud and rust and... well other brown crap I suppose. Some of the Genosha stuff looks pretty fantastic but you spend so much time crawling around brown dungeon type levels it’s hard to come away with any other impression. You get a nice shiny office building to obliterfry very early own then it just seems to be a never ending parade of brown. Even Deadpool’s apartment is very brown. You might think I’m saying brown a lot, but that’s because there is a lot of brown to be brown brown brown... brown. The only other game that I think is this brown is Doom (seriously look at the colour palette sometime, there are about 50 shades of brown).
  • The level designs overall are not bad, but sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the world (again very easy with all the brown), and other times you don’t know where you are supposed to be going. A simple waypoint marker would have made all the difference especially in the more confusing areas, but ultimately you can still make it through despite this so whilst it’s confusing it’s not necessarily that bad.
On the whole it’s an incredibly fun game world we find ourselves thrown into purely due to the lunacy that is Deadpool, although to be truly honest the game itself isn’t revolutionary by any standards but you can obviously tell that it wasn’t what they were aiming to make. You also get a sense that this game was also made to poke a lot of fun at gaming and gaming tropes, and there is a lot of lampshaded humour throughout this game, so it’s probably alienating to non-gamers or hardcore gamers who can’t get their head out their arse. Overall I think I’d have to give this a 7.75 out of 10, it made me laugh so much despite how foul a mood I was in but the game overall doesn’t knock your socks off and I’m not sure how replayable it might actually be.

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