Deadpool PS3 review – Marvel’s meta-man runs headfirst into the fourth wall
For some, Deadpool is the convention- shunning comic madman famous for his dual katanas and duelling personalities. For others, he’s a zero-laughs smartarse in a red jumpsuit. Your opinion of him totally colours your perception of this Marmite- flavoured hack ’n’ slasher.
Deadpool PS3 review
At least the game knows its character. In a plot penned by comic scribe Daniel Way, Marvel’s mouthy merc must travel to mutant haven Genosha and stop Mister Sinister amassing an army, running into the likes of Wolverine, Red Hulk, Cable, Rogue, Psylocke, Arclight and Vertigo along the way. These encounters are a highlight, with Deadpool ‘entertaining’ as a bonkers comedic foil (that’s if you count him exclaiming, “Boner engaged!” when staring at Domino’s chest as entertaining. I don’t).
He’s a force of nature who either entertains or irritates – few sit on the fence. An opening level set in his apartment, for instance, is strewn with interactive stations where you can play air guitar and sit on the bog naked, private parts covered by a generous censor bar. It sets the postmodern precedent, with Deadpool musing on High Moon’s design throughout – the twist here being a central character able to change the game around him on a whim. When he calls up his own voice actor, Nolan North, it’s genuinely amusing. When he highlights flaws in level design rather than address them outright? Less so.
In fact, so prevalent is the rapid-fire ‘banter’ that the game underneath feels an afterthought. Most levels are simply flat spaces where enemies stream in to be dispatched before an exit magically opens. Combat itself feels horrendously outdated, with short strings of button- presses recalling last-gen’s duff superhero games.
So prevalent is the rapid-fire ‘banter’ that the game underneath feels an afterthought
Still, it’s true to Deadpool. Katanas slice through enemies like butter, and after you purchase new weapons such as sledgehammers and bear traps, it’s gloriously gory. To the same effect, though, strikes seem to pass right through their targets, with even Deadpool’s trademark twin pistols feeling disappointingly lightweight. You fight soldiers, mutants and robots, but they might as well all be ghosts. A post-campaign challenge mode offering a dozen or so combat trials, then, is hardly a compelling claim.
The game’s saving grace is just how scattershot it is. One minute you’re jumping around on a bouncy castle; the next you’re plonked in an 8-bit Zelda homage; the next you’re sliding down a sewage tunnel on your arse; the next you’re trading thinly veiled homoerotic barbs with Cable.
In a game as average as this humour is the X-factor. For some, Deadpool elevates it; for others, he renders it nigh-on unplayable. I call it nearer the latter and – for the sake of your taste – hope you do, too. Like the main man himself, this is utterly chaotic: funny, fun, rubbish, forgettable. Sadly, the hit rate of that first attribute is too poor to save it.