Seven Ways To Make A Better Deadpool Game


Well, after more than while of waiting, Marvel’s popular Merc With A Mouth finally has his own damn video game, released a quick while back. And while a lot of gamers were worried due to a lack of any actual gameplay footage popping up in the game’s trailers and took it as a sign that this might be crap, we can all finally take comfort in the fact that the final product was…ehhhh, well, at least it wasn’t crap.

Okay, I should probably get this part out of the way: Deadpool, at least in my opinion, is not a bad game, by any major means. In fact at the very least, I’d recommend it for a rental, largely because the game is still funny as hell and contains a good chunk of clever and outlandish moments you should see for yourself. It captures the spirit of Deadpool perfectly, right down to the crazed chatter, fourth-wall breakage, conversations with split personalities, Pool-O-Vision, and general glee-filled mayhem and lunatic violence all around. The Arkham Asylum-esque combat is also pulled off nicely as well, allowing for some fluid and fun moments where you can pull off insane moves with a ton of weaponry, while still making attacking and dodging quite simple.

But the game’s selling point is still the bombardment of twisted humor it has, and while the humor is indeed top-notch, it kind of feels like it’s the only major strength Deadpool ever has. Again, there’s enough of it that’s damn impressive enough that I can still recommend playing the game if only to see every demented bit it has to offer, but humor alone can’t make a great video game, and so Deadpool still ends up flawed on more than a few levels.

Ironically enough, the whole plot of the game involves Deadpool threatening developers High Noon into making a game based on his crazed escapades (oh, and something something Mr. Sinister trying to destroy the world, blah blah blah), and throughout the whole game they have set up for him, DP constantly bugs High Noon over their lack of a budget for his magnum opus. And maybe if they did have a larger budget, they could’ve focused more on making Deadpool into a better game that our schizo savior deserved. And all they had to do was use that money to achieve certain steps that would’ve improved everything, like making sure they, oh, I dunno…

7. Get Some Better Level And Enemy Designs


Amongst the earliest things you find yourself doing in Deadpool is entering a sewer, whereupon Deadpool remarks “Ah, a sewer level,” delivering a little quip about one of gaming’s oldest cliches. A simple yet funny moment…up until the point where you realize you’re still actually going to be traversing a sewer level, meaning the cliche is played straight. And indeed, no matter how many times Deadpool jokes about the current environment, the actual amount of creativity in the game’s levels somehow magically never increases. Sewers, office buildings, prisons…for a game based around one of Marvel’s most off-the-wall characters, they don’t exactly tend to give him a lot to work with. Even when you’re thrown into the legendary island of Genosha, it still doesn’t seem like anything you haven’t seem a hundred times before.

The same can be said about the enemy designs. To be fair, a good chunk of them do look pretty cool the first time you’ve seen them…and by the time you’ve carved your way through about 200 copies of said enemies, the novelty kind of wears off (although shooting endless explosive Gambit clones who say nothing but “Mon ami” over and over is admittedly still worth it). The enemies don’t even really get any intros, build-up, stories, etc…they just pop out of nowhere like targets in a shooting gallery (ironically, the most creative enemies and level design show up in an actual shooting gallery), and continue to pop up endlessly from then on. The whole ordeal is handwaved by saying that these are clones created by Mr. Sinister, and their repetitiveness is again joked at by Deadpool, but this all just feels like the writers are taking the annoying modern-day Simpsons route of confusing joking about all of your current issues as actually doing anything to fix those issues. And speaking of bad comedy that needs to get its damn act together before I ram a brick upside the writers’ head…

6. Silence Deadpool Now and Then, or Just Give Him More Material


You know what was funny? When I had Deadpool whack a sledgehammer upside a mutant’s throat as he slipped into a Howard Cosell voice and made a crack about going to the majors.

You know what wasn’t funny? When he made that same crack at least five more times over the course of the next fifteen minutes.

I realize how sacrilegious it sounds to shut up the Merc With a Mouth, and I know Nolan North is doing the best damn job he can with the character, but there are only so many damn times one can hear the same lines over and over without wanting to go all Elvis on the TV. And again, the humor is still as good as it can get, but High Noon should know all about the average human’s tolerance levels for a repeated joke, dammit. Especially the quips about the player’s poor skills when it comes to playing the game, which combined with some punishing moments (oh, we’ll get to those), will leave you wanting to break out some duct tape to slap over out anti-hero’s mutilated lips. And since it should never have to come to that in a Deadpool game, for all that is holy, High Noon, please put more of your budget into “Quip Variety”. If you want, please feel free to gladly divert funds away from one of the game’s most useless parts, and by that I mean…

5. Fix the Stealth Elements or Axe Them


So guess what? You can perform stealth kills in Deadpool!!…And if they actually did anything, that would mean something.

Sure, you can sneak up behind an unknowing enemy and kill them in one humorous blow…during the half or dozen or so times the game actually gives you the opportunity. And out of those rare moments, only one stealth section is actually mandatory (and annoying), and only about one more really makes things easier if you choose to go the stealth route. The stealth bits just seem to be in there for kicks, as if they’re included just to show off even more kill animations for Deadpool (coincidentally, expect quite a few times where Deadpool ends up getting spotted because somehow, an enemy noticed him spending several seconds playing golf with his co-worker’s head).

