by Brian Robbins

 Today was a pretty special day. I finally got hands on time with the new Deadpool game on the Playstation 3. I’ve heard quite a bit about this game and the trailers were really clever and funny but the one thing they omitted was the actual game play. I took this as a warning because this game was due out relatively soon. The only hope I had was that High Moon Studios was developing the game, and luckily for us, they did a great job. For the most part.

The level I selected was one of the earlier stages that had Deadpool starting off in the bowels of a sewer. Before you escape the lower levels, you’re tasked with assaulting various bad guys with a few short and sweet katana attacks. The attacks were swift and brutal– to my liking– there was a lot of blood and equally generous amounts of dismemberment. Mr. Wade Wilson’s jokes were spot-on and acknowledge that he’s very much aware that he’s in a videogame.

That’s actually one of the brighter points in the Deadpool game, the humor. Deadpool has quite a bit to say during combat and you’d want to make sure the volume’s up so you don’t miss any of it. Many times during the E3 demo I was hacking and slashing my way through various enemies and Deadpool kept throwing out insults or wacky commentary. This title was very faithful to the character, and that’s sure to please a lot of fans.

Another feature that was faithful to the comic book character was his healing factor. While you’re taking a beating, Deadpool’s costume gets ripped and torn along with his skin, revealing a grotesque Wade Wilson. It’s very similar to the highly underappreciated X-Men Origins: Wolverine title from 2009. There are ways to get your health back during combat; for example, once you defeat an enemy they might drop a health orb.

One thing I did notice during the E3 demo was the sudden spike of difficulty. As you’re progressing through the sewers your adversaries are incredibly easy to deal with but once you’re up in a skyscraper they become almost overwhelming. That’s when most of the E3 testers died, gave up and walked away. I took the reins and tried it for myself; all you had to do was use Deadpool’s firearms. You just have to switch up your tactics — you can’t always just slice and dice . It would’ve been nice to have a subtle change in difficulty, not a sudden slam of trigger-happy baddies surrounding you.

The gun gameplay was your standard over-the-shoulder third person shooter; you can’t use cover but there’s really no need. Deadpool has access to his dual Uzis, Shotgun and trusty pistols. All seemed very capable. You do need to be aware of your ammunition as well but when you kill something there’s a chance for the baddies to drop more. As you kill the AI you’ll be awarded points that you can spend on upgrading your Deadpool. The upgrade system was very similar to Beenox’s Amazing Spider-Man game that came out last summer. The leveling up skills all seemed useful and powerful. If I had the full game I would definitely try and bump up my prowess with the swords.

I would say the main worries I’d have with the game would either be the difficulty, or the sometimes unruly camera. Often during the gun gameplay I had trouble snapping back to enemies and blasting them away. These aren’t major issues though, and the game was incredibly fun. That’s what we need in a Deadpool game. He’s not Batman. He’s a crazy Merc with a Mouth!

In terms of audio and video, they were both what you’d expect. The graphics never impressed me but they were never ugly. The environments at times felt uninspired as you ran through them but most of the time you were more focused on the task on hand. As with the audio, the dialogue was funny but the sound effects weren’t anything special. No Hans Zimmer soundtrack for this one.

All in all, Deadpool seems like a fantastic start to a comic book video game franchise. I will definitely be picking this one up. I had a great time blasting and cutting my way through adversaries and I’m a big fan of the character. This game is pretty much done– it releases here June 25– so I doubt the finicky camera will be adjusted but it was only a small annoyance. I’m now officially pumped for this game!