[tabs] [tab title=”Game Details:“]Deadpool was released on June 25th, 2013. It was developed by High Moon Studios and was published by Activision. This Lag Factor analysis was performed on the Xbox 360 version of the game.[/tab] [/tabs]
Deadpool is a character that should be well known by most Marvel fans around the world, especially for his crude humor and breakage of the fourth wall. Unlike most of Marvel’s PG-13 cast, Deadpool isn’t shy when it comes to blood, guts, and killing, making full use of this game’s “M for Mature” rating. Deadpool is a third person action game with elements borrowed from the Batman: Arkham and Ninja Gaiden franchises. The strongest asset of this game is easily its humor, constantly making you laugh as you progress through the script written by Deadpool himself. Read on to see if the quality of the humor compliments its visuals and gameplay.
How it looks:
To get right to the point, Deadpool isn’t going to win any awards with its visual presentation. It has a hard time maintaining its targeted 30 frames per second, which will frustrate users looking for a consistent gameplay experience. When swarmed with enemies (quite frequently, might I add), the game will frequently dip frames while you’re attempting to execute combos, which can be a jarring experience. There is no screen-tearing, due to the game having v-sync enabled at all times. There is a distinct lack of contrast throughout the game, which makes the overall presentation seem a little drab among today’s games. Anti-aliasing is kept to a minimum, and due to the zoomed-out camera, it’s very easy to notice jagged-edges on various parts of the different levels. The character models look decent when the camera ends up close, but that’s not saying a whole lot, considering you’re fighting the same types of enemies throughout the entire game’s length, with very little variation among them. The stages are fairly bland in design, and don’t offer much in terms of creativity. While the character textures are decent enough, the environmental textures are abysmal, detracting from the game’s visual presentation. The gore effects are passable at best, being outclassed several years ago by games like Gears of War using the same engine. Deadpool, in my opinion, is ugly from a technical perspective.
How it feels:
Being an action game, it is paramount for Deadpool to offer a good amount of control when inflicting pain among Sinister’s clones. Yet another game attempting to mimic Batman: Arkham’s fast counter-driven combat, you have 2 attack buttons (light, heavy), a jump button, a teleport/counter button, and your triggers to handle gun control. You also have the ability to purchase 2 additional hand-to-hand weapons alongside your signature swords, with an emphasis on speed (sais), and power (dual hammers). While Deadpool sounds great on paper, the game has numerous issues when it comes to handling. As the game’s frame rate frequently tanks when 2 or more enemies are on the screen, it results in uneven controller response, regardless of the display you’re using. Best case scenario, you’re looking at a minimum of 6 frames (100ms) of input lag when the game decides to keep its frame rate at 30. There is also no way to block, which would be fine if most of the enemies in the game weren’t shooting at you while you’re getting swarmed. You can teleport (and use invincibility frames from counter attacks, stun finishers, and momentum special moves) to avoid gunfire, but this has its own issues. Teleporting has a limiter imposed to prevent excessive use, stuns are sporadic and momentum special moves require meter to use. It is in your best interest to use your momentum-based special moves whenever possible. Not only does it clear out hordes of enemies, but it will also save you from the game’s unstable frame rate. I decided to switch to my BenQ RL2455HM (an excellent display with minimal input lag) from my Samsung HDTV to see if it alleviated any of my issues.
Surprisingly, changing the display had little effect on the way the game handles. You have the ability to cancel all of your attacks mid-animation using the teleport and counter mechanisms. This is useful when using the slower weapons (the katanas and hammers) as they have a good amount of start-up frames before the attack hits an enemy. While reacting to an enemy’s attack would normally be cumbersome on laggy displays, it takes enemies up to two seconds before their attacks can touch you (not counting gunfire and air-based attacks). The two second window gives you an ample amount of time to react and counter, more than enough for most HDTVs. Having a low lag display does help if you’re trying to aim and shoot though, as the default lock-on mechanism locks onto an enemy’s chest. Nailing headshots does way more damage, so it’s advisable to score them as much as you can by switching to manual aim. Overall, due to the game’s inconsistent frame rate, cancel-able animations, and slow enemy attacks, most HDTVs shouldn’t detract from the intended gameplay experience.
Pros:[list type=”plus”] [li]Voice acting and storyline is hilarious[/li] [li]Forgiving on most HDTVs, even laggier ones[/li] [/list][/column] [column size=”one-half” last=”true”]
Cons:[list type=”minus”] [li]Unstable frame rate[/li] [li]Constant gunfire is annoying[/li] [li]Poor technical presentation when compared to most games[/li] [/list][/column]
Recommended Display for Deadpool:
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