Really, what use are stealth kills and elements in a game where the majority of your enemies either immediately charge at you with giant blades or shoot at you far away or behind cover? Did someone on staff just realize Deadpool was an assassin and figured this stuff needed to be wedged in? It definitely feels like it goes against the whole loud and crazy tone of everything, and so either utilize the stealth better or just kick those Solid Snake skills to the curb. Possibly the latter, since more stealth means less combat, which while good, needs to…

4. Get a Much Better Lock-On and Targeting System


God, was this annoying. Targeting in this game is sloppy as hell, with the ability to lock on to enemies either not working, being slightly off, immediately turning off if you or your enemy move an inch out of the way, not locking on to the enemy you wanted, or all sorts of other crap that made it difficult as hell to accurately shoot an enemy’s balls off. It’s a mess, and should be remedied for any future games.

…And, um, that’s all I kind of had to say about it.

…I mean, well, there aren’t exactly a lot of lengthy humorous observations and witty quips you can make about something like lock-on targeting…um…er…eh, I guess “lock-on” rhymes with “cock on” and so something something penis joke eh screw it, let’s just move on to #3. And speaking of frustration…

3. Even out the Difficulty


So as mentioned, Deadpool has a simple and effective Arkham-esque combat system. It also has a main character not afraid to gleefully pull out all the stops when it comes to disemboweling all his enemies in the name of entertainment, and who has unbelievable regeneration and healing powers as well. So with all of that, how can you have the game provide a proper challenge?

Well, High Noon evidently thought the answer was pretty simple: Just bombard the player with as many enemies as possible at once! And give some of them guns, projectiles, and general attacks that can easily strip away one’s health in a second! Because that’s the same thing as providing a proper difficulty curve, right?

So yeah, the game tends to be full of moments where you can easily rack up a 100-hit combo on a group of enemies one moment, then just a half-minute or so later immediately find yourself getting gangbanged by a hail of gunfire and energy blasts that forces you to teleport away or run around in circles while you wait to regain health, which is naturally one of the least Deadpool-esque things you can do. The game is full of cheap moments such as these, including one that killed me and let me continue, but wiped me out a mere five seconds after respawning back at the last checkpoint with the same crew of one-hit death-dealers. Unbelievable but true – these things can happen.

The worst part? The game’s final chapter, where after mowing my way through about forty or so mutant henchmen and three boss mooks, I got killed in a matter of seconds after stepping out into an open area thanks another sudden boss mook with a chaingun and his trigger-happy friends. And the game sent me back to the last checkpoint, which was WHEN THE WHOLE FUCKING BATTLE BEGAN. So that was another fifteen minutes or so I had spend killing the same damn enemies I’ve killed countless times before over and over, just for a chance again at making it to the end. Christ on a bike, was that a controller-smashing moment. Of course, maybe there would’ve been room for a better difficulty curve and the designers would…

2. Make the Game Longer and Less Linear


Okay, I realize Deadpool’s comics don’t exactly contain the same amount of depth, integrity, and complexity as some of Marvel’s recent bigger event comiiiHAHAHAHAHAHA, yeah, I couldn’t get it all out either. But that being said, there’s really no excuse for Deadpool being a mere eight-hour game at best. Not even being able to repeatedly bitch-slap Wolverine over and over could stretch this kind of insanity out to the proper length it deserves. The game has a good chunk of cheerfully crazy and fun moments, but they’re all over too quickly, leaving a short game that just has you wanting more. Hell, I’m hesitant to actually post the launch trailer here, since it essentially gives away a good chunk of the game.

Not helping is a complete lack of collectibles, secrets, Easter eggs, or any other reasons to go in any direction but forward, so all the already unimpressive levels do is railroad you from one fight scene and/or setpiece to the other, with very little in between. You can try collecting bonus DP Points for the game’s (unimpressive) update system, and if you do shoot for trying to max out every weapon possible, the whole thing’s still going to be over in a blink. So how do we fix this issue? Well, maybe the solution is to…

1. Take the Whole Shebang Open-World


You know, I can’t help but feel that Deadpool has more than a few similarities with the recently-released Capcom game Remember Me, in that both are third-person action games with a ton of great ideas and potential, but are greatly hindered by their linearity and have plots, concepts, characters and worlds that just feel like they really want to be in an open-world format (that said, I do heartily recommend Remember Me, but that’s another story).

One Marvel video game that’s always seen as the gold standard is Spider-Man 2, largely because just being able to swing around New York between story mission and look for new challenges and places to explore is just plain damn fun (well, except for retrieving that fucking kid’s balloon over and over). And wouldn’t it be sweet to do the same thing with Deadpool? The game already teases you with this kind of stuff, as the opening in Deadpool’s apartment allows you to interact with everything in his place. Cook metric tons of pancakes, promote yourself on the internet, make phone calls to your co-stars and harass them…it all goes a long way towards building Deadpool’s world, but after that? You really never do anything like it again.

Deadpool is a game that benefits from moments of inspired lunacy, fun activities, and interactive moments that provide more moments of hilarity, but just doesn’t have enough of them. Maybe with a huge hub world to explore, allowing you to pull off side missions and contracts, and just giving DP more stuff to gleefully dick around with, the endless waves of enemies and combat wouldn’t feel like such a chore. So I say set this chimichanga-scarfing soul free, and let him loose in the type of Saints Row: The Third-esque playground he deserves. After all, when you have copious amounts of C4 on you, just using them to blow open a mere door seems like kind of a waste.

So I say to Deadpool: Take this advice to heart, prep another two tons of dynamite, call up High Noon again. Tell them you have a peaceful, sensible plan for the game you really need…or else.