Game Review: 'Deadpool'

Not even the promise of cameos by Marvel Comics' Wolverine, Magneto and Psylocke, the forgotten X-Man, can save the repetitive "Deadpool" out for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

The real shame is that the game -- a button-mashing slash-and-shoot action game released a month ago by Activision -- could have been the start of genuinely adult-themed game in the age of next-generation consoles.

The titular character, of course, is the crimson-clad masked assassin known as the "Merc with the mouth" from the pages of "Wolverine" and "X-men," as well as his own comic.

With a cache of swords and guns, tightly-honed martial arts skills, his mutant healing factor and his crass, but sometimes enjoyable frat boy humor, "Deadpool" had the opportunity to introduce adult humor into M-rated video games in a way that has failed to catch on.

Old School games like "Leisure Suit Larry" and "Duke Nukem" have had a difficult time being embraced commercially as parents groups, elected officials and civil libertarians spar over violent and sexual content in games. "Deadpool" could have breached the divide using household name Marvel characters as the conduit.

Unfortunately for Marvel and Activision, the result is a half-baked effort with an awkward control scheme, a subpar skill tree system and so-so graphics. Add in a lame combat challenge missions ala the Batman Arkham series and you have a hollow shell of wasted potential.

The game does have charm. The folks at High Moon Studios know their way around a booby joke, but it's not enough. You'll walk away feeling like other games did what "Deadpool" was trying to do, just better.

Marvel may be All World these days with major Hollywood films based on its characters planned for the next millennia, but "Deadpool" offers up only missed opportunities in what could have been a new age of adult-themed games.

Rent it.

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