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Score: 80%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: High Moon Studios
Developer: Activision
Media: Blu-ray/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action

Graphics & Sound:
Deadpool is idiocy. Pure idiocy. Of course, anyone with a basic understanding of the merc with the mouth should expect that. It took a while, but someone finally worked up the nerve to make a game starring the foul-mouthed, schizophrenic, Marvel ninja. While the game built around the concept is pretty average, I can say with no hesitation that this is the most immature, insensitive, and ridiculous games I've played in a long time. It's a total scream from beginning to end, and you owe it to yourself to at least try it.

Oh, boy. Where do I even begin? Deadpool isn't an impressive-looking game, but it makes up for that (and most of its other shortcomings) by being completely bonkers. The comic book speech bubbles issuing from Wade's personalities are perhaps the least crazy things you'll see in the game. Other characters from the X-Men universe appear, and you can choose to get a stylized comic book introduction to them as they are introduced. Similarly to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Deadpool's healing factor is shown off in gruesome detail; once his mask is blown off, you'll really wonder why the hell he's so confident with the ladies. As for the rest of the visual design, there are too many hilarious surprises for me to even consider spoiling. I'll leave you with this, though: the disc art for the game is a plate with a pancake on it, complete with a drizzle of syrup and a pat of butter. That should say it all.

If Nolan North didn't have fun doing the voice over for this game, the man simply doesn't know how to have fun. Deadpool's balls-to-the-wall insanity is infectious. He goes from one emotion to another in a split second, and you get the sense that none of these emotions are legitimate. This is a character who is impossible to root for, and every time he falls on his dumb ass, you will be laughing at him -- not with him. He's got something to say about everything, and though many of the quips are repeated ad nauseam, that repetition is completely in character for Deadpool. The soundtrack is a heavy metal thrill ride that perfectly complements the devil may care attitude of the game.

How do you make a game starring Deadpool? Well, first, you completely do away with the fourth wall. Then, you just stand back and let the biggest and deadliest imbecile in the Marvel universe take the reins. All I'm willing to divulge is that Deadpool gets a deal to make his own game with the help of High Moon Studios; he gets a script in the mail and promptly ruins it by being, well, himself. Then, all kinds of f**ked up s**t happens. If there's one thing that's consistent about Deadpool, it's that the player will always be caught off guard by how utterly insane it is. Deadpool's mind operates on two gears: tits and death. That's literally all he cares about, and the game goes out of its way to deliver both in some form or another.

Buried underneath this monument to bad taste is a shockingly average action game. It's inoffensive; the action is mostly fluid and fun, but it doesn't rise to something worthy of the character. It's a melee-and-guns affair along the lines of Devil May Cry, though not done nearly as well. There's some platforming in here, as well, and like the rest of the game, it's merely adequate. Gameplay is more of a means to an end in Deadpool, so those who expect a deep, rewarding action game might be barking up the wrong tree.

On its default setting, Deadpool offers a fair challenge. Enemies aren't particularly smart, and many of them fall easily to your blades and guns. However, crowd management can be quite tricky if you don't know what strategies are effective. Before long, you'll be using absolutely everything at your disposal.

That being said, you will eventually progress from mildly powerful mercenary to unstoppable douche of death. A word of advice: invest in the upgrades that allow you to earn more upgrade currency with each kill. Thank me later.

As far as the platforming goes, Deadpool is designed well enough for you to always know where you need to be going. Special visual cues let you know where you should try a wall-jump, and oftentimes, the game goes out of its way to show you what to do. In a tongue-in-cheek manner, of course.

Game Mechanics:
Being a mercenary, Deadpool has access to a large variety of death-dealing tools. He starts out with his classic dual katanas and pistols, but as he progresses, he finds himself with a pair of sai, some hammers, and a wealth of firearms to pulp all his foes. Oh, and bear traps. He's got those, too. Everything works together to form a simple but satisfying combo system. Combos can be mixed in with gunshots for stylish and powerful gunkata combos. And as he builds his combos, he fills a special momentum meter, which can be spent on powerful heat-of-the-moment attacks. If enemies gang up on him, he can teleport, either away from his enemies, or towards a position where he can execute a counterattack.

As Deadpool slices and blasts through his adventure, he earns Deadpool Points. Yes, DP Points. These can be spent on upgrades for his equipment. These upgrades range from extra power to new combos to larger clips to rate of fire (or as Deadpool would say, "BRAKKA BRAKKA." The earning of DP Points starts off kind of slow, but by the time you hit the endgame, you will be absolutely swimming in points.

Perhaps the greatest thing about Deadpool is its willingness to let you do what Deadpool would do in any given situation. For example, the beginning of the game lets you screw around in his apartment for as long as you want. You can go eat some old pizza, inflate his blow up doll, or "use the Internets" for, well, I'd rather not say, but it's not what you think it is. This kind of utter lunacy is all over the game, and it is this stuff that will keep you playing until the end.

Starscream once referred to X-Men Origins: Wolverine as "the ultimate guilty pleasure." Deadpool completely one-ups that game, though the "guilty" part might ring too true for comfort. When you finish Deadpool, you will probably feel violated in some way or another. But deep down, you'll know you loved every minute of it.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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