Deadpool is a comic character with a loyal and passionate fan base. Those who love him have likely already paid off their preorders for High Moon’s upcoming game adaptation. Unfortunately, an even greater number of people don’t know anything about Marvel’s insane Merc with a Mouth. Thankfully, after playing a nearly finished version of the game we walked away with the impression that Deadpool could appeal to any gamer who loves the intense combat of DMC or the crass humor of South Park.
Approximately three-fourths of the way through the main story, Deadpool makes his way to Genosha, a South African island-nation that was once a mutant utopia and is now a post-apocalyptic wasteland. In Genosha, Deadpool runs into Cable. Whenever Deadpool encounters another popular character from the Marvel universe, a prompt appears onscreen offering more information about that character’s history. Players unfamiliar with Marvel lore may find this feature extremely helpful, but even comic fans might want to make use of it, as Deadpool breaks into an amusing song that explains his history with that character.
Cable has time-traveled from the future to bring Deadpool a dire warning. Mr. Sinister has knocked out the X-Men, and the entire world depends on…something that players will never know, because as Cable continues his explanation of the plot Deadpool’s internal monologue continually interrupts to complain about how this conversation bores him. Deadpool doesn’t need a deeper explanation, as he is still sore at Mr. Sinister over a botched assassination. Earlier in the game, the villain stepped in and killed one of Deadpool’s contracts before he was able to eliminate his target. Therefore, when Deadpool learns that Sinister is on Genosha, he rushes off to settle the score.
Deadpool wades through a lot of minions along the way. Fortunately, his gun-fu is strong. He has access to a wide array of sword combos and ranged weapon attacks. As he tears through his opponents, he acquires DP points that can be used to purchase other guns – such as shotguns and rifles – and new melee weapons like dual sai or a pair of slow but deadly hammers. The action is fast and fluid, and I had a lot of fun switching between Deadpool’s various guns and melee weapons on the fly. A quick tap of the dodge button activates Deadpool’s teleporter, which helps him close the gap on opponents or get out of a hot zone in a blink.
During combat, Deadpool also has four special attack bars, called momentum meters, that slowly charge. Once any one of these meters is full, Deadpool can unleash a larger room-clearing attack that changes depending on the weapon he uses. For example, a move called the Equalizer has Deadpool draw two uzis and perform a spinning attack like a move from Underworld. Another momentum attack has Deadpool tornado across the floor in a breakdance-like spin with his dual katanas.
Deadpool ad-libs his way through most of the action. At one point, after stabbing a guy with his sai, Deadpool says, “I said, ‘Just the tip.’” During another sequence, Deadpool complains to the player about how he’s handling the camera. Thankfully, these quips didn’t seem repetitive, and add to the overall charm.
We won’t know if Deadpool’s quips get grating until we spend more time with him, but right now we’re looking forward to a whole game with the guy.
For more Deadpool check out our other preview on the game.