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Zadzooks: Deadpool review
Mature gamers take part in mouthy mayhem
Marvel Comics‘ famed homicidal, schizophrenic, potty-mouthed, sexist assassin finally gets his own video game in the third-person slaughter-fest Deadpool (Activision and High Moon Studios, Rated Mature and Moronic, reviewed on Xbox 360, $49.99).
Meet Wade Winston Wilson, a costumed, cancer-riddled mercenary turned into a killing machine after being partly cured by the Weapon X project (thanks to its mutation’s regenerative healing powers) but leaving him permanently scarred and out of his mind.
In comic-book-dom, he arrived in the monthly title New Mutants, No. 98, back in 1991 and is known as the “merc with a mouth.” In this hack-and-slash game, true to his multiple personalities, this clown in a skintight red suit and mask has a trap that never shuts up.
He comments on a player’s inability to succeed in levels (“this is boring”), lets loose with a stream of profanity (fill in the blanks), rambles to friends (baby, you’re the deadest”), and enemies (“if I cut you, do you not bleed?”).
He regurgitates random juvenile thoughts (“imagine if your name was Dick?”) and holds an ongoing conversion with a pair of inner voices — one mischievous (“oh joy, bullets”) and one more rational (“maybe if the player tries to arrange both of the sentinel hands … cough, cough, wink, wink”).
The babbling is brilliantly performed by voice actor Nolan North who spouts off, one of the highlights of the action.
Former Deadpool comic book writer Daniel Way allows our raunchy anti-hero to show off his deadly skills in a story of total chaos in which the character sets up a deal to star in his own video game but ends up on a mission to stop X-Men nemesis Mister Sinister from his ever-evolving cloning plan to create genetic perfection.
Skilled in many martial arts as well as bladed weapons, big, loud guns, hammers, explosives and in eating tacos, Deadpool spends much of the game slicing, dicing, decapitating, vivisecting and pulverizing waves of enemies into a bloody mass of yuck.
He also starts to fall apart as he takes damage, a disgusting tribute to the man and his abilities. Specifically, at one key point, I had to find my arm and reattach it to twist my head back in the right direction.
Deadpool rarely dies in the middle of a fight. He not only regenerates health but can teleport short distances (like X-Men’s Nightcrawler) out of harm’s way. That’s a slick trick I never got tired of, and as slick as using a stash of large bear traps to ensnare enemy brutes.
A player also collects cash icons floating around locations to upgrade the assassin’s skills, but ultimately the game revels in the use of button mashing to deliver outrageous, acrobatic and gooey combination moves ad nauseum.
Fans of the X-Men, willing to stick out the obscene amount of death and gore, have much to appreciate as Deadpool runs into old pals such as Wolverine, Rogue, Psylocke and Domino and spends plenty time on the destroyed island of Genosha, a place known for a massacre of millions of mutants by those multistory Sentinels.
Better yet, each time he meets a familiar character, the player gets a sequential-art biography montage featuring lots of memorable artwork culled from the hero or villain in Marvel history.
Priceless moments for the comic-book geek includes helping former partner Cable, slapping an unconscious Wolverine, a queasy rendezvous with Vertigo, using a Sentinel hand to blow a hole in a wall, blowing up clones of Gambit, enjoying a pool party with X-Men babes and dancing with Death.
High Moon Studios delivers the perfect Deadpool experience with game mechanics and visuals sometimes as messed up as its star’s thought processes.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology.
- ZADZOOKS: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze review
- ZADZOOKS: The Last of Us: Left Behind review
- ZADZOOKS: The Lego Movie Videogame review
- Zadzooks: Justice League: War review (Blu-ray)
- ZADZOOKS: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII review
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