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Gazette Premium Content GAMING REVIEW: 'Deadpool' quirky, but not rich enough

by terry terrones terry.terrones@gazette.com - Published: July 15, 2013

What is it?

A game featuring Marvel Comics' Merc with a Mouth - Wade "Deadpool" Wilson. The fast talking mercenary has appeared in video games before, but this is his first stand-alone title. Fans of the comic can expect the traditional Deadpool zaniness, so get ready for plenty of gags, large guns, random discussions about Mexican food and as always, lots of breaking of the fourth wall. Even in video game form, Deadpool just loves talking to an audience.

The good

That's so meta. I would wager that there's no character in pop culture more self-aware than Deadpool. In the game, he talks directly to you (calling you Player, expect some insults), to developer High Moon Studios and himself as he frequently mentions that he knows he's in a video game. Deadpool even has a phone conversation with Nolan North, the person who voices Wade Wilson in the game. Wrap your mind around that one. Throw in references to other video games (and gaming clich?) and Deadpool's frequent suggestions on how to improve his own script and you have a title that loves to poke fun at itself. Cameos by other characters from the Marvel canon (Mr. Sinister, Cable, Wolverine) add to the silliness.

Speaking of fun. With a script from veteran comic book writer Daniel Way, who has worked on several comics - including "Wolverine," "The Incredible Hulk" as well as "Deadpool" - for five years, gamers get a true representation of what it's like to be the loquacious merc. All the crude humor, love of weaponry, witty dialogue and non sequiturs readers enjoy from the comics can be found here. Whether I was making a "stink pickle" in my trashy apartment or giving fashion tips to a ridiculously clothed villain, I was constantly laughing my way through this game.

But wait, there's more. The inside jokes and humor don't just take place when you're pressing buttons. Hilarious cut scenes fill your eyes and ears with off kilter mini-biographies of Marvel characters, as well Deadpool singing along to random songs.

The bad

Haven't I seen you here before? Deadpool's antics and dialogue are hilarious, but much like a Jim Carrey flick, this level of intensity can only be sustained for short stretches. After a while, the potty humor and sexual innuendo starts getting stale. Unfortunately, the same thing can be said for the fighting system. "Deadpool" lacks depth, with simplistic combat and a lack of enemy variety. While there are plenty of ability and weapon upgrades to toy with, players will still mostly be button mashing, which gets repetitive.

Too inside? There are a lot of inside jokes that comic and gaming aficionados will appreciate in this title, but "Deadpool" isn't for every comic and gaming fan. The Merc with a Mouth is a lot like sushi, people either like him or they don't. Deadpool doesn't have the wide appeal of a Spider-Man or a Captain America. He is not that type of superhero. Deadpool is crude, politically incorrect and sometimes downright nasty. This is a character that's an acquired taste, which is something to consider if you think this is just another Marvel-based game.

The verdict

Deadpool is a character that's best in small doses. With about 6-8 hours of gameplay that makes this title just the right size. To be sure, this outrageous Marvel anti-hero is not everyone's cup of tea. Besides his antics, some gamers will be turned off by "Deadpool's" simplicity. However, as a long time comic book fan I enjoyed being immersed in Wade Wilson's world. It's a funny place to hang out.

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Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications, including GamePro, PC World, GameZone and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.

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