If you’ve been reading Marvel’s mainstream comic books over the past decade the name “Deadpool” should be instantly familiar to you. The character, created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza in 1991, has become something of a breakout star in recent years thanks to his fourth-wall breaking, schizophrenic humor which serves as a stark contrast to Marvel’s eternally serious, brooding characters like Wolverine. Likewise, gamers might be familiar with Deadpool thanks to his appearance in Capcom’s Marvel Vs Capcom 3 games, or in Activision’s Marvel: Ultimate Alliance series.
Though his roles in those games were enticing to fans of the character, they didn’t exactly offer the full Deadpool experience that devotees of the Merc With A Mouth might hope for. A game featuring Deadpool as its key protagonist would have to be equal parts action-packed shooter and irreverent slapstick comedy, and that’s a pretty stiff list of requirements for any developer.
Still, Activision knows a cash cow when it sees one, and as such the publisher has tapped developer High Moon Studios to work on an as yet untitled video game starring Deadpool as its key protagonist. Though we know very little solid information on the game — its existence was only officially confirmed a few hours ago at the ongoing San Diego Comic Con — Activision was kind enough to drop a 1:40 trailer that, if nothing else, demonstrates that High Moon knows how the character should act. Specifically, that Deadpool is constantly engaged in running conversations with the voices in his head. The clip is embedded below, and before you continue reading we urge you to hit “play” and sit through the entire thing.
Done? Alright good. What’d you think? If you’re a fan of Deadpool’s comic book incarnation (as we are), it should strike you as pretty accurate. All the crucial details are there — the multiple voices in his head, the disparate caption bubbles for each voice, Deadpool’s tendency to shoot first and ask utterly inane, oft-hilarious questions never — and the voice acting is both reminiscent of Deadpool’s earlier video game incarnations (ubiquitous voice actor Nolan North reprises his role as Deadpool from Marvel Vs Capcom 3 and Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, among others) and perfectly captures the snarky nudges and winks that seem to accompany any attempt by the character at being serious, threatening or anything other than over-the-top crazy.
Since this trailer is essentially all we know of the game, we can’t even offer up any solid hopes for how it will shake out when/if it lands in stores. In a broad sense, we can say we hope the game is more faithful to the source material than the incarnation of Deadpool played by Ryan Reynolds in 2009’s Wolverine: Origins, but that kinda goes without saying. More specifically we’re hoping that the developers can find a way to balance humor and brutality. Deadpool is a character as likely to crack a joke about your fat mama as he is to decapitate you with a katana, and while making violent games is easy enough, adding a legitimately funny script is deceptively difficult. To date High Moon Studios’ most notable games have been licensed adaptations of The Bourne Conspiracy and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, neither of which give us much hope for the fate of Deadpool’s virtual iteration. Comic geeks, keep your collective fingers crossed that this is High Moon’s breakout hit